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South Dakota Real Estate Deed Forms

A transfer of real property in South Dakota is an act of the interested parties, or of the law, by which the title to real property is conveyed from one living person to another (43-4-1). An estate in real property, other than an estate at will or for a term not exceeding one year, can be transferred by a deed in writing, subscribed by the party granting the estate, or by the grantor's agent authorized in writing (43-25-1). Real property in South Dakota is commonly conveyed through the use of a warranty deed or quitclaim deed. The statutory forms for a conveyance provided in 43-25-5 to 43-25-8 do not prohibit the use of other forms, affect the validity, or control the interpretation of other forms of warranty or quitclaim deeds.

Ownership of real property in South Dakota is either absolute or qualified (43-2-4). Absolute ownership is defined as a single person having absolute dominion over the property who may use it or dispose of it according to their pleasure, and is subject only to general laws (43-2-5), whereas qualified ownership is real property that is shared with one or more persons, or with a time of enjoyment that is deferred or limited, or with restricted use (43-2-6). The power to take, hold, and dispose of real or personal property in South Dakota is given to any person, whether they are a citizen or alien (43-2-9). There are, however, restrictions on alien ownership of agricultural land in South Dakota, as explained in 43-2A-2 of the South Dakota Codified Laws. Property in South Dakota can be owned and conveyed by a single person, by several persons in joint tenancy or as interests in common, or owned by several persons in partnership. The South Dakota laws on a conveyance of land held in adverse possession are as follows: Any person, although they may be out of possession, who is claiming right or title to lands, although there may be an adverse possession of the land, may sell, convey, or transfer his or her interest in the same manner as if he or she were in actual possession of the lands being conveyed (43-25-2). The manner of conveyance is determined by how the title to real property is held.

In South Dakota, a real estate deed should be signed and acknowledged by the grantor or grantors. If the grantor's signature is not acknowledged, the deed must be proved by a subscribing witness (43-25-26). A real estate deed delivered conditionally to the grantee is ineffective. An instrument will take effect upon absolute delivery (43-4-8). A deed that is handed to the grantee or received by constructive delivery is considered absolute.

Real estate deeds must be accompanied by a full and complete Certificate of Value. The certificate should include the name and address of the buyer and seller, the legal description of the real property, the actual consideration exchanged for the property, the relationship, if any, between the buyer and seller, and the terms of payment if other than payment in full at the time of the sale.

An unrecorded real estate deed will be valid as between the parties to it and those who have notice thereof (43-28-14). Instruments that are essential to the title of real property and which are not kept in a public office as a matter of record belong to the person in whom, for the time being, the title may be vested, and pass with the title (43-25-27). When an instrument is proved and certified, and then recorded, it is constructive notice of the execution of the instrument to all purchasers or encumbrances subsequent to the recording (43-28-15). The priority of recorded instruments in South Dakota is determined as follows: Every conveyance of real property, other than a lease for a term not exceeding one year, is void against any subsequent purchaser or encumbrancer including an assignee of a mortgage, lease, or other conditional estate of the same property, or any part thereof in good faith and for a valuable consideration whose conveyance is first duly recorded (43-28-17).

Any person who holds real estate or interest therein under a quitclaim deed is considered to be a purchaser in good faith and for a valuable consideration, unless such person had actual notice or knowledge of a prior unrecorded conveyance affecting the title to such real property at the time the conveyance was executed and delivered (43-25-12).

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What others are saying:


Tim T. said: Although I am sure that the Quit Claim form was acceptable for my county, I felt that it was not formatted in the manor that I have seen while viewing the other deeds recorded. So that forms that I received were not useful to me.

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Angela D. said: The only problem I had was that it doesn't let you create a file for all documents to go into as one. Mahalo Angie

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James R. said: Easy to understand instructions. Love the examples. Info on the deeds purpose easily comprehendible. Able to Kiosk record without difficulty. Am I pleased? Oh Yeah!!!!

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Jin L. said: Your service is pretty awesome! I needed to get my docs recorded before year end, and you guys were on it. Thank you very much for the quick turnaround!

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A. S. said: First, I am glad that you gave a blank copy, an example copy, and a 'guide'. It made it much easier to do. Overall I was very happy with your products and organization... however, things got pretty confusing and I have a pretty 'serious' law background in Real Estate and Civil law. With that said, I spent about 10+ hours getting my work done, using the Deed of Trust and Promissory note from you and there were a few problems: First, it would be FANTASTIC if you actually aligned your guide to actually match the Deed or Promissory Note. What I mean is that if the Deed says 'section (E)' then your guide shouldn't be 'randomly' numbered as 1,2,3, for advice/instructions, but should EXACTLY match 'section (E)'. Some places you have to 'hunt' for what you are looking for, and if you did it based on my suggestion, you wouldn't need to 'hunt' and it would avoid confusion. 2nd: This one really 'hurt'... you had something called the 'Deed of Trust Master Form' yet you had basically no information on what it was or how to use it. The only information you had was a small section at the top of the 'Short Form Deed of Trust Guide'. Holy Cow, was that 'section' super confusing. I still don't know if I did it correctly, but your guide says only put a return address on it and leave the rest of the 16 or so page Deed of Trust beneath it blank... and then include your 'Deed of Trust' (I had to assume the short form deed that I had just created) as part of it. I had to assume that I had to print off the entire 17 page or so title page and blank deed. I also had to assume that the promissory note was supposed to be EXHIBIT A or B on the Short Form Deed. It would be great if someone would take a serious look at that short section in your 'Short Form Deed of Trust Guide' and realize that those of us using your products are seriously turning this into a county clerk to file and that most of us, probably already have a property that has an existing Deed... or at least can find one in the county records if necessary... and make sure that you make a distinction between the Deed for the property that already exists, versus the Deed of Trust and Promissory note that we are trying to file. Thanks.

Reply from Staff: Thank you for your feedback. We'll have staff review the document for clarity. Have a great day!


State Specific Real Estate Deed Forms