A real estate deed is a document representing legal ownership of a parcel of real estate. To transfer ownership of real estate, a new deed must be drawn up in favor of the purchaser or grantee. Normally, the seller, or grantor, must sign the new deed to transfer ownership. However, it is possible for a third party to execute a valid signature on a real estate deed, as long as the seller, or grantor, has executed an appropriately-worded power of attorney authorizing an agent to do so.
Examine the power of attorney form to confirm that it authorizes you to sign a deed on behalf of the owner. Anyone can draft a deed, but only the parties to the transaction or their appointed agents may sign it. The power of attorney must either specifically state that you have the power to sign deeds, or include broad language, such as "complete real estate transactions on my behalf" that includes the right to sign a deed.
Determine the type of deed you will use. If the owner is selling the property, the buyer will normally insist on a warranty deed, because it guarantees that the property's title is not encumbered with unrecorded liens or mortgages. If the owner is gifting the property, it is acceptable to use a quitclaim deed, which offers no guarantees.
Obtain a template of the appropriate deed from the Internet.
Insert the date the deed will be signed, the name and address of the owner, and the name and address of the purchaser or grantee.
Add a legal description of the property. This is found in the property's current deed. If the property has been newly subdivided, hire a licensed surveyor to survey the property and compose a legal description.
Sign the deed as "[your full name] under power of attorney." Some states require notarization, while others require witnesses to sign the deed. Check the law of your state for the exact requirements.
- Power of attorney form
Tips & Warnings
After you sign the deed, deliver it and a copy of the power of attorney form to the land recorder's office located in the city or county where the property is located.
If the property is being sold, a deed that recites a price of "one dollar ($1) and other good and valuable considerations" will cause no harmful legal consequences regardless of the actual purchase price.
If you are a property owner who has granted power of attorney to conclude real estate transactions and you later revoke your agent's authority, make sure he does not remain in possession of the power of attorney form. Under the doctrine of apparent authority, an agent whose powers have been revoked can still transfer your real estate, as long as the power of attorney form appears to be valid and the other party to the transaction had no reason to know of the revocation of the agent's authority.
References & Resources
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