How to Transfer a Deed Without an Attorney

By Mike Broemmel - Updated June 19, 2017
Shaking hands after signing a warranty deed

The reality is that you can take care of the deed on your own in most cases if you've sold or otherwise need to transfer real estate. Although you may need someone to assist you with other aspects of the transaction, the deed itself isn't complicated. It's a simple matter of completing the deed form, signing and filing it.

What Kind of Deed Do You Need?

Determine what type of deed is appropriate for your situation. You'll probably want to use a warranty deed if you've sold property to a third party with whom you don't have a pre-existing relationship. This type of deed provides a guarantee that the title to the property is free of any encumbrances or liens. Of course, you should have had a title search done as part of the transaction so you're sure this is the case. Don't use or sign a warranty deed unless you're positive.

If the transfer of real estate is between family members or to a person with whom you do have a close, pre-existing relationship, you can use a quitclaim deed. This type of deed offers no guarantee the title is free of liens or encumbrances. It doesn't even guarantee that you rightfully own the property you're transferring. It just says that if you do own even a portion of it, you're transferring that portion to someone else.

Prepare the Deed

Obtain the appropriate deed form. You can typically get one from the register of deeds' office in your county or any office supply store. Completing the deed form requires inserting the name of the new owner as well as a legal description of the property in question. The legal description of the real estate should be available at the register of deeds office. You can copy it verbatim. Sign the completed deed in front of a notary public and have the other party do the same.

File the Deed

File the deed with the register of deeds office. Depending on where you live, this may be the county clerk's office or go by yet a different name. You can usually find out by checking your state's offices online.

A fee is typically associated with filing a deed, usually a flat fee for the first two pages and an additional charge for each additional page. Most quitclaim deeds are about a page long and warranty deeds are usually a minimum of two pages. The clerk will give you a filed copy of the deed, but sometimes there's an extra fee for this as well.

About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article