Deeds are signed and recorded documents that prove a legal right to a piece of property. The deed describes the property through a legal description of section, township and range. It identifies the grantor or seller and grantee or buyer. It is signed by witnesses and notarized. The deed is then recorded in a county office. Deeds are public records available for viewing by anyone. Each county office has slightly different filing procedures but overall the process remains the same.
Create the deed with a lawyer, a title company, a real estate agent or do it yourself. Some counties provide deed forms online to download. Sign the deed in the presence of a notary public. The notary will notarize the deed after it has been signed. Notaries do charge for their services and rates vary.
Visit your local Recorder of Deeds office in your county. These offices are usually found within county courthouses. To locate your local Recorder of Deeds office, conduct an online search for "Recorder of Deeds X county" where X is the county in which you live. If a web search does not yield any results, look in the phone book for your county's Recorder of Deeds Office or County Clerk's Office.
Read More: How to Get the Deed for a Property
Submit your deed for filing. No other documentation is required. Many Recorders or County Clerk's offices allow walk-in filing or mail-in filing. In some real estate transactions, the title company will file the deed for you.
Check with the Recorder's Office for filing fees. Each deed filed has an associated fee that you must pay to complete the process. Fees can range from $10 per document and up for the first page of the document and vary from $1 or more for each additional page. For a deed that is four pages long, using this fee scale, you would pay $13 to file it, as of March 2011.
Receive the returned deed. After filling the property deed, the Recorder's Office will record and index the information on the deed. When this step is complete, the Recorder's Office will return the deed to the owner or if it was submitted by a title company, to the title company. It is the title company's responsibility to return the deed to its owner. Turn around time varies for each county office. Some offices return the deeds as quickly is a week later and others take longer to process and return.
Jennifer Holik, a professional genealogist, has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes for Chicago-area genealogy society publications. Holik has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.