Can You Change a Deed Anytime You Want to if You Have Power of Attorney?

By Heather Frances J.D.

When you sell real property, the sale is recorded by changing the deed to the property. For various reasons, a person may want to grant the power to sell the property to an agent under a power of attorney. State laws vary about the requirements for changing a deed and creating a valid power of attorney, but all states allow a power of attorney to be used to transfer real estate.

Power of Attorney

An agent acting under a power of attorney can sell or transfer real property on behalf of the principal – the person granting the powers – if the power of attorney is properly drafted. The authority to sell real estate may be the only power granted by the power of attorney, one of several powers enumerated in the power of attorney or it may be included under a general power of attorney that grants broad authority without enumerating specific powers. For example, a general power of attorney could say that the agent has the authority to act to the full extent that the principal is permitted to act by law, which would include selling property.

Fiduciary Duties

Whether an agent has specific power to transfer the principal’s real estate or more general powers, he has a fiduciary duty. This means the agent must always act in the principal’s best interests. The agent cannot sell the property for far less than it is worth simply because it benefits the agent. If the sale itself is not in the principal’s best interests, the agent cannot sell the property.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now


Transfers of real estate are recorded in deeds, so the agent who sells the principal’s interest in real estate must sign a deed or change a deed to reflect the sale. A warranty deed may be used if the principal – through his agent – is guaranteeing he owns title to the property and has the right to convey it to someone else. A quitclaim deed may be used if the principal wishes to give any interest he might have in the property but does not want to guarantee that he owns any interest at all. Typically, real estate sales use warranty deeds.


Deeds must be recorded with the appropriate county recorder’s office, depending on your state’s laws. A copy of the power of attorney may also be required to be recorded to document the agent’s authority to sell or transfer the real estate. All deeds must be completed and signed in compliance with state law and local recording rules which may include margin size and notarization language.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
How to Write a Deed With Power of Attorney


Related articles

How to Amend a Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows a person, called the "principal," to designate an agent to legally act on his behalf in certain matters, even if the principal loses the ability to make decisions for himself. A power of attorney grant may be amended to expand an agent’s ability to act on behalf of the principal, to limit the agent’s influence, or to change agents entirely. Amending a durable power of attorney is subject to state law, and the standards can vary.

Does a Will Supersede a Gifted Deed?

Beneficiaries under a will may be disappointed if they discover upon the death of the maker of the will that he had already given away the family’s home by gift deed. A gift deed conveys property without a monetary purchase price. If the person who wrote the will, called the testator, clearly intended to convey the property, there may be little the beneficiaries can do to re-acquire it as estate property. If, however, foul play is suspected or mistakes or flaws exist in the property transfer, the beneficiaries may ask the court to determine property ownership.

Assuming a Mortgage With Power of Attorney

While state laws regarding powers of attorney vary, a power of attorney can allow one person to conduct financial transactions on another person's behalf. This may include the power to buy and sell real estate. The power of attorney may also include the power to assume a mortgage held by another person.

Power of Attorney

Related articles

Can You Sell a Home With a Power of Attorney?

Depending on state laws, powers of attorney can give an agent broad powers over someone’s finances and property. With a ...

Selling Property & Limited Power of Attorney

Generally, a power of attorney document gives authority to another person, known as your agent or attorney-in-fact, to ...

Power of Attorney Rules in California

A power of attorney is a legal device that authorizes one person to perform legal acts -- such as signing a consent to ...

Can a Power of Attorney Give Away a Life Estate?

A power of attorney is a written document wherein a principal grants an agent the power to take action on the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED