When you are in the process of purchasing real estate – particularly if you are a new buyer – you will come across unusual terminologies and jargon. Two of the most common terms you will come across are title and deed. Many people assume the two terms have the same meaning, but actually they are very different. When you own a property outright, you’ll possess both the property’s deed and the title. Being unaware of the difference between a property title and a deed can bring problems to the buyer.
The term “title” in real estate is used to describe your legal relationship to a piece of land and establishes that you own a right to a certain property. Let’s say you have a bank loan, even though the property deed is under your name as the buyer, the bank has a right to hold the title to your property until you finish paying the loan. The bank will transfer the title back to you as the homeowner after you’ve settled the debt.
Titles can signify partial or full interest in a property. However, since you have a title, you are legally allowed to access the land and possibly make some modifications to it if you want. When you have a title, you can also transfer your partial interest to other people, but you cannot transfer more than you actually own.
A property deed is simply the legal document that transfers title from one individual to another. According to the Statute of Frauds, the deed needs to be a written document. At times a deed is considered the vehicle of the real estate interest transfer.
In a majority of the states, property deeds need to be recorded in courthouses or assessors’ offices for them to be considered wholly binding, but failing to file them will not alter the transfer title. It simply means the deed isn’t perfected. Imperfect deeds do not mean there’s a problem with the associated titles. It is just an issue with how their paperwork was handled.
There are different types of deeds. A common type is the quit claim deed, which is used when the involved parties know and trust one another. It is a fast and easy method of transferring a title, but without any warranties applied to it. Quit claim deeds are very popular when property is being transferred from one family member to another when there is full trust that the title is genuine.
On the other hand, warranty property deeds are commonly used when a title is being transferred to a stranger or somebody who needs warranty. Such deeds transfer the title and promise the title is legal and genuine, or else the person transferring the real estate title will have to take responsibility in paying the costs.
Property deeds and titles do seem like similar concepts, but there are key differences between them which are very important. In the real estate industry they serve separate functions and if you are in the process of buying property for the first time, you should take some time to distinguish the two. Buying a home is a very huge investment, so you should ensure you do some homework first before signing the paperwork presented to you.
If you have any questions about titles and deeds in the Florida area, you should consider contacting a qualified Title Services Company in Southwest Florida. Title Services can protect you when you are buying or selling a home.