Title vs. Deed: Demystifying the Difference and Their Significance
Real estate transactions are full of lingo, but two of the most commonly confused terms are “title” and “deed.” While related, each represents a distinct aspect of property ownership. Understanding the difference between the title and the deed is essential for anyone involved in buying or selling real estate, so let’s demystify the difference between the two.
In the real estate world, “title” refers to the legal ownership of a property. This means who possesses the property, and who has the right to use the property. The title represents a group of rights that come with the associated property, including the right to sell, the right to lease or the right to transfer ownership. If a title is clear and marketable, then the property can legally be conveyed from one party to another (aka the seller to the buyer) without any claims or disputes popping up.
While the title represents the concept of ownership, the deed is a physical, legal document that is used to transfer the title from one party to another. It serves as evidence of the property’s transfer, and typically includes a description of the property, names of the prior owner, current owner and signature of both parties.
The Role of the Title Company
Having a clear title is crucial to a real estate transaction; without a clear title, the sale can’t go through. A title company can conduct an initial title search by examining public records to unearth potential title defects. If anything is found, the title company can work to clear the title before closing. They can also issue a title insurance policy to provide protection against unforeseen title issues that don’t arise during the title search. The title company’s role is to ensure the transfer of ownership is legitimate and that the transaction is conducted smoothly.
Navigating the intricacies of the title and deed can be consuming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Clear Title, we can provide guidance while ensuring a smooth and secure real estate transaction. Call one of our offices to learn more about our work with titles and deeds.
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