Preparing a Deed for Sale by Owner

Deed for Sale by OwnerThere are many steps involved in selling your home for sale by owner, but preparing a deed is one of the most important elements of transferring ownership. Working with experienced real estate attorneys who can prepare the deed and other documents will ensure that all of your legal bases are covered and the new deed is properly registered and recorded.


Why should I have a lawyer prepare the deed?

A deed has specific language that must be included to correctly convey ownership of the property from one party to another. If the proper wording is left out or used incorrectly, the transfer of ownership to the next partly could be deemed invalid, which may likely result in multiple legal claims.


Preparing a new deed also requires multiple steps, additional documents, and document standards that are required by all recorders of deeds in Pennsylvania. Having a competent lawyer draft the deed for transfer of your property will ensure that all of these standards and requirements are met. Your lawyer can assist you with these steps, including:


Preparing a new deed and recording it with the “Recorder of Deeds” of the county in which the property is located.


Determining appropriate fees and transfer taxes. Transferring property requires a transfer tax to the state, county and local municipality unless the transaction is between family members. If it is being transferred to family, a statement describing the relationship must accompany the new deed. A competent real estate attorney will know state-required home sale fees and transfer taxes.


Preparing payments. Some counties require several separate checks while others will accept one and disperse payments.


Preparing additional documents that must be submitted with the deed, such as a fully completed Statement of Value form. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue requires that transfer taxes or statements of value must be included with all transfers unless the deed clearly states an exemption.


Notarizing the new deed. All parties must sign the new deed in the presence of a Notary Public.


Registering the deed before and/or after recording. Some Pennsylvania counties, boroughs and townships still require registration of deeds after recording.


Most counties have very specific requirements that must be met when drafting a new deed and all of the documents that accompany it. You may be unaware that deeds and mortgages must include much more than the property’s value, municipality, county and state. There are many small details, such as book and page numbers, that must be cited when referring to mortgage documents.


A lawyer who is well-versed in handling for sale by owner transactions will know exactly what is required when crafting a new deed.  Knowledgeable business lawyers can also assist you with the creation of other documents and contracts related to the sale of your property and accompany you to the closing.


When selling a property for sale by owner, having qualified attorneys on your team can help you avoid costly headaches and save money in the long run. Our knowledgeable attorneys in Montgomery County and West Chester will create a deed that ensures a smooth transfer of ownership, allowing you to move on to your next adventure in real estate.