What is a Deed?

Aug 18 2015

There exist many steps in the process of closing a property transaction. A baseline understanding of certain legal terms is of the utmost importance. Before leaping headlong into the purchase or sale of a piece of property, first you should familiarize yourself with the basic concepts. These must-know concepts include understanding what, exactly, a deed is.

The Parties

The legal document that cements the transference of real is estate is called a “deed.” The form this deed takes, and the language used therein, will depend on the state within which the property is located. However, deeds share certain basic traits, including:

  • A deed will always be received by a “grantee” and given by a “grantor.” In the majority of cases, the grantor will be the individual or entity who currently owns the real estate.
  • As indicated by the point above, estates, nonprofit organizations, trusts, religious institutions and businesses can serve as grantor or grantee.
  • Should there be more than one owner, there can also be more than one grantor. A married couple who jointly own the property, for instance, will both need to sign the deed in order to make the transfer legal.
  • The grantor can also be one of the grantees of the transfer. An example would be a parent who owns the rights to a property but transfers those rights to a new deed that denotes joint ownership with his or her child or children. Said parent would still own the property, although the quality of that ownership will have changed. For more information, visit Marina Title’s Buyers & Sellers page.



Generally, the structure follows a clear logic. The grantor’s name and signature must be notarized, and the deed must clearly identify to whom or to which organization it is being granted. Note that many states do not require the grantee to sign it, as acceptance of the rights described therein is presumed unless otherwise and explicitly stated.

Another vital component of a deed is the inclusion of language of conveyance. Simply put, the deed must indicate in clear and precise terms that it has been designed to transfer ownership of the real estate. Without the appropriate verbiage, such as “transfer,” “give,” “grant,” “assign” and so on, a deed is not a deed. In addition, some may list exceptions: those matters that will not be affected by the transference of ownership. These include particular rights, specific to the deed in question.

Legal Description

The authoritative description, inscribed within the deed in block text, identifies the property being transferred in legal terms. This formal description remains consistent in the long term, therefore there is no need to concern oneself with altering it in any way.

Finally, the acknowledgment of the notary public, date and stamp of the land records clerk or other official will be included on the deed as well, notifying any third parties and the government that the property has been transferred. This is done to help protect the grantee from claims made against the title to the real estate.

The professionals at Marina Title offer their knowledge and expertise concerning deeds, titles and other matters pertaining to Florida real estate. Contact us by email at, or by phone at (305) 901-5628.

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