Title vs Deed

There is often confusion between what a deed is and what title is. In this blog, we’ll explain the difference between a real estate deed and title to real estate. 

Origin of the Term Deed

Many of our terms and customs trace back to our nation’s British roots. Back then it was customary for the buyer and seller of property to gather all the town’s citizens on the property to witness the transfer of ownership. The seller would pick up a twig, rock, or a handful of dirt and hand it to the buyer this “doing the deed” of transferring property. This was called actual notice since everyone in the town actually saw the “deed” happen. 

In modern times, gathering the entire town on a subdivision’s lot isn’t practicable so we had to come up with a different way of providing the public notice that property was being transferred. In Florida, the attorney or title company handling the closing prepares a document called a “deed” which, once signed by the grantor, is recorded in the county records giving the public constructive notice that ownership has transferred.

what is a Deed?

A deed is a legal instrument that transfers legal title from one person (grantor) to another person (grantee). The document form of the deed replaces the twig, rock, or handful of dirt used in old England.

what is TITLE?

Title is the legal concept signifying ownership to the collection of rights called an estate. If you have title to a property, you own the property. 

Deed Moving and Storage Truck with Title Forklift

TITLE VS DEED

As we have discussed, the title is the legal concept signifying ownership. The deed is the legal instrument that gives notice to the public that property has transferred ownership. It is simply the “vehicle of conveyance” and not proof of ownership.

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