What is the difference between the deed and the title?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2021 | Real Estate |

When it comes to buying or selling a house, there are a lot of terms with which you may be unfamiliar, especially if you have never dealt with real estate before. Two terms that often cause confusion are “deed” and “term.”

According to HomeLight, many people will use these terms as if they mean the same thing, and while they do relate to each other, they are distinct real estate terms that mean different things.

Deed defined

A deed is the physical document that provides proof of ownership over a piece of real estate. The deed will include the names of the person selling the property, the person buying it and the property description. If you are buying the property, then you and the seller will sign the deed, and you will retain it for your records. The deed is what represents the title, which is how they link up.

Title defined

The title is not a tangible thing. It is a legal concept representing your ownership of property. The title is a legal right. It is your right to the property under the law.

You may understand it better when thinking about the title searches done prior to you buying the property. The title search is essentially where someone looks for anyone else who may have a legal right to the property. Someone else may have a claim to the title due to an inheritance mistake, for example, or there may be a lien on the property that means someone else can make a claim to the title.

The title to a property must be clear for you to receive the deed to that property.

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