All About Deeds – What You Need to Know


If you are wondering about who should be on the deed of a house, and what do you need to know about deeds – you are not alone. The complexity of the real estate transaction and all the legal terms can be rather confusing. Some of the legal concepts that many people mistakenly confuse and think they are the same thing are property deeds and titles.

A deed is a legal document that specifies ownership of property or real estate, and represents a written and signed tool used to transfer the ownership from an old owner to a new owner. A deed also warrants title. It includes a description of the real estate or property involved, the names of the prospective parties, and the signature of the seller.

Here are some things you need to know about deeds that are legally required:

  • The deed must be in writing, and signed by all parties if more than one person owns the property.
  • A deed is created every time a person or a business entity acquires interest in a property.
  • The seller must have legal capacity over the property, and the buyer must be able to receive the property and be able to make a valid contract.
  • The deed must include all of the necessary legal language to transfer the property, and the real estate involved needs to be described in detail.
  • This deed needs to be legally delivered to the person purchasing the property, who must legally accept the deed.
  • There are multiple types of deeds depending on the situation, they are categorized by the type of title warranty provided by the person selling the property.
  • Generally, only condos and houses have a deed, not the coops.
  • You can add a spouse, family member or partner to a deed, remove an individual from a deed.

If you are a homeowner, the following reasons and life events would prompt you to make changes to your deed:

  • Purchasing or selling a home
  • Transferring ownership to a Corporation, LLC or Trust
  • Getting married or getting divorced
  • Refinancing a mortgage
  • Taking equity out of a home
  • Getting a home equity line of credit
  • Gifting a home
  • Executing the last will and testament of a relative

If you need to do a deed transfer, it’s crucial to understand that a poorly executed transfer can turn into a costly mistake. Real estate transactions involve real property law, so make sure your interests and rights are protected – have a real estate lawyer to guide you and help prevent many legal consequences that can happen during the process.

An experienced and trustworthy real estate attorney can advise you on the best type of deed to use, whether a deed transfer would violate the terms of your mortgage, tax consequences of transferring your deed, which deed to use to avoid future liability and the best way to take title (ex: tenants in common or joint tenants with right of survivorship).

At Levin Law Group, our skilled and dependable real estate attorneys have handled numerous deed transfers, and will be happy to assist you.

When searching for top New York State and New Jersey real estate law firms, trust the Levin Law Group to assist you with a wide spectrum of residential and commercial real estate transactions.

We invite you to contact us today and receive a free consultation.