Deeds are used to transfer real estate. Real estate includes your house, condo, vacation home, commercial building, and similar properties. With few exceptions, to transfer this kind of property, it's necessary to prepare and record a new deed.
There are quite a few different "types" of deeds (or, to put it another way, there are a variety of different provisions you can include in a deed to get different legal results). I've posted 3 basic type... show mores of deeds on Docracy: a a general warranty deed, a special warranty deed, and quitclaim deed. Someone (a "grantor") who conveys property under a general warranty deed is making a certain set of guarantees (or "warranties") to the recipient of the property (the "grantee"). What those warranties are varies a little by state. For Virginia, they're defined in §§ 55-70 through 55-74 of the Code of Virginia. A grantor who conveys under a special warranty deed makes only some of those warranties. And a grantor who conveys under a quitclaim deed makes none of the warranties.
Deeds are quirky and the stakes involved are usually high. Every word matters, and some words are "magic" words. There are also a number of formatting and other rules. I've noted some--but far from all--of these issues in the annotations. Tread carefully.
The tax map number is unique to each piece of property.
THIS DEED is made this _____ day of ______________, in the year ____, between _____________________________, as Grantor[s]; and __________________________ as Grantee[s],
In Virginia, for a deed to be recordable, each individual’s last name (only the last name), where it first appears in the deed, has to be underlined or written in all caps.
W I T N E S S E T H:
That for consideration of ______________, the Grantor does hereby grant and convey, with general warranty and English covenants of title, unto the Grantee the following described property located in __________________________, Virginia ("Property"):
How the grantee is describe here matters. For example, if the grantees are husband and wife and want to hold title as tenants by the entirety, the "magic" words for that need to be included here. In that situation, the clause above would read "...unto the grantee, husband and wife, as tenants by the entirety with the right of survivorship as at common law, the following described property..."
The legal description of a piece of real estate usually has 2 parts. First, there's a statement that references the lot, subdivision, and plat. That part of the legal description might be on a previously recorded deed. Second, there's a statement that references how the current owner of the property got it (who the prior owner was, then the prior deed was signed and recorded, and where that prior deed can be found).
This conveyance is made expressly subject to the deeds of trust, mortgages, conditions, restrictions, rights of way, easements, and other instruments of record, insofar as they may lawfully affect the Property.
This provision is not appropriate in every deed.
Prepared by and Return to: [NAME & ADDRESS]
The name and address of the person who prepared the deed belongs on the first page of the deed. See § 17.1-223 of the Code of Virginia.
WITNESS the following signatures and seals:
The grantor must sign. The grantee must also sign if assuming debt or agreeing to do (or not do) something.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
[CITY] [COUNTY] OF _____________________
The foregoing deed was acknowledged before me this ___ day of _______________, ____, by _______________________________.
My Commission expires:_____________.
Grantee’s Address: [GRANTEE’S ADDRESS]
Grantor’s Address: [GRANTOR’S ADDRESS]
Property Address: [PROPERTY ADDRESS]