Deeds in Texas
January 24, 2014 | By Vela Wood
A deed is by far one of the most important documents in any Texas real estate transaction. It is a seemingly short document, usually only one to two pages long, that is crucial to any real estate transaction regardless of size.
So, what is a deed? A deed is a written document that conveys legal and equitable title to real property.
If something in the deed is incorrect, it can have detrimental effects to the transaction.
For such an important document, it may seem odd that Texas does not have a standard form. However, Texas does have certain requirements in order for a deed to be deemed valid. For example, the parties should be named, the intent to convey property must be clear from the wording, the property must be sufficiently described, and the deed must be signed and acknowledged by the grantor.
This does not mean that all deeds are the same. There are numerous forms of deeds, including general warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, assumption deeds, etc. Each of the major deeds in Texas will be discussed in subsequent blogs.
Texas does not require that a deed be recorded in the county clerk’s real property records in order to be valid. The only requirement is that it is executed and delivered to the grantee, which then makes the transfer fully effective. Although recording a deed isn’t a requirement, it is best to record the deed in order to give notice to everyone and protect yourself in the event that a seller tries to convey the property twice. If you are using a title company to convey property, the title company will definitely record the deed in order to make insuring chain of title an easier more efficient process.
Consideration (Purchase Price)
Typically, deeds in Texas do not show the actual purchase price of the property. It is customary to state that the consideration for the deed is “ten dollars and other valuable consideration.” This is purely for confidentiality reasons—recording a deed gives the public notice that a transaction occurred, but you don’t necessarily want the public to know exactly how much you paid for the transaction.
Executing a Deed
In order for a deed to be effective it must be signed and acknowledged before a notary by the seller. The buyer is not required to sign, but if the deed includes language about specific agreements between the buyer and seller, then it is advisable to include the buyer’s signature.
When seeking to have a deed prepared, it is important to contact an attorney in order to ensure proper execution of the deed. An attorney will need a copy of the existing deed on the property as well as the names and mailing addresses of the seller and the buyer. If you are interested or have any questions regarding deeds in Texas please contact us at (214) 821-2300.