How to Write a Property Deed

By George Lawrence
Deeds prove who has title to property.
Freies Land, totes Land image by weinhundert from Fotolia.com

A property deed transfers ownership, lists any encumbrances, and describes any promises made to the grantee (the new owner) by the grantor (the person transferring title). Quitclaim deeds are fast ways to transfer ownership and do not contain any promises. Warranty deeds, on the other hand, promise that the grantor not only has title, but will defend and cure defects in title if they arise. Once written and received by the grantee, the deed should be recorded in the county’s property records office to provide notice to any persons interested in the property.

Title the deed and list the amount given for the transfer. If it is a quitclaim deed, title the deed “Quitclaim Deed”; for warranty deeds, title the deed “Warranty Deed.” Write “In consideration of [dollar amount]” to list the amount given for the transfer.

List the names of the parties involved. Write, for example, [Grantor’s Name and address], as “Grantor,” conveys to [Grantee’s Name and address], as “Grantee,” the property described below by [list the type of deed].”

Describe the land. Use the land’s street address, plot number, and the “metes and bounds” of the land. This information can be found at the county property records office in the county where the land is.

Include any covenants or promises. If the deed is a quitclaim deed, state that the grantor forever “quitclaims” the property to the grantee. Otherwise, list any promises made by the grantor to the grantee (such as the promise to defend title, a statement that the land is free from debts, etc).

List any encumbrances on the land. An encumbrance is a lien or an easement or something else that allows persons other than the grantee to do something on the land (such as dig for minerals or remove timber).

Sign the deed and notarize it. The grantor must sign the deed; typically, the grantee need not sign it. Notarize the deed at a notary public in the county where the land is. File the deed with the county property records division.

Resources

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.