The title records for property held in California are contained in the county recorders throughout the state. They are a matter of public record that can be viewed by anyone. The title records are kept in abstract format, which shows the history of title including transfers and encumbrances. The transfer of title occurs when some form of transfer deed is recorded on a property. Transfer deeds come in three main forms: grant deeds, quitclaim deeds and warranty deeds.
Types of Transfer Deeds
To change title on a property in California, you must complete and record a transfer deed. The most common transfer deed used is a grant deed. This is because a grant deed implies that the owner issuing the deed has the right to do so and holds clear title. A quitclaim deed also transfers title, but does so without express or implied warranties as to the owner's claim on title. Grant deed and quitclaim deed forms are available at business stationery stores or online through most title companies. Escrow companies prepare grant deeds for a fee. Attorneys also prepare grant deeds, but these tend to be costly.
Requirements of a Transfer Deed
To complete a transfer deed, you must have the legal address of the property that is being transferred and the full name and vesting of the person or entity who is receiving the property. You must also complete a preliminary change-of-ownership form with the county where the property is located. The legal address is the tract, map, book and page description. This can be found online at any county recorder website. Title companies also provide a legal description of an address. The vesting is the legal statement of how a person holds title. Title can be held in different ways, by an individual or single entity to multiple individuals or multiple entities. Common ways to hold title include: a single man or woman, joint tenancy or tenants in common. The vesting can have important tax and estate consequences upon the sale of the property.
Change of Title Implications
A preliminary change of ownership form must be filed on each property transfer. In California, when a change of title occurs, the property may be subject to a documentary transfer tax which is $1.10 per thousand of the sale price of a property. Exemptions to the transfer tax include a transfer solely between family members or a name change whereby the percentage of ownership remains the same on a property. Property tax may be affected if the property assessed value is due to the change in ownership. There is no "reassessment" in California if the transfer is between related parties or the transfer changes the name only of an owner.
A change of ownership transfer can be performed by anyone with the correct forms and information on a property. Transfer deeds are available online or at most title companies' websites. In California, all transfer deeds must be notarized in front of a licensed notary and a thumb print must be placed in the notary’s journal. This is to prevent fraud from occurring during the transfer of title.
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Transfer Property Title
The title to a piece of property is the evidence of a right to possession. The instrument that proves the title (or...
How to Transfer Property Deeds in California
The Transfer of a Property Title in California. The title records for property held in California are contained in the county recorders...
How to Fill Out the Auto Transfer of Title in California
If you have an automobile that is titled and registered in California, there are specific procedures to follow when you sell it....
How to Transfer Property as a Gift in California
Gifting property to someone other than your spouse in the state of California can have significant tax implications. While California does not...
Laws on Interspousal & Quitclaim Deeds in California
Quitclaim deeds are used for title transfers between family members or to have one party in a title ... In California law,...
What Is an Interspousal Grant Deed?
A deed is a legal document that transfers title of a property ... How to Create a New Grant Deed in California....
How to Change How a Property Title Is Held in California
To change the way title is held on a property in California, a grantor -- the person giving away title -- must...
How to Transfer a Title in the California DMV
Buying a Home; Home Loans; Selling a Home; Careers. Career Advice; Land the Job; Work for Yourself; ... Drivers who want to...
How to Change Your Name on the Title to Your Home
How to Change Your Name on the Title to Your Home. ... Contact all vested owners on the property. ... How to...
How to Do a Name Change on an Existing Deed in California
Get a hardcopy of the quitclaim form. You can print state-specific forms from a number of websites. 4. ... How to Change...