You may obtain Texas land records, including deeds, from the county clerk in the Texas county in which the property is located. You can search online for a deed in some counties, or else request the deed from the clerk in person, by mail, phone, fax or email.
Texas Property Deeds
A deed is a document that establishes legal and equitable title to real property. When you buy a house in Texas, you get a few very important documents, including a warranty deed and a document called deed of trust.
The warranty deed transfers ownership of the property from the seller to you. This document gets recorded with the local recorder of deeds and becomes a matter of public record. Anyone searching the records can see that you are now the legal owner of the property; you will need to produce a copy of this deed if you ever wish to sell, mortgage or lease the property. The deed of trust is a part of the loan documents. Its purpose is to provide security for your purchase loan to the bank or other lender.
Types of Deeds in Texas
Two types of warranty deeds are commonly used in Texas. One is a general warranty deed and the other a special warranty deed.
A general warranty deed expressly guarantees title and makes the person selling the property fully legally responsible for any property defects, even if they were created prior to his ownership. If the title turns out to be faulty, the seller has to do everything in his power to fix the defect. This deed is normally used in all residential real estate transactions.
A special warranty deed is used in commercial real estate deals. By using this deed, the seller guarantees title in the same way as with a general property deed. Only this time, the warranty applies from the time he owned the property, but not before.
Texas County Clerks
In Texas, a conveyance of property must be in writing in order for the parties to enforce the deal. In order for the conveyance to be binding on third parties, the deed must be recorded with the county clerk in the county in which the property is located.
As part of a normal residential real estate purchase, you (as the buyer) receive copies of the warranty deed, as well as the deed of trust. If you lose those documents, however, you may be wondering "How do I get a deed to my property?" You'll find your deeds at the county clerk's office.
Procedure for Getting a Texas Deed
Obtaining your deed is much easier than you might imagine. Go to the public records website Texas Land Records and Deeds Directory on the internet.
All Texas counties are listed alphabetically, so first locate the relevant county. If an online search is available in that county, a search button displays on the left side. On the right side is the contact information of the clerk's office.
If an online search is not available, you can obtain deeds by visiting the county clerk's office in person during business hours. Alternatively, request records by written letter, phone, fax or email.
If it's your own deed you are after, another option may be to call the real estate agent, attorney or title company who handled the property purchase for you. If the transaction is relatively recent, there's a fair chance that they will still hold a copy of the deed on their filed.
Read More: The Definition of a Special Warranty Deed and Deed of Trust in Texas
- Confirm that the real estate agent has the deed written up properly with the specific land descriptions before filing the deed.
Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.