How to Transfer a Real Estate Title in California

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    There are all kinds of reasons a piece of real estate changes hands. Perhaps you are transferring it as part of a divorce. Maybe the property is part of an inheritance. Regardless of why you want to transfer real estate, completing the process correctly is crucial to avoid legal troubles later on. Follow these steps to correctly transfer real estate in California without the headache.

    Transfer Your Real Estate with the Right Deed

    There are four types of deeds to transfer real estate. The type of deed you select is is dependent on the situation.

    • Special warranty deeds protect the owner from institutions that may instate a lien or other claims against the property. The buyer or new owner will need to perform a title search to ensure there are no pre-existing liens.
    • A quitclaim deed transfers a piece of real estate from multiple owners to a single owner. For example, if a spouse dies, a quitclaim deed can transfer ownership of their home to the surviving spouse alone.
    • Gift deeds are exactly what they sound like. This deed transfers property to a new owner without a sale.
    • A fiduciary deed allows another party, such as a home selling agent, to sell real estate on behalf of someone else.

    Only you can determine which deed can best help you transfer your real estate.

    Complete the Deed

    Carefully fill in the required fields on your deed. It will often request your name and contact information, the new owner’s name and contact information, and the complete address of the property. The deed may ask you attach a description of the property and the current title. Double check these fields are correct, as any variation could mean your deed is void.

    Depending on whether you are selling the property, you may need to declare the amount you claim and pay taxes on it.

    Notarize the Deed

    As with most legal documents, keep copies! To ensure the sale or gift is being made in good faith, you will need to get your copies notarized. Deeds require two unaffiliated witnesses to watch the signing. Oftentimes, the notary may count as a witness. You and the new owner will sign each copy before the notary. Don’t forget to complete the deed before your notary appointment, bring valid photo identification, and pay the notary fee!

    File the Deed

    Deeds are filed with the county recorder’s office. Upon filing, you’ll likely be asked to pay a small real estate transfer fee. This fee varies by county, so check your local county recorder’s website to determine how much it will cost. Check fees for San Bernardino County and Riverside County here.

    Not interested in dealing with government offices? ProSe Legal can file your deed for you!

    Real Estate Transfer Document Help in the Inland Empire

    Buying and selling real estate is one of the biggest decisions of a person’s life. Understandably, there’s piles of legal paperwork that go with it.

     If you’re in the process of buying or selling your home or property and are concerned about completing everything correctly, at ProSe Legal or call (909) 497-1349 to schedule your appointment today!