How to Write a Transfer Deed

By Wayne Thomas

Locating a buyer for your real estate can exciting. After you negotiate a purchase price and close the deal, you need to write up and sign a deed. Although there is no such thing as a "transfer deed," a quitclaim, warranty or limited deed can help you effectively convey your ownership interest in the property to the purchaser.

Types of Deeds

Before creating your deed, decide what type of deed you need based on your agreement with the buyer. A warranty deed offers the most title protection to the buyer and contains an express guarantee from you that the property is free of all other claims of ownership and encumbrances -- like a lien -- other than those specifically listed in the deed. A limited or special deed contains similar assurances with regard to title, but the warranties only apply to the period in which you owned the property. In other words, the buyer would not be protected from claims arising before your bought the land. Finally, a quitclaim deed provides the buyer with no title protection and conveys whatever ownership interest you have, which could ultimately turn out to be nothing.

Deed Caption

Once you have determined whether you be using a warranty, limited, or quitclaim deed, you may begin drafting the document. Many online legal document providers offer fill-in-the-blank or sample deed forms for your convenience. At the top of the deed, specify the type of deed, and complete the caption, noting that the deed is filed at the request of you, the "grantor" -- the person conveying the property -- and include your address. You also should include the name and address of the person you sold the property to, referred to as the "grantee."

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Deed Body

The next step is to complete the "granting clause." This is boilerplate language used to express your intent to change ownership of the property and usually contains something to the effect of your desire to "convey" or "assign" the land. Here, you will add your name and the name of the grantee, and the amount he paid for the property, which is typically referred to in the deed as "consideration." You also fill in the county where the property is located and include a plat or metes and bounds description. An example would be "Lot 1, Block 1, Blackacre Tracts as per plat recorded in Volume 998 of plats, pages 45 through 46, situated in the County of Latah, State of Idaho." This description can usually be found in your property tax or mortgage documents.

Warranties and Signing

If you are using a warranty or limited deed, the next step is to note any existing encumbrances on the property, like an easement on the land held by a neighbor. You must also state the warranty language. Common language used in a warranty deed would be something to the effect of "the grantor will forever warrant or defend title against all others." In a limited deed, you might instead "forever warrant or defend title against the grantor and grantor's heirs or successors, but not others." Once the deed is complete, it must be signed and dated by you in the presence of a notary public. The deed becomes effective when delivered to the grantee.

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What Is a Quitclaim Covenant?

A quitclaim deed conveys someone’s interest in real property to someone else. The seller or donor is the grantor; the recipient is the grantee. The quitclaim’s only promise, or covenant, is that if the grantor had an interest in the land, that interest is transferred to the grantee. That’s a big “if.” Quitclaims should be used only in special circumstances.

How to Write a Letter Deeding Over a Cemetery Plot

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Getting a Heir's Name on a Deed

You may decide as part of your estate planning to deed an interest in your property to an heir prior to your death to avoid probate of the property. There are several methods to accomplish this; however, it is always best to consult with an estate-planning attorney to discuss all options as well as the tax consequences involved.

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