Whether you’re a real estate agent or a homebuyer, there’s a good chance that you’ve used the terms deed and title interchangeably before. While a title and deed refer to very similar things, be careful when using them in the course of a real estate transaction.

Deed vs. Title

Deeds are legal documents that convey the ownership rights of a property. The deed is always a physical document that has been signed by both the buyer and the seller. A title is the legal way of describing ownership of a property. A title is not necessarily a document, but instead the idea that you have the rightful ownership of a property. If you or your client purchases a property, a deed will be transferred to show ownership. That deed also signifies that you have title to the property.

Getting Your Deed and Title

Before you can get a deed and take ownership of a property, the lender and title company will perform an extensive title search. This search is designed to uncover any ownership errors or liens on the property. Does the person selling the property actually have the right to sell it? A title search will determine whether or not that’s the case. Once the title has been cleared, it will be transferred at closing, and you will become the rightful property owner.

Once the title has been transferred, your title company will check to ensure that the deed is recorded with the county assessor’s office or courthouse. In general, you will get a formal notification of the deed being recorded a few weeks after closing. Once the deed has been recorded, you are the rightful owner of the deed and title and, consequently, the property. 

How Does Title Insurance Play a Role?

Title insurance is a way to protect a property against problems that pop up in the future or things that were missed when a title search was performed. Title problems are rare, but often financially devastating. The two types of title insurance, owner’s title insurance and lender’s title insurance, both protect the policyholder from events that happened in the past. Anything from a paperwork error to an unpaid lien could jeopardize ownership.   

Title Services from Homeland Title & Escrow

Homeland Title & Escrow offers a broad range of title services, including complimentary consultations for first-time homebuyers. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (410) 544-6700.

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