What is real estate ownership?

Real estate ownership is the possession and holding of physical property (land, or a structure or equipment permanently attached to the land, or anything growing on the land, such as trees). A number of aspects of ownership may be included or referred to as integral to real estate ownership, such as a lease, tenancy or life estate, mineral rights or other rights.

What is a real estate deed?

Generally, a real estate deed is used to transfer title of a property.

A real estate deed is a document which, when signed by both the old and new owner of the property, officially acknowledges the new owner’s possession of that property.

What is a title search, and do I need one?

Real estate ownership is transferred by a deed. To complete a real estate transfer, a real estate deed, or written legal instrument, must be recorded with the Clerk and Recorder in the County where the property is located.

A title search is an examination of the records of the Clerk and Recorder confirming the transfer of title of a property located in that County. If the County records do contain a record of a transfer or conveyance of the property, any claim of ownership in that property is not fully recognized, and may be subject to challenge in court. Likewise, any lien recorded against a property which encumbers the sale or use of property or property rights is also brought to light in a properly executed title search.

What is a Lien?

A Lien is recorded with the Clerk and Recorder in the County where a property is located. It serves as a form of security interest to ensure the performance of some other obligation, such as payment of a debt or judgment.

The owner of the property on which a lien has been recorded against is referred to as the lienee, while the person who’s interest is secured by the lien is referred to as the lienor or lien holder. When a lien is recorded against a property it is encumbered, and cannot be sold without settling the debt or interest of the lien holder. When you pay off your debt, you will need a real estate lien release form to obtain a release of real estate lien or real estate lien note.

In some instances, a contractor making repairs on property can place a lien on it if the property owner doesn’t pay. Even if the property owner has never met the contractor or approved every individual deal the contractor made, the property must pay for their service(s) to avoid recieving a mechanic’s lien.

If you are currently experiencing issues with a Mechanic’s Lien, check out these forms for assitance.

Different Types of Real Estate Deeds

You own a home, and you want to sell that home or transfer it to a family member. Or, maybe you want to transfer a commercial property into a Limited Liability Company to protect yourself from liability. You need a deed to do that. There are several types of deeds in Colorado that can transfer or legally convey real property.

Unfortunately, many people go online to download form deeds and fill them out without the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Years later, they, or their family members, find out that they chose the wrong deed, or that the legal description was incorrect or incomplete, or that the deed conveying the property required that the real property to be put to Probate. Choosing the “right” conveyance instrument has serious legal implications that can result in unintended consequences for yourself or your loved ones.

You need to be aware of the following types of deeds:

  • Joint Tenancy Deeds  
  • Tenants in Common Deeds 
  • Warranty Deeds
  • Special Warranty Deeds
  • Quit Claim Deeds

It is always best to consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney who is familiar with Colorado’s Real Estate laws. They can help you choose the right type of deed and make sure it is completed correctly and duly recorded to ensure that the property conveyance and transfer is complaint with statute. Doing this can prevent many problems and expenses in the future.

As a real estate attorney at Evans Case, LLP, I am well versed in Colorado real estate law, and can make sure your real estate ownership records are done right the first time. Please contact me to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

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