The majority of the public will loosely interchange using the terms of property deeds and property titles. While these two terms are closely related as they are both about the ownership of your land, they are two completely different things.
This might be confusing for some reading this blog, as you're bound to have Googled, “What’s the difference between property deed and title?”
There is an actual difference between the two terms. A quick differentiator is the fact that the property deed is an actual document, while the property title is a legal expression and just a method of explaining a concept that means you have a legal right to use the house.
But there’s more to dive into with these two concepts to really explain. Let’s get into the conceptual idea first.
What is a title in real estate? Simply, a “title” just refers to your legal ownership of the house. This title gives you the right to live at the property as you see fit. While the idea of a “house title or “home title” seems like it should be a document, there’s no paper trail here for anyone to follow.
If this doesn’t seem like a concrete basis for claiming ownership of a home, know that the ways you hold a title is just the manner in which you’re given possession of a “bundle of rights” to a property that, if you sell, will get transferred from the seller (you) to the buyer.
These rights include:
The right of possession, which says that you own the property.
Your right of control, so you can use this property as you please, as long as you don’t break any laws.
The right of exclusion, gives you the right to ask for unwanted guests to leave your property.
Your right to enjoy the land or your right to do activities on the property, as long as they are legal.
And finally, your right of disposition, so this right gives you the power to sell off the home as you see fit. As well as the right to transfer ownership to whoever you see fit.
While at first glance this may seem like as soon as you “take the title” on the home you own it, and also that the title gives you, the owner, the legal right to go ahead and sell it off in the future. It’s not that that simple.
The manner in which the title will be held can differ. A “clear title” means you, as the owner, don’t owe anyone money or that your house is free of any mountains of debt defects, judgments, or bankruptcies.
Buyers of homes and their financial lenders will want to know if the home has a clear title. Because if they close on the deal with these aforementioned IOUs attached to the property, they may need the assistance of lawyers to break apart the tied debts. Which is bound to add to those closing costs for the buyer and seller.
There are a number of usual defects or issues on titles, some of which include:
Contractor liens put against your house for the kitchen remodel
Improper title transfers due to a past paperwork error
Outstanding child support
There are many more, but this means even as a seller, you should make sure you have a clear title before listing your home.
However, if you are selling to a buyer needing financial help from a bank, you will be required to produce a clear title, or marketable title, to transfer to the buyer. If you can’t, the sale will come to a grinding halt.
So, now that we understand what a title means, let’s talk about what a deed is.
The simple explanation is that a deed is a physical document, which indicates who owns the property, or who the new owner is. In this document, you will find a description of the property, and it will identify who the grantor (seller) and the grantee (buyer) are for the transfer. Both parties will need to sign the deed to close the real estate deal.
Because a deed is an actual piece of paper, the new owner will take possession of the document at the time the home is sold, meaning they now have the title to the home.
Just like titles, there are a number of different deeds to know about. These include:
Arguably the most commonly used deed in the traditional home sales process, and provides the best protection for the individuals buying the home. It means the owner will have a clear title and the right to sell the property, as well as having no knowledge of any hidden issues that might pop up on the title for the life of the property. It also says that no one else has the rights to the house and the property.
Similar to the general warranty deed, but with one difference: it only guarantees the clear title status for the time the homeowner owns the house. This is used not for private homes, but in the commercial real estate deals, and can also be referred to as a Covenant Deed.
A Grant Deed is like the usual warranty deed, which shows that the owner of the home has a clear title to sell, and no knowledge of anything that might affect the transfer of the title. But it doesn’t include the warranty that you’ll defend the title against other people who may end up having claims to it after the sale of the house takes place.
This type of deed offers the least amount of protection for a buyer of the home. A Quitclaim deed is usually used when someone is trying to give the home to someone else. In a Quitclaim deed, the owner transfers rights of ownership to the recipient, but without any guarantees that the seller is actually in the position to do so. This seller may not be legally allowed to gift/sell the house, but the giftee wouldn’t be able to take any action against them after the fact if this was the case.
This type of deed is used if your home is being sold in a tax sale or foreclosure of the property. A bargain and sale deed means that the seller doesn’t need a clear title and there are no protections for the buyer.
When someone files with this document, you’ve got liens on the property. They stay with it when sold, and the buyer will be responsible for cleaning everything up after they’ve taken possession of the house.
So, now that we fully understand the specific types of titles and deeds, let’s talk about the closing process and how to get a deed.
To get an actual deed and take the title, your lender (the bank financing the deal) will perform a title search of the public records. This will ensure that the granter has the legal right to sell the property to the new owner. As discussed, this can only be done if there are no liens, personal property disputes, or claims possession of the house.
If everything has been cleared, then at closing, the granter will transfer the title to the buyer, and that will mean the home has a new legal owner.
The title, or escrow company, will then ensure the deed is recorded with the county assessor’s office or courthouse. This differs depending on where you live. You’ll normally get a notification a few weeks after closing that your deed has been recorded.
If the owner doesn’t get the notification, just check with the professional who closed the deal and make double sure that the paperwork has been filed. But if everything seems to be in order, the buyer can take possession of the property!
But what happens if there is an issue?
For making sure that you don’t lose out on your massive transfer of funds, there is title insurance. In rare occurrences, some title problems can pop up later, such as liens and hidden issues on the title. To protect you against this mistake, taking out title insurance will help you with the financial loss.
There are two types of title insurance. These are:
This policy will insure you against past problems, which include fraudulent paperwork and errors, issues with foreclosure, an unknown encumbrance, unpaid liens against the property, or claims to the land.
A lender’s title insurance policy protects your lender’s interest in the home. It will last until that mortgage is fully paid off.
If you are concerned about the fact this is a lot to take in, you’re not alone. Some sellers find the whole process stressful and overwhelming. It might be in your own interest to sell for cash, and to someone who will take care of your title and deed.
House Buyers of America prides itself on delivering the best customer service. Don't take our word for it, you can ask our customers.
And the process couldn’t be easier, once you give us a call, you will receive an offer within 10 minutes. When, and if, you accept the offer, you will be assigned a dedicated Real Estate Consultant who will organize a time to meet at your house, who will also bring along the paperwork to sign.
House Buyers of America will handle all of the paperwork and we’ll do it quickly if you’re ready to sign on the dotted line. Once you’ve signed the contract, you will see the cash in your account in a matter of days.
Give us a ring, and we’ll buy your home.
Sell your home directly to House Buyers of America and can skip all the hassle and months of uncertainty. Simply enter your address – and get our offer with a few simple steps.Get an Offer
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