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Transfer Of Land, Delivery, Acceptance, Recording, Types Of Deeds, ValidityExecution, Defects

A written instrument, which has been signed and delivered, by which one individual, the grantor, conveys title to real property to another individual, the grantee; a conveyance of land, tenements, or hereditaments, from one individual to another.

At COMMON LAW, a deed was an instrument under seal that contained a COVENANT or contract delivered by the individual who was to be bound by it to the party to whom it was granted. It is no longer required that such an instrument be sealed.


In order for a deed to be properly executed, certain acts must be performed to create a valid conveyance. Ordinarily, an essential element of execution is the signature of the grantor in the proper place. It is not necessary, however, that the grantee sign the deed in order for it to take effect as a conveyance. Generally state statutes require that the deed be signed in the presence of witnesses, attesting to the grantor's request.


In a number of jurisdictions, an individual selling a house is required to disclose any material defect known to him or her but not to the purchaser. A failure to disclose gives the buyer the right to cancel the deed, sue for damages, and in some instances, recover for personal injuries incurred as a result of such defect.


Dasso, Jerome J., et al. 1995. Real Estate. 12th ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Karvel, George, and Maurice Unger. 1991. Real Estate: Principles and Practices. 9th ed. Cincinnati: South-Western.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Cross‐contamination to Deed of covenant