When transferring real estate in Florida from one party to another, different types of deeds exist to facilitate the transfer of property, depending on the circumstances.
The property's title lists the current owners of record on file with the county recorder's office and includes any liens, easements or access rights that apply to the property as well. Deciding on how to list owners, and what type of deed to use determines how a house in Florida is titled.
Transfer of Title
Decide which type of deed you wish to use to transfer the title of your property to another party. Commonly used in transfers among family, a quit claim deed simply signs over any interest the person granting the ownership (grantor) has in the property to the other party (grantee), making no warranties or guarantees that the title is free from any further debts or encumbrances. A warranty deed not only signs over the interest of the grantor to the grantee, but also makes legal promises that the property is free from any liens or debts. The grantor also agrees to compensate the grantee for any damages sustained as a result of future claims on the property after transfer.
Fill in the deed with the names of the current owners (grantors) and the parties who will receive the title to the property (grantees), along with addresses for each. Include a legal description of the property, the monetary sum for the transfer and any taxes on the property.
Sign the deed as the grantor. All grantors must print and sign their names in front of a notary and two witnesses, who must also sign and print their names.
Calculate recording fees and transfer taxes. Recording fees vary by county, so ask the proper Clerk of Court. According to its website, the Florida Department of Revenue requires a documentary stamp tax at the rate of $.70 per $100 (or portion thereof) on documents that transfer interest in Florida real property, such as warranty deeds and quit claim deeds as of September 2010.
Submit the deed to the Clerk of Court in the proper county together with payment for recording fees and any transfer tax that applies. Once recorded by the Clerk of Court, he'll forward all documents to the new owner, officially transferring the title to that party.
List only one name as holder to the property title for a single individual. Known as sole ownership, only one person's name is recorded on the title. If you're married, ask your spouse to relinquish interest in the title to prevent possible problems with future sales.
For more than one owner, choose to list ownership on a title as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or as tenants-in-common. Tenants-in-common can divide and sell interests in the property without the permission of the other owners. The property interests pass separately to each owner's respective heirs upon death, not to the other owners listed on the title. Joint tenants share the title equally and must all approve transfer of interest for any owner. Unlike tenants-in-common, the share of an owner who dies automatically reverts to the other owners listed on the title for joint tenants.
Consider listing owners as tenants in entirety on the title, if the individuals involved are a married couple only. This type of ownership affects how creditors can demand sale of the property due to unpaid debts by a person involved and requires permission by the other owner to sell interest in the property title. Upon death, the other party receives the other's property share.
Consult a real estate lawyer in the Florida county the property resides to avoid costly legal mistakes when purchasing the property.
The documentary tax rate in Miami-Dade County differs from the rest of the counties in Florida, and charges $.60 on all documents plus a $.45 surtax on documents transferring anything other than a single-family residence, as of September 2010. Florida does not have community property rules for property ownership.
If owners have set up a trust, the trustee holds the title to the property and manages it for the beneficiaries of the trust agreement.
When purchasing a home in Florida, purchase title insurance to protect from unforeseen claims against the property due to liens or improper signatures on previous titles the current owner does not disclose.
Before purchasing, always perform a title search on the property with the Clerk of Court in the county it is located in to ensure the current owner is the only owner of record and no liens exist on the property.
- southern home image by Denise Kappa from Fotolia.com