The Registry of Deeds is the office that processes information as it relates to the selling and buying of real property. It is a public office open to the legal profession and general public for researching the records.
In addition to deeds, mortgages, liens and attachments, there are many other types of documents pertaining to land records filed with the Registry, for example, covenants for developments, by-laws for condominium associations, etc. Plans of surveyed/subdivided property are also found in the records.
The Register of Deeds serves as custodian and manager of a large number of public records. By law, the Register of Deeds is charged with the integrity, accuracy, and safekeeping of these public records.
+ Why Should you record a Deed?
Under Pennsylvania Law, for the transfer of property to be binding on third parties, the deed must be recorded in the county's Recorder's Office. In other words, legal title is established when the deed is recorded in the Recorder's Office.The purchaser named on the last recorded deed is the legal owner.
+ What is a Deed?
A Deed is the document that transfers ownership of real estate. It contains the names of the old and new owners and a legal description of the property, and is signed by the person transferring the property.
+ Do I need a deed to transfer property?
Almost always. You can't transfer real estate without having something in writing. In some situations, a document other than a deed is used -for example, in a divorce, a court order may transfer real estate from the couple to just one of them.
+ Does a deed have to be notarized? YES
The person who signs the deed (the person who is transferring the property) should take the deed to a notary public, who will sign and stamp it.The notarization means that a notary publichas verified that the signature on the deed is genuine.The signature must be notarized before the deed will be accepted for recording(see Question 4).
+ After a deed is signed and notarized, do I have to put it on file anywhere? YES.
You should "record" (file) the deed in the land records office in the county where the property is located. This office goes by different names in different states; it's usually called the County Recorder's Office, Land Registry Office or Register of Deeds. In most counties, you'll find it in the courthouse.