Home Quotes What is a Deed, and What Are Some of the Common Types?

What is a Deed, and What Are Some of the Common Types?

What is a Deed, and What Are Some of the Common Types?
Close-up business woman holding a pen writing contract agreement. Signing of contract documents. Lawyer concept and law.

A deed is a common document used in real estate transactions. In order for property to exchange hands, proper documentation must be used to make the exchange legal. Deeds are typically created by real estate attorneys to ensure they are legally accurate. 

What is a deed and what are some of the common types? The following explanation provides insight into real estate deeds and their purpose. 

What is a Deed?

A deed is a legal document used to show transfer of ownership of a piece of property, such as a home, building, or lot of land. The deed will include a description of the property as well as the name of the seller and the buyer. It must be filed with the Register of Deeds in the same county where the property is located so that it can go on public record. 

How is a Deed Different From a Title?

The title is the document that shows ownership of a property. The deed is a separate document that is used to transfer the title to the new owner. The title will only include the name of the current owner of the property. The deed will include the name of the previous owner and the name of the current owner. 

Types of Deeds 

There are many different types of deeds. The type of deed required for the transaction depends on the situation. Options include: 

  • General warranty deed. A general warranty deed confirms that the grantor (seller) has the legal right to sell the property to the grantee (buyer). It also includes a variety of covenants, such as a covenant against encumbrances (contested title). 
  • Quitclaim deed. A quitclaim deed is often used for quick transfer of title among family members. This type of deed does not verify the owner of the property and is susceptible to liens and encumbrances on the title. 
  • Grant deed. Also called a special warranty deed or a limited warranty deed, a grant deed only ensures that there were no title encumbrances during the time the grantor had ownership of the property. Any encumbrances from previous owners would be the responsibility of the grantee or the title insurance company if they purchased a policy. 
  • Mortgage deed. On a mortgage deed the grantor is the mortgage lender and the only other party listed is the borrower (grantee). Once the mortgage is paid in full, the borrower will have full ownership of the property with a clear title. 
  • Deed of trust. A deed of trust is used in the case of a mortgage transaction and includes three parties, the beneficiary (mortgage lender), the trustor (borrower), and the trustee (the title company). In this case the trustee holds the title until the loan is paid in full. If there is a default on the loan the title company can sell the property to repay the lender. 
  • Bargain and sale deed. This type of deed is used in the sale of a foreclosed property. In a bargain and sale deed, the buyer assumes the risk and responsibility of any encumbrances to the title from previous ownership. Buyers in this situation would benefit from purchasing title insurance and working with a real estate attorney. 

What Type of Deed Do I Need? 

If you’re considering purchasing any type of property, you may not know which type of deed would be best for your needs. A real estate attorney can assist you with the legalities of property deeds and help you get the right type to minimize your risk in a real estate transaction. 
Roach & Lin, P.C. is a law firm in New York City specializing in the representation of default mortgage servicers. Our legal services include foreclosure, bankruptcy, evictions, REO sales, loss Mitigation, and litigation.