Title vs. Deed

If you enjoy dream-home shopping on Zillow in the Atlanta area, then you likely have noticed a seemly drastic increase in real estate prices.

While the pandemic has put the value of personal space into hyper-focus for consumers globally, the Atlanta housing price increase in 2021 is among the largest in the nation!

Over the past five years, home values in Atlanta increased by a whopping 49%! Last year alone, Atlanta home values increased by 5.6%, and projections expect another increase of 9.8% over the next 12 months.

But what are you actually buying when you purchase real estate?

Title or legal title conveys absolute ownership of real property to the holder. It is your legal right to be on said land and use it as you see fit (within zoning rules). Additionally, and most importantly, legal title gives you the right to enforce your complete ownership of the land in a court of law.

A deed is the legal instrument used to convey that legal right – the title. A deed is a legal instrument that a “grantor” (the person transferring the land) uses to transfer the fee simple title in real property (i.e., real estate) to a “grantee” (the person receiving the land).

A properly executed deed gives you the right to sell, the right of quiet enjoyment, and the right of freedom from encumbrances to the land. An encumbrance is any burden, interest, right, or claim that adversely affects the property’s use or value.

For the deed to be properly executed, it must be in writing, signed by the grantor (the person transferring the land), witnessed by a notary or other authorized officer, and one additional person. There are additional requirements, such as recording the deed in the office of the clerk of the superior court in the county where the land is located.

Georgia has many different types of deeds to transfer title to real property. These include warranty deeds, limited warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, and gift deeds.

Ensuring you have good title to a piece of property you are purchasing is of the utmost importance.

If you have an issue related to property ownership, call our office to speak with one of our experienced real estate attorneys.