Real property or interest in real property in Texas is conveyed according to the rules in Sec. 5.021 of the Texas Statutes: A conveyance of an estate of inheritance, a freehold, or an estate for more than one year, in land and tenements must be in writing and subscribed and delivered by the conveyor or the conveyor's agent authorized in writing. An estate of inheritance is a type of freehold estate that may descend to heirs. A tenant to an estate of inheritance can both enjoy the estate during his life and pass it on after his death according to an established order of descent. A conveyance by deed in Texas can also be made to begin in the future, in the same manner as by a will. The principle documents in Texas real estate transactions are deeds, promissory notes, and a deed of trust. The circumstances of the transaction and the intent of the parties involved will determine which type of deed will best serve the situation.
Any person or corporation who can legally enter into a legal contract in Texas is able to acquire and convey real property or interest in property in this state to another person or corporation with the legal capacity to receive property. Additionally, an alien has the same real and personal property rights as a U.S. citizen (Sec. 5.005). There are different ways to hold title to real property. The way that title is held will dictate how the property is disposed of and conveyed.
A real property instrument in Texas is able to be recorded if it has been signed and acknowledged by the grantor, sworn to by the grantor in the presence of two or more credible subscribing witnesses or acknowledged or sworn to before and certified by an officer authorized to take acknowledgments or oaths. The document submitted for recording is to contain original signatures. If original signatures are not present, the deed may be attached as an exhibit to an affidavit containing the original signatures. Instruments that are transferring an interest in real property to or from an individual must include a confidentiality notice, as required by Texas Statutes Sec. 11.008(c). There is not technically a standard form for a deed in this state; however, certain rules apply if a deed is to be valid. For instance, the intent to convey must be evident from the wording used, the real property must be sufficiently described, and the grantor must sign the real estate deed. The grantee's address is required, but the grantee's signature is only required if the deed contains specific agreements that the buyer makes in exchange for the transfer.
In Texas, a real estate deed does not have to be recorded to be fully effective between the grantor and grantee. The validity of an unrecorded instrument is explained in the Texas Statutes, Sec. 13.001. A conveyance of real property or an interest in real property or a mortgage or deed of trust will be void as to a creditor or subsequent purchaser for a valuable consideration without notice unless the instrument has been acknowledged, sworn to, or proved and filed for record as provided by law. However, an unrecorded instrument will be binding on the parties to the instrument, on the party's heirs, and on a subsequent purchaser who does not pay a valuable consideration or who has notice of the instrument. This is known as a race-notice statute and is designed to protect subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration. An instrument that has been properly recorded in the county where the property is located is notice to all persons of the contents of the instrument and is subject to public inspection. Recording an instrument also serves to establish priority of ownership.