The Difference Between Deeds and Titles: What You Need to Know

Whenever you purchase a home or property, a deed and a title are involved. Many people, however, think the two are the same when in fact, they are two very different things and concepts. Keep on reading to learn the difference between deeds and titles!

What is a Property Deed vs. Title?

When you purchase a home, you will receive either a deed or a title. A deed is a document that proves you own the property. Unlike a title, a deed is a physical, tangible object. A title, on the other hand, is the legal way of proving you have the right to possess the property. 

If you’re taking out a mortgage, the lender will usually hold onto the deed or title until the loan is paid off. Once the loan is paid off, you will receive the deed or title. 

If you’re purchasing a home with cash, you will receive the deed or title at the time of purchase. 

It’s important to keep your deed or title in a safe place. You will need it if you ever want to sell or borrow against your home.

What is a Deed Used For?

The deed signifies your right to a property and is used to transfer the rights from the seller to the buyer. Deeds are not considered legal and binding unless both parties have signed it. Apart from containing the signatures of the people involved, it also details the features and size of the transferred property.

There are three types of deeds used.

1. General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed protects the buyer by stating that the seller is the rightful owner of the property, possesses the full title, and is legally allowed to sell the said property. It also stipulates that the seller is not aware of any damage or issues with the property.

2. Special Warranty Deed

While similar to general warranty deeds, special warranty deeds only guarantee that the property is intact for the duration of the seller’s ownership. Most commercial deed transfers make use of special warranty deeds.

3. Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is used when properties are being transferred but there is not monetary exchange that occurs. This happens when business owners want to transfer the property from their individual possession to their business’s or LLC’s. Another instance a quitclaim deed is used is when a parent transfers the deed to their child or relative for free.

What is a Title Used For?

A title is intangible and refers to you as having legal ownership over a property. This allows you to own, use, or sell the property, should you choose to do so. The deed is the physical representation of the transfer of the title. 

What Rights Does a Title Give Me?

Having the title to a property allows you to have the following rights:

  • Right of Possession
  • Right of Disposition
  • Right of Exclusion
  • Right of Control
  • Right of Enjoyment

Should a property have more than one legal title holder, the rights are divided equally amongst them.

What Do I Need to Purchase a House?

You’ll need both a deed and a title to have legal ownership over a house.


Deeds and titles can be tricky, even for those who’ve had experience working with them. You’ll need a real estate lawyer in Los Angeles to help you maneuver through the complex paperwork correctly. 

Remember to do your research beforehand so you can partner with a real estate lawyer who is proven to help you get the results you want. Whoever you decide to go with, be sure to set a meeting so you can evaluate their experience and performance, ensuring that they can actually help with your situation.

If you’re in need of a real estate lawyer in Los Angeles, you can also reach out to the Law Offices of R. Grace Rodriguez. We can help protect your property with full-service real estate representation. From property title issues in LA, foreclosures, eminent domain, and a wide range of disputes, The Law Offices of R. Grace Rodriguez can assist you through these. Call us now and strategize with an attorney today!

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