Tips for Home Buyers: What is a Deed?

Real Estate Agent with ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055

Tips for Home Buyers: What is a Deed?

As real estate professionals, we get asked many questions throughout the course of our day.  One of the those frequently asked questions that my Houston County GA buyers often ask is, "What is a Deed?"

Tips for Home Buyers: What is a Deed?A deed is the document used to transfer property ownership from the seller (grantor) to the buyer (grantee). A signature by the seller validates the deed and is their declaration they have authority to sell and are giving up their rights to the property.

In Georgia, the transfer of deed occurs at closing. Within 30 days after closing, the buyer should receive a copy of the warranty deed. The warranty deed is a guarantee made by the seller that the title is clear and they have authority to sell the property. Keep your copy of the warranty deed in a safe place.

As a failsafe in-case the buyer defaults on the loan, the bank holds a security deed that transfers title to the lender until the note is fully paid. Once paid-in-full, the bank releases the title to the homeowner.

Below are typical deeds used in Georgia real estate. They must be in writing, list both the grantor and grantee, identify the legal property description, indicate the title is being transferred, and contain the grantor's signature.

  • General Warranty Deed - Seller "guarantee" they are the owner of the property, have the right to sell the property, and the property is free of liens.
  • Special Warranty Deed - Limits seller liability to only what the deed is specifically granted for, such as the seller stating they are selling property they have legal titleship to sell.
  • Quit Claim Deed - Typically used in divorce settlements where a property was jointly owned and one party gives up any interest in the property. Other uses include transfer of ownership between family members and when the property is placed in a living trust.
  • Fiduciary Deed - A deed executed by a trustee or guardian because of an incapication of another adult or when the owner dies and transfer of assets or liquidation must occur.

Before signing any real estate documentation you do not understand, contact a real estate attorney to ensure you know your obligations and the ramifications involved.

As always, Houston County real estate information is brought to you as a courtesy by Anita Clark, your Warner Robins Real Estate Consultant.



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James Loftis
Real Estate 911 Inc - West Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate 911 Inc

Hello Anita,


Good information for any homeowner to know, Thanks for sharing with all of us.

A lot of new homeowners to not know the difference from being on the deed and being on the Mortgage.

Beiing on the the deed is important. being on the mortgage, not so much.

May 13, 2012 01:13 AM #1
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Anita, these are great tips, as these are common questions asked by buyers!     Great post!

May 13, 2012 01:44 AM #2
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Anita, Georgia is very similar to Ohio in practice on deed issuance and types.

May 13, 2012 02:10 AM #3
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

So very important and most buyers and some sellers have no clue, well written, thanks for sharing.

May 13, 2012 02:52 AM #4
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Thanks James and you are right, many do not know what all the terms mean.'s a question I hear periodically and it's a good one to ask.

BLiz...It's good when buyers and sellers understand their responsibility in the process. true, many really do not have any idea what a deed is.

May 13, 2012 05:42 AM #5
Joe Kenny
Realty Executive Midwest - Darien, IL
Better Than Your Average Joe

Anita, this a very informative post in deed.  Nicely done as always.  It's a good life.

May 13, 2012 09:29 AM #6
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Anita - Great information for buyers to have.  It's important to understand the documents involved in a real estate.  Great post!

May 13, 2012 09:57 AM #7
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Nice play on words Joe.

Laura...knowing what they mean can help save a bunch of money and frustration if there are problems.

May 13, 2012 10:01 AM #8
Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC
Royal Pro Real Estate Network - Langley, BC

Anita, all of this wonderful information you've provided is just what buyers need to know (and what sellers should already know!) - very valuable info!

May 13, 2012 10:31 AM #9
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Karen: It is surprising how many buyers do not understand what a deed is.

May 13, 2012 10:44 AM #10
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

great way to explain it to the buyers out there, very useful too! thank you,

May 13, 2012 11:41 AM #11
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Thanks Mark.  Simple is always my favorite approach.

May 13, 2012 12:27 PM #12
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Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA
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