What is the date ownership of real property transfers from seller to buyer?

A client asked me a question that when selling a piece of real property, when does title to this piece of real property transfer from the grantor (seller) to the grantee (buyer)? As when asking just about any question to an attorney, the answer is usually not just a simple yes or no but contains a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. No different here.

The Ohio Legislature has provided form general warranty, limited warranty, and quit claim deeds that may be used when selling/transferring a piece of real property. These forms contain the following reference: “…grantor for valuable consideration paid, grant(s) to grantee…” The inclusion of the word “grant” is an important defined term in a deed. Section 5302.03 of the Ohio Revised Code states that when the word “grant” is used in a deed, the use of the word “grant” “is a sufficient word of conveyance without the use of more words.”

The steps in transferring the real property from the grantor to the grantee are as follows:

1. Ensure that the deed transferring the real property contains the word “grant” to ensure that the real property will be conveyed from the grantor to the grantee.

2. The grantee is to then sign the deed in the presence of a notary public.

3. The grantor is to then provide the signed and notarized deed to the grantee. This step is important because the grantor providing the signed and notarized deed to the grantee signifies that the grantor has given up grantor’s interest in the real property.

4. The grantee accepts the proffered deed.

So, after all of that, a piece of real property transfers from the grantor to the grantee upon the grantee accepting the signed and notarized deed from the grantor.

Okay, but what is the significance of recording the deed with the County Recorder? The recording of a deed is to place the world on notice that the grantee is now the titled owner of the real property. The recording of the deed with the County Recorder is not the date that title and ownership of the real property transfers – as noted above.

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Chris Corpus

Founding Partner at Corpus Law Inc

This article does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic or if you have other legal questions, do not hesitate to contact Chris Corpus, Esq. of Corpus Law Inc at 216-973-2475. Copyright Christopher A. Corpus 2023.