Conduct a title search by contacting your county assessor's office. Give them the address and name of the current owner and they will give you an assessor's parcel number (APN) and document number. Contact your county recorder's office and give them both numbers, then request a copy of the current deed or title.
If there is no question as to who owns the property, file a grant deed, also called a warranty deed. If there are doubts about ownership, file a quitclaim deed. Nolo.com states that a quitclaim deed is commonly used when a title search "reveals that a previous owner or some other individual, like the heir of a previous owner, may have some claim to the property."
Download the correct form off of the Internet or purchase one from an office supply store. Fill it out properly, taking special care with the property description. Add yourself as the grantee and the person giving or selling you the property as the grantor.
Head to a notary public with the grantor to notarize the deed. Have him sign while the notary witnesses it, verifies that the signature is valid and stamps it.
Go to the county recorder's office in the county where the property is located and give it to the recorder. For a small fee, she will transcribe the deed, officially making it part of public record.