How do I complete a deed - Posted by Joe D

Posted by Joe D on August 07, 2003 at 22:33:48:


I am clear about deeds now.

I’d read some article a while ago saying…“don’t register the deed just tear it up, since its not registered it won’t make a difference.” This was a How to article about short sales /discount mortgage deals.

It didn’t sound right to begin with…“just tear up the deed”

Thanks for the education about deeds! I really appreciate the time you took



How do I complete a deed - Posted by Joe D

Posted by Joe D on August 02, 2003 at 18:00:11:

Can anyone give me a step by step on how to obtain a deed form and how to have a seller sign over a deed to his house to me? Or do I need a lawyer every time I want to have someone sign over a deed? does a new deed need writing every time a deed is transfered?

I’m working on short sales and often time is of the essence. If someone does sign a deed over to me does that deed negate the deed on file at the court house OR when people say "have them sign the deed over’ do they mean the deed a copy of which is at the court house?

Is it much like signing the title to a car over? Who has the original copy of a typical house deed the bank or the owner? I live in Ohio.

I’m a newbee can you tell? Is there a book or article out there about all this? I saw Bronchick’s Nuts and Bolt course that is supposed to have all the info but I don’t have an extra $300 right now.

Any help leads would be appreciated.


Joe d

Re: Yes we can tell. - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on August 02, 2003 at 20:03:21:

Now that said let me address some of your questions. Understand that my comments are not intended to be legal advice, but you do need some of that.

It seems that you do not know how the process works. When a property changes hands the seller delivers a NEW deed to the buyer. It is the sellers job to prepare that deed (or his attorney, title co. etc.). Then he will sign the deed in front of a notary public, or an attorney. Until recently another witness was also needed in Ohio, but this is no longer the case.

If you are unsure about the new deed process, then I would guess that you are also unsure about recording the new deed. Incidentally in Ohio the cost to record anything just doubled (100% increase) as of August 1, 2003. Anyway The deed will need to be recorded. Then you will have what he had. If he owed a mortgage payment then you now will owe that. If he had judgement leins then you will now have them, and so on including IRS leins, back taxes, zoning viloations and whatever else he had. When you get the deed from him you will now have what he had.

Now bear in mind that he may not know how to prepare a deed. You can buy a blank deed form at most office supply stores. There will be no directions with the deed form. Even a little bit of an error here and you just might have a new deed to nothing at all. Some folks (myself included) have difficulty spelling, and so on.

You could offer to prepare this deed for him, but several things pose a problem here. First off you do not know how to do it. Next this would be looked at as the practice of law, by many. You do intend to make a profit, don’t you? You would be doing this work for another, with the intent to profit and that leans heavily toward the practice of law. Preparing deeds is generally lawyers work.

I would suggest getting a purchase contract signed, and then giving yourself some time to get the title searched, and perhaps insured. Then having a lawyer or title company prepare a new deed. This kind of legal work is very cheap compared to the kind of disaster that is possible. It is all right with me if you note in your purchase agreement that the seller will pay all the costs of conveyance of the new deed to you. Just let the seller pay the lawyer.

Re: Yes we can tell. - Posted by Joe D

Posted by Joe D on August 03, 2003 at 16:01:52:

Wow, what an education! I really appreciate you explaining the process to me AND explaining it so clearly. Thanks!
But could I ask just one other question now that I know the process?

If I don’t take my new deed to the court house and file it, then tear up the new deed does everything goes back to the way it was i.e. the seller’s old deed and the seller being responsible for notes attached to the property?

For example: Let’s say I’m trying to negotiate a short sale. Lets say I talk a seller into giving me a new deed for his house and he does in fact deliver a new deed to me. Let’s say the house is about to be forclosed.

If the deal falls through (say the bank doesn’t accept my offer)and I have not filed the new deed at the court house, can I just tear up the new deed and everything reverts back to the old deed?

In short does a deed have any validity if its not filed at the court house??

Thanks again,


Re: Yes we can tell. - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on August 07, 2003 at 19:03:47:

In short does a deed have any validity if its not filed at the court house??

Only if it can be proved to exist. Oral testimony wouldn’t be enough to prove it, and the only kind of legitimate evidence would be the deed itself.

But if I were th grantor, and wanted to prove it, I’d just send you some written interrogatories, or Request for Admissions, and ask you if you didn’t have the deed. You couldn’t legally deny its existence and would have to admit the existence of the deed…so no proof would be necessary.

So if YOU hold the deed, you might be able to disregard, unless doing so would prejudice or damage the grantor…in which case he might be VERY upset and sue you.

If I were you I’d see if I couldn’t unwrap with a new agreement, in writing, to void the deed and your agreement, signed by seller and you. This way, you’d be safe against his suing you.

Re: Yes we can tell. - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on August 03, 2003 at 18:46:04:

Legally the title to the property passes to you the instant that the deed is delivered to you.

As a practical matter if the deed were destroyed, and the seller was in agreement the matter could probably be done as you suggest. In other words it will work if all agree, but is not completely legal.

A somewhat better way might be to take an option on the property until you find out about the short sale.

Re: Yes we can tell. - Posted by Joe D

Posted by Joe D on August 07, 2003 at 19:38:42:


I can see from what you say holding a deed and denying it could be dangerous.

Does “written interrogatories, or Request for Admissions” both mean to ask in writing?

If so then what if someone simply chooses to lie and or better yet just not reply, then wouldn’t one need proof? Without proof wouldn’t one be up the creek so to speak?

I mean anyone can sue anyone for anything but isn’t proof always required if someone chooses to lie?

And in the cases we’ve been discussing (possession of a non-recorded deed) if someone lies about possesing a deed in reality there is no REAL recourse, right? or am I missing something?



Re: Yes we can tell. - Posted by John Merchantf

Posted by John Merchantf on August 07, 2003 at 20:15:32:

Well, remember, for the deed to have ever been valid, it would have been notarized, right? So if I were trying to prove its existence, I’d subpoena the MP & his/her NP’s log. The log itself would probably be admissible, and if the deed holder denied it, the NP’s oral testimony would probably be admissible to impeach the deed holder’s testimony of non-existence.

To recap, it would be dangerous and perjury to deny the deed’s existence and delivery, so the better route would be to get an agreement to void and rescind it.