Tennessee Land Transfer Laws

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Tennessee land transfer laws regulate the conveyance of property in the state. These statues fall under Title 66, Chapter 5 of the Tennessee Code. Land buyers and other receiving transfers of property should consult with a real estate attorney to determine the best instrument for taking title to the property. Land transfers in Tennessee may be subjected to transfer or mortgage taxes.

Grants or Devises

Unless otherwise noted, all grants or devises of land transfer the entire interest of the individual conveying the property, usually involving a transfer of land by will. If the grantor intends otherwise, the language of the instrument used in the transfer must clearly outline the terms of the interest transferred. This rule comes under section 66-5-101.

Instruments Used for Land Transfers

Section 66-5-103 of the Tennessee code allows for the transfer of land in a variety of manners. The grantor may use a warranty deed, quitclaim deed or deed of trust to convey title or interest to land. The warranty deed is the instrument used most for land purchases and sales. This deed guarantees the seller owns the land and has a right to sell the property.

Grantors typically use quitclaim deeds to convey an interest in land without any warranties or guarantees from liens or claims that others may file contesting ownership. A deed of trust delivers the title of the property to a trustee whose only responsibility is to hold title to the property until the borrower pays off the loan.

Agent/Attorney Execution

Tennessee laws permit a person who has the authority to covey or transfer land to have his agent or attorney sign the deed, mortgage or other instrument used for transferring property. The agent or attorney may write the name of the principal or use his own name.


The person affected by a mistake made during the transfer of land or recording of an instrument must file a petition in the circuit court where the land sits. The petitioner must take out an advertisement in a newspaper located in the same judicial district as the land. The advertisement must state the nature of the petition and the filing date for the petition. This must take place for three consecutive weeks at least 30 days before the hearing.

Effective Date

The date of transfer for land is the date on the instrument used for conveyance. A notary acknowledgment prior to or after the date on the instrument does not have any affect. However, if the deed or other instrument does not contain a date, the latest notary acknowledgment becomes the effective date.