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What are the 14 Elements that Construct a Deed?



The following elements are normally included in the construction and execution of a deed.

1. Deeds are not oral; deeds are written, typewritten or printed.

2. The deed normally lists first the names of the parties and their respective places of residence (the grantor [seller] and grantee [purchaser]).

3. The deed contains a full description of the property as shown on the records in the recorder’s office.

4. The deed must include the consideration of which the property is being transferred.

5. The deed includes a description of the property being conveyed.

6. After the description, the deed may include a recital of the property description and any other recitals necessary.

7. The appurtenances included in the transfer are then listed.

8. The habendum, which is the “have to hold” clause in a deed that names the type of estate being granted is included in the deed. Plain language deeds do not include a habendum clause.

9. The deed warranties are provided.

10. Attestation of the deed is complete.

11. The deed must be acknowledged by a person or persons authorized by law, such as a notary, justice of the peace, master in chancery, judge or court clerk.

12. Once a deed is signed and acknowledged, the parties may not make any alterations, although a deed in which a mistake has been made can be corrected.

13. A deed is considered to be recorded as soon as it reaches the appropriate recording officer. The recording officer typically notes the day, hour and minute it was received.

14. The deed takes effect upon delivery to the person who is authorized to receive it and should be recorded immediately.

Legal Description in the Deed:

The full legal description should be included in the deed. Limitations to title, including reservations, exceptions, restrictions and encumbrances, should also be noted. A “reservation” is a right retained by the grantor. It creates a new interest or estate in the grantor, and may not be made in favor of a third party. An “exception” is when the grantor retains fee title to a part of the land, excepting a portion of the land for himself. A “restriction” is a limitation on title, such as not allowing agricultural use. Restrictions are often placed by the original developer.

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