Real estate title can be both straightforward to understand and difficult to remedy if not properly tended to at the time of the transfer. Even if the form of conveyance document or deed you use to transfer property from one party to another can have a huge impact on how a property is owned or the legal remedies or the legal remedies available to you to fix any issues. Specific language needs to be used in the body and signature block of deeds in order to properly convey title and avoid future disputes.
Seeking assistance from an Altus title and deed lawyer should be a priority for anyone looking to ensure that they understand and can properly enforce their property rights. In addition to explaining in detail what options you have for transferring title to real estate, a skilled real estate attorney could also draft and file deeds so that there is a minimal risk of conflicts going forward.
Types of Deeds Allowed Under Oklahoma Law
There are three types of deeds that property owners in Oklahoma may use to transfer real estate to new owners. Each of them is defined primarily by how it handles warranties of title for the property. In basic terms, a warranty of title is a guarantee provided by a deed that the new owner of a piece of property holds express legal title over that property. It also proclaims that there are no defects, debts, or other such issues attached to the deed that might have a negative impact on ownership.
General Warranty Deed
As the name suggests, a warranty deed—or general warranty deed, as it is sometimes known—confers a complete warranty of title during the transfer of real estate. It promises that the old owner will defend any adverse claims which arise against the new owner’s title; and that the new owner may file suit against the old owner for breach of warranty if they discover any undisclosed problems with their title that affects the financial value of their property.
Special Warranty Deed
Special warranty deeds differ from general warranty deeds. Special warranty deeds set time limits for the guarantees so that they apply only to issues that arose during the old owner’s term of ownership but not prior thereto.
Finally, a quitclaim deed transfers a real estate owner’s right, title, and interest in and to that property to a new owner, but without any warranty of title. For this reason, a buyer should be aware of accepting a quitclaim deed from the seller when purchasing real estate. However, quitclaim deeds have their place and are often useful in family transfer where all parties are familiar with the subject property or to establish a joint tenancy.
Different deeds may be appropriate in different situations, as an Altus title and deed attorney could further explain.
The Basic Steps to File a Deed
Recording a new deed in Oklahoma requires the filing party to submit their valid and executed document to the county clerk for the county where the real property lies. For example, for a property purchased in Altus, Jackson County, Oklahoma, the deed would be delivered to the Jackson County Clerk for recording. Once recorded with all requisite fees paid – usually in paper form and sometimes electronic form depending on the specific clerk’s office – a deed stands as notice that a transaction occurred. It establishes a presumption that the party or parties who signed the deed, the sellers of the property, did so with proper authority to execute it, and intended to convey the property to the buyers.
Notably, certain types of real estate deeds are exempt from filing and transfer fees in Oklahoma. This includes deeds that transfer the property between close family members. A qualified lawyer could offer further clarification about what steps may be necessary to record a particular deed or transfer title in Southwest Oklahoma.
Consider Working with an Altus Title and Deed Attorney
Transferring property in Oklahoma can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process that requires many different documents. That can be true even if all you want to do is transfer ownership of a family home to another family member. In more complicated situations, guidance from seasoned legal counsel is essential to ensuring there are no long-term legal issues with the documents you submit.
Oftentimes, legal issues with real estate title could have been easily avoided if the seller and/or buyer would have sought legal counsel at the time of the conveyance. Since title issues often must be remedied by court action, it is to your benefit to meet with one of our experienced attorneys at the onset of your real estate buying or selling venture.
An Altus title and deed lawyer works diligently on your behalf to make sure your unique situation has a positive resolution. Schedule your initial consultation with us today.