Dan Green

Dan Green

Since 2003, Dan Green has been a leading mortgage lender and respected industry authority. His unwavering commitment to first-time home buyers and home buyer education has established him as a trusted voice among his colleagues, his peers, and the media. Dan founded Homebuyer.com to expand the American Dream of Homeownership to all who want it. .

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We also exist for profit and want our readers to understand how we make money.

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Your trust matters to us. This article was thoroughly checked for accuracy as of November 20, 2023. Homebuyer.com ensures every piece of information we share reflects the latest in mortgage standards. Learn more about our commitments to our reader in our editorial guidelines.

What Is a Deed?

A deed is a legal document that conveys ownership of real property from one party to another and contains a proper property description.

A Longer Definition: Deed

In real estate, a deed is a legal document that proves an official transfer of property ownership from one entity to another. A deed is provided at settlement. The home seller gives the deed to the buyer, as witnessed by a notary public.

Without a deed, the home cannot be not legally conveyed from seller to buyer.

There are three common deed types in real estate.

The first is a Warranty Deed.

Warranty deeds give home buyers the highest level of protection in a home purchase transaction because, with a warranty deed, the home seller is guaranteeing a clear title to the property, free from any liens or encumbrances.

Another common deed type is the Quitclaim Deed.

Quitclaim deeds are typically when transferring property in non-arms-length transactions among known parties, like family members, or when correcting a title defect such as a spelling mistake. Quitclaim deeds are also used in refinancing.

A third standard deed type is the Special Purpose Deed, reserved for specific circumstances such as executing a legal will or making court-ordered property transfers.

A valid deed contains five sections.

Section 1: Identification of Parties

The deed clearly identifies the grantor (seller) and the grantee (buyer), ensuring there is no ambiguity about the parties involved in the transaction.

Section 2: Legal Description of Property

Unlike a simple address, this is a detailed description of the property being transferred. It includes boundaries, measurements, and any other defining characteristics, ensuring the exact piece of property is unmistakably identified.

Section 3: Operative Words of Conveyance

These words demonstrate the grantor’s intention to transfer the property. Phrases like “convey and warrant” are commonly used to indicate this intent.

Section 4: Signatures

The deed must be signed by the grantor, affirming their consent and action in transferring the property.

Section 5: Consideration

This component refers to what the grantee gives, typically monetary value, in exchange for the property. It legitimizes the transaction as a bona fide exchange.

Deeds: A Real-World Example

First-Time Home Buyer Stories: Deeds

Consider a scenario where an individual purchases a new home. The transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer is legally finalized and recognized through the execution of a deed.

This deed, often a warranty deed in such cases, cements the buyer’s ownership and assures them of the property’s clear title, safeguarding their investment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Deeds

What information is included in a deed?

A deed typically includes the legal description of the property, names of the grantor and grantee, the date, consideration paid for the property, and the grantor’s signature.<

What is the difference between a deed and a title?

A deed is a physical, legal document that transfers ownership of the property, while a title is a conceptual term representing ownership rights in a property.

Are there different types of deeds?

Yes, there are several types of deeds, including warranty deeds, which guarantee that the grantor holds clear title to the property, and quitclaim deeds, which convey only the grantor’s interest in the property, with no guarantees.

Is a deed legally binding if it is not recorded?

Yes, a deed can be legally binding even if it’s not recorded, but recording is crucial to protect the new owner’s claim to the property against claims by subsequent purchasers or lenders.

How can I obtain a copy of my property’s deed?

Copies of deeds can usually be obtained from the county recorder’s office or the county clerk’s office where the property is located, often for a small fee.


  • November 20, 2023: Added video

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