What is a Deed?
A deed is a written instrument which transfers title to real property from one person or entity to another. The person or entity transferring title is known as the "grantor", and the person or entity receiving the title is known as the "grantee". A deed must be in writing and must be signed by the "grantor". To be effective against third persons and subsequent purchasers, the deed must be recorded in the land records of the county in which the property lies.
The deed must contain, at minimum, an identification of the grantor and grantee, consideration (usually the amount of money paid) and a legal description of the real estate. It may refer to the real estate by lot number as shown on a recorded plat or by a lengthy metes and bounds description prepared by a surveyor. A new survey usually is not required prior to every transfer of real estate, unless there is a discrepancy or there are special circumstances. Many states have special requirements in order to record a deed, such as, the payment or recording fees, the payment of all outstanding taxes and assessments, applicable transfer taxes must be paid, and certain specific information must be provided.