A grant deed is a legal document that is used to transfer (convey) rights in real property from one entity or person (the grantor) to another (the grantee).
A grant, or bargain and sale deed, contains no express warranties against encumbrances. It does, however, imply that the grantor holds title and has possession of the property. The language used in the granting clause is usually "ABC grants and releases," or "XYZ grants, bargains, and sells," and is often dictated by statute. Because the warranty is not specifically stated, the grantee has little recourse if title defects appear later.
In some states, this deed is used in foreclosures and tax sales. Each party transferring an interest in the property, or the grantor, is required to sign it. Then, the document must be acknowledged before a notary public (notarized) or other official authorized by law to administer oaths. The notary public or other official then places a seal and marks the document accordingly. The grant deed must be notarized in order to provide evidence that the instrument is genuine, as transaction documents are sometimes forged.
The grant deed must also include a legal description of the property, which includes boundaries and/or parcel numbers.
In most cases Grant deeds do not need to be recorded to be valid; however, it is in the grantee's best interest to record the deed at the country recorder's office in the county where the property is located.
The law recognizes a grant deed in writing. Hence, it must be an original and filed with the proper government authority. The deed must indicate the involved parties, which is both the grantor (seller) and the grantee (buyer). It must clearly state a legal description of the property being transferred. Guarantees and responsibilities must be stated in the deed as well. These guarantees indicate that the grantor owns the property free and clear, and the seller assumes the responsibility for settling any future claims. If there is a time limit on the guarantees, it must also be incorporated in the deed. The finished copy of the deed must be duly signed by the parties and notarized according to law.
The grantor settling any future claims on the property is the main criterion of writing a grant deed. However, this depends on the stipulated period, i.e., for the duration of time when the grantor maintains the rights to the property before the deed comes into effect. This clause is akin to general warranty deeds in some states, while a limited warranty deed for others.
The seller is obliged to prove the falsehood of any claim challenge, and if the grantor fails to prove the claim fraudulent then he/she must pay the amount to settle the claim. Further, if the claim remains unsettled and the grantee must forgo the ownership, the grantor must return the amount to the buyer. The amount also involves the cost of renovating or improving the property.
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Each state has its own statutory requirements for grant deed forms. These requirements determine the content or text that is in the deed.
Grant deed forms must meet statutory conditions for content and format. In addition, many local recording authorities add requirements for margins, paper size, property identification, and many other details. If a deed form is not in accordance with both the local and state standards, there may be additional fees charged for recording or the form may be rejected altogether.
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