A deed is a document that transfers ownership of real estate. It serves as written proof of ownership of your home or building. For a deed transaction to have legal effect it generally must comply with certain legal requirements, such as:
1. the deed must contain an adequate legal description of the property;
2. the names of the new and old owners of the property must be clearly
3. the owner(s) transferring the property must sign the deed; and
4. the owner(s)’ signatures must be notarized, and sometimes, even witnessed.
Once an owner executes a deed and transfers property the deed should be recorded with the County Clerk’s office in the county where the property is located immediately to ensure the new owner(s)’ rights to the property are properly secured. Recording creates a chronological chain of title so the history of ownership of a particular property can be researched. It also protects a new owner; if a deed is not recorded that new owner runs the risk that the former owner might sell or mortgage the property to someone else. If that happens and the later buyer or lender records their deed or mortgage first the new owner’s interest could disappear entirely or be subject to that mortgage.
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