A party can transfer a deed in Texas with a written document, the deed, the services of a notary and the services of a county clerk. First, the party should create, or have an attorney create, a deed with all the necessary legal elements. Then the party should validate the signature of the grantor, the person conveying the property. Usually this is done by a notary.
The grantor must then deliver the deed to the grantee, the person receiving the property. The grantee must accept the deed. Finally, the party should file and record the deed with the office of the county clerk where the real property is located.
Filing and Recording Procedures
The party should file an original document with original signatures. A party can file in person, by snail mail or electronically with an e-filing provider. Approved e-filing providers and the fees for filing vary by county.
Once a staff member in the county clerk’s office has recorded the deed, he will assign it an instrument number and scan it to become part of the county clerk’s records. Later the staff member will return the original documents.
Why Do I Need to Transfer a Deed?
A party needs to transfer a deed when a name is removed or changed from the property title. A name may be removed after a sale, a transfer to a beneficiary through a will or trust, a foreclosure proceeding or an acquisition by a government entity through the process of eminent domain.
Title to a property is different from a deed. The term title refers to ownership of property, meaning that a party has a right to use, sell or transfer the property. The term deed refers to the legal document through which a transfer takes effect.
Different Types of Deeds
The four basic types of deeds in Texas are: general warranty deed, special warranty deed, deed without warranty and quitclaim deed. A general warranty deed completely transfers the land title to the new owner. The new owner has the right to the entire property.
A special warranty deed states that the title is free and clear from other claims during the time the grantor has owned the property. A special warranty deed does not protect the new owner against claims that arose before the grantor owned the property.
A deed without warranty conveys a piece of property without any warranties. A quitclaim deed is a release of the grantor's claims of title to the new owner. A quitclaim makes no warranties regarding the validity of the title. This means another person or entity could come forward to interfere with the rights of the new property owner.
How an Attorney Helps
An attorney can prepare the transfer deed and can also file the deed on behalf of her client. A deed must contain language that makes it clear the document is a deed, as well as a legal description of the property. The deed should note the property's boundaries and the rights that other parties have to the property, such as the right to use a private road or a swimming pool.
The deed must contain the signature of the current property owner and language to show he is conveying the property to a new owner. In addition, the deed must contain identifying information for the new owner.
What a Notary Does
A notary acknowledges the signature of the grantor on the deed. The notary does this through a process called certification. A county clerk’s office requires that the grantor’s signature be validated through this or another method. Unless a deed is recorded electronically, it must contain the original signature of the grantor.
Read More: How to Get a Deed on Property in Texas
- Harris County, Texas: Harris County Clerk's Office, Real Property
- Texas Estates Code, Chapter 114: Transfer on Death Deed
- Bexar County, Texas: Lucy Adame-Clark, Bexar County, County Clerk
- Texas State Library & Archives Commission: About County Records
- Legal Beagle: How to Get a Deed on Property in Texas
- Legal Beagle: The Definition of a Special Warranty Deed and Deed of Trust in Texas
- Legal Beagle: Rules for Quitclaim Deeds in Texas
- Legal Beagle: Differences Between a Warranty Deed & a Special Warranty Deed
- A Texas real estate attorney can take care of the transfer paperwork for you if you do not want to handle it yourself.
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.