Real estate transactions that take place in Indiana contain many components that can be confusing for the people involved. Some of these components are titles and deeds. Although they often sound the same, they’re not.
What is a deed?
A deed is the physical document that transfers real estate ownership. Assume that someone is selling a house, and you’re the buyer; once your offer gets accepted and everything else about the transaction goes through, you will receive this document. The deed contains important pieces of information like who holds rights for that property, where exactly on the map it is and who the real estate agent was for both parties.
What is a title?
A title is the legal right to own real estate. It grants the owner the right to sell or convey that real estate, and it is often created when someone buys real estate. If you buy a house, for instance, then the title would get transferred to your name at that time. A deed simply proves ownership of the real estate property.
Can a property owner sell real estate without a title?
Yes, the owner can sell real estate without it. However, the problem is that the buyer will not have any legal right to own it if they don’t get a real estate deed from the seller at some point in time. In most jurisdictions, once someone takes possession of real property and starts using it as their own, then that real property can become theirs at some point. This is due to “adverse possession,” which occurs when someone occupies real estate continuously for a certain number of years without the owner’s permission or knowledge.
In most cases, what distinguishes real estate deeds from real estate titles is the physical component. A real estate deed is the physical document that transfers real estate whereas a real estate title is the legal right to own real estate property.