You’ve just closed on your first investment property and now you’re wondering how long it takes to record a deed — it feels like it takes forever! Or, maybe you’re unsure about who has to file it and if it’s even been done correctly.
Fear not, because we’re going to answer the most common questions new investors have about recording this oh-so-necessary document.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Record a Deed?
A: Anywhere between 14 to 90 days after closing.
A properly recorded deed can take anywhere from 14 days to 90 days. That may seem like a long time, but your local government office goes over every little detail on the deed to make sure the property is correct and there are no errors.
Q: Am I Responsible for Recording the Deed?
A: The buyer is responsible for recording the deed.
The buyer is responsible for recording the deed at the County Clerk’s office. Sometimes it is called County Recorder or the Recorder of Deeds Office. With that said, in many real estate transactions, the title company or the closing attorney will record the deed at the time of closing.
Q: What Requirements Must a Deed Meet to Be Properly Recorded?
A: There are four requirements a deed must meet in order for it to be a properly recorded deed.
In order for a deed to be a valid transfer document, it must:
The document must be in writing and use language that properly identifies the parties involved with the transaction, as well as a detailed description of the property.
The document must be signed by the seller.
The document must be delivered to the buyer, effectively making the transfer 100% complete.
The buyer must accept the deed.
Q: What Happens If the Deed Wasn’t Recorded Properly?
A: If the deed is not recorded properly, you are not recognized as the legal owner of the property.
You read that right; if the deed has not been recorded properly with the local government, then you will not be recognized as the legal owner of said property. Not only are you not viewed as the legal owner, but you could also find yourself in a few scary situations:
1. You wouldn’t be able to sell the property, refinance the mortgage, or access your home’s equity by way of a home equity loan.
2. The previous owner could rack up liens that are attached to the property, to which you would be expected to pay or even lose the property entirely.
3. Since there is no public record that you are the new owner of the property, there’s nothing preventing the previous owner from selling the property to someone else. If that new “owner” records the deed before you, then they are seen as the legal owner.
Granted, these scenarios are rare, but you certainly don’t want to risk it!
Q: How Do I Know If the Deed Has Been Properly Recorded?
A: Contact the title company or closing attorney who worked with you at closing.
The easiest way to find out if the deed has been recorded (and correctly) is to call the title company or closing attorney who conducted the closing. You’ll want to ask them to send a copy of the recording page for the deed.
The recording page will show the date the deed was recorded, as well as where it can be found.
Q: What Do I Do If My Deed Wasn’t Recorded?
A: Contact the title company or closing attorney immediately.
In the event that your deed was not recorded, contact the title company or closing attorney as soon as possible and request that they get the deed recorded immediately. It’s also a good idea to contact your mortgage company because they may be able to help record your deed.
Buying property is no small thing and, as an investor, it’s crucial that you stay on top of all the moving parts of the transaction. We don’t just help experienced investors, we want to help new investors find their footing.
We can give you insight on things that other companies don’t think to discuss with those new to the game, like answering questions like how long does it take to record a deed.