Chapter II - Documents You Should Understand
- 1. Deeds.
- 2. Abstracts of Title.
- 3. Parties to a deed.
- 4. Different deeds.
- 5. Making a deed.
- 6. Recording deeds.
All property implies an owner. Property is of two kinds, real and personal. The former is permanent and fixed, the latter can be moved.
Every occupant of realty holds it through a deed, which carries with it sole ownership, or through a lease which carries with it the right to occupation and use in accordance with the conditions as to time and the amount to be paid, set forth in the written instrument.
A deed carries with it sole ownership, a lease covers the right of use for a fixed period.
AS TO DEEDS
The purchaser of real estate, say a farm, should receive, from the person selling the property, a written instrument, or conveyance known as a deed.
The deed must show clearly that the title to or interest in the property has been transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Before the deed is signed and delivered, the buyer should know that he is getting a clear title to the property described in the conveyance.
In order to insure the accuracy of the title and thus avoid subsequent complications and perhaps lawsuits, the paper should be submitted to some good lawyer, or other person acquainted with real estate law and the methods by which titles are traced from the first owner to the present possessor.
In all the great business centers of the United States there are Title Guarantee Companies, who for a consideration--to be paid by the seller--furnish an abstract of title, and insure its validity.
In smaller places the local lawyers know how to make up an abstract and one should be employed. Never trust the search of the inexperienced.
An abstract of title is a memorandum taken from the records of the office where deeds are recorded, and showing the history of the title from the Government up to the present time.
The seller should furnish the buyer with a certificate from the proper county officer, showing whether or not all taxes have been paid up to the last assessment.
In addition to this, before the money is paid and the deed accepted, the purchaser should be satisfied that there are no mortgages, liens, attachments or other claims against the property.
If such claims exist and are known to the buyer, he may assume them as a condition of the sale.
PARTIES TO A DEED
The person selling the land and making the deed is known in law as the Grantor. The person buying the property is known as the Grantee.
A deed is a form of contract, and in order to have its terms and statements binding on the maker, he must be twenty-one years of age, or over, and he must be of sound mind.
The grantee need not be twenty-one, nor of sound mind in order to make the terms of the deed binding on the grantor.
In some states, if the grantor be a married man, his wife must sign the deed with him. This should be seen to, for without the wife's signature the grantee will not have a clear title, for the woman could still claim an interest in the property equal to her dower right.
Also, if the grantor is a woman, her husband, for the reasons given, should join with her in the execution of the deed.
The preparation of a deed should not be left to the unskilled.