Land conveyancing is selling or transferring title to land, with or without improvements, from one person or entity to another. The best tip on land conveyancing is to hire a lawyer or legal representative to handle the transaction. Real property law varies from state to state and from country to country, and only an expert on the property law of a given jurisdiction can know what is necessary to protect the parties involved. Generally, however, the most important steps are to check property records prior to the sale or conveyance, get everything in writing and record the deed and mortgage, if any, after the conveyance process is complete.
Before land conveyancing can take place, a buyer or his representative must determine whether the party who claims to be the property owner is indeed the legal owner and whether he has the right to sell the property or give it away. If a seller does not have clear title to the property or is not the sole owner, the transaction will be invalid. The buyer may have paid for the property, but he will not own it. Ownership and clear title can only be determined by examination of property records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds and Mortgages, or the Clerk of Court or whatever agency in the jurisdiction is charged with recording and maintaining property records.
Once legal ownership has been established, the sale or conveyance can proceed. When buyer and seller, or benefactor and beneficiary, have agreed on terms, the deed will be prepared. The deed is the actual article of conveyance in most places. This legal instrument documents the transfer of ownership of the property from one person or entity to another. A deed is necessary to prove ownership regardless of whether the transfer was an act of sale or a donation or gift involving no exchange of money.
Following any type of land conveyancing, the deed must be recorded promptly so that it becomes a public record. This is another important step to protect the buyer. If property is sold and the deed is not recorded, it is possible for an unethical seller to sell the property again because there is no record of the first sale. Recording the second sale would give the second buyer a better claim to the property than the first. To prevent such an occurrence, the buyer’s representative must check to be sure that no other sale or conveyance of this property has been recorded while this one was pending and that this conveyance is recorded promptly and properly.
All problems standing in the way of obtaining a clear title, such as liens, pending lawsuits or zoning violations, must be sought out and resolved before the deed is executed. Otherwise, it may be too late to settle a problem easily and inexpensively. Lawyers are generally well worth their price in any real property transfer. To be on the safe side, make sure they carry insurance to protect the buyer in case they fail to do their jobs properly.