When you’re purchasing real estate for the first time, the verbiage used can be a big source of confusion. The biggest mistake first-time buyers make is the difference between a deed and title. Often used in the same sentence, the difference is significant from a legal standpoint.

Before you purchase a distressed asset/property, be sure you fully understand the difference between these terms. Doing so will keep you from legal headaches in the future.

What Is Title?

Title is the complete history of a property that has been recorded with the county in which the property is located. Title is rarely a single document and rather a chain of documents to trace ownership history, liens, encumbrances and help determine rights to a property. Difference from deeds: rather than a single physical document, a title acts as a legal concept that illustrates the chain of financial and legal responsibility for property owners. 

During any foreclosure process the chain of title can become clouded and this can become a problem for real estate investors purchasing properties at county auctions as pre-existing liens may become your financial obligation. 

What Is a Deed?

Most people assume a property deed and title are the same thing. A property deed is a legal document you sign to certify that you rightfully own the property. This legal document officially transfers the ownership/title from one person to another. A deed is a vesting instrument found in a chain of title. 

Deed transfers must be recorded with the county in order to be successful and legally binding. A physical signature executed in the presence of a notary public must appear on the deed according to the Statute of Frauds in the United States. 


How Can Tax Title Services Help?

If you’ve recently acquired a property through a county tax sale, the best way to protect yourself is through title certification with Tax Title Services. Our unique certification process verifies the completeness and accuracy of the tax sale foreclosure process. This ensures the county met the statutory requirements necessary to foreclose and sell the property. After the certification is complete, we’ll connect you with a title insurance agent to assist you with obtaining title insurance and protecting your assets for as long as you own the property. 

When you need help navigating the legal waters surrounding your property’s title, contact the tax title curative consultants at TTS for fast, inexpensive title solutions.