Who can notarize a deed? Does a deed have to be notarized?


When you are purchasing a property or home, a property deed, such as a quitclaim deed, is used to transfer the title from the existing property owner or seller to the next owner – you! But transferring property ownership can be a complicated and time-consuming process involving several steps, from signing a legally binding contract to preparing all closing documents and forms. In order to transfer property ownership, you must complete, sign, and notarize a property deed. But what is a property deed, and who can notarize a deed?

A property deed is a formal legal document that transfers property ownership. You should know that deed and title often go hand-in-hand. Among the most commonly used and popular instruments are quitclaim deeds and grant deeds. According to the Statute of Frauds, a property deed must be a physical piece of paper.

One of the main reasons that quitclaim deeds and other property deeds have the seller’s or owner’s signature sworn before a notary public is to prevent or minimize fraud in real estate transactions. This is especially true in the case of property transactions where the seller or owner is abroad. You may wonder who can legally notarize a document, such as a real estate deed.

While a notary public is not permitted to determine a property deed’s correctness, they can analyze and review the content relating to their certificate and have the right to refuse to acknowledge anything that does not meet the standards.

A deed is required every time a piece of real estate, such as residential or commercial property, changes hands. Property deeds must be notarized in all cases. You will be happy to know that as long as remote online notarization or RON is legal in your state, the process of notarizing a quitclaim deed or bargain and sale deed is extremely convenient, fast, and secure.

And with a warranty deed, it is possible to transfer property ownership wholly or partly without closing statements, contracts, mortgage payments, and title insurance.

Does a deed have to be notarized?

Yes, a deed must always be notarized and filed in public records. Deeds are a formal document that verifies legal interest in a property and the right to sell. Notarizing deeds ensures that an individual’s claim to a property is verified and protected.

Regardless of the type of deed, such as a warranty deed or bargain and sale deed, you want to use with the property transfer, you will need to have the deed notarized by an active and commissioned notary public.

So, a deed, including warranty deeds and grant deeds, must always be notarized by a notary public and filed in the public records, usually with the county clerk’s office; it may also need to be witnessed. This is why you should hire a notary who can render notary services to meet your needs.

In most property transfer cases, both the buyer and seller will have to sign 3 copies of the property deed with a legal description of the property in the presence of a notary public and one other witness. Keep in mind that the notary can be one of the witnesses. The person signing the deed should take the deed to an active notary public or use remote online notarization to execute a real estate transaction.

The notary public will watch the individual sign the deed and then sign and stamp it. The notary will also verify your identity, at which point they will affix their notary seal to the document.

The notarization process means that the notary has verified that the signature on the real estate forms and deed is genuine. Wondering how to notarize a document? You will be happy to know that the process is now simpler than ever with a convenient notarization process.

Who can notarize a deed?

Any person with who is actively commissioned to perform notarization services in their state can notarize a deed. This includes attorneys, bankers, and real estate professionals with valid notary public licenses.

Once the lieutenant governor of any US state issues a notarial commission to an individual person, they may perform notarial acts and offer notary services in any part of that state for which the notarial commission was issued. You will be happy to know that US states that allow remote online notarization 2022 include Arizona, Colorado, and many others.

What are the main types of deeds?

There are different types of deeds that you should be familiar with, as different circumstances require different types of deeds. Some different types of deeds include the following documents.

1. Quitclaim deeds

A quitclaim deed is a common deed and is used by a grantor in order to transfer its interest in real property. Keep in mind that quitclaim deeds transfer any interest of the grantor to the grantee. One of the main and most notable advantages of using quitclaim deeds is that sellers can create and draft the form on their own.  

Warranty deeds usually require the assistance of a bar-certified and licensed lawyer to draft the deed. On the other hand, pre-made quitclaim deeds are convenient and can be bought and used without the assistance or help of a lawyer.

This makes quitclaim deeds an attractive and viable choice for parties who are looking to sell property – and sell fast. However, note that this deed doesn’t guarantee that the property title is good or that the property isn’t owned by anyone else.

2. Deed of trust

A deed of trust is an important legal instrument that transfers interest in land from a mortgagor or borrower to a lender or mortgagee in order to secure the payment of the borrower’s debt.  It is worth noting that a deed of trust is a formal arrangement among three main parties: the lender, the borrower, and an unbiased trustee.

The trustee is an entity that holds “legal or bare” title. So, the borrower transfers the legal title of the property to the trustee who holds this property as security for the home loan. You should know that trust deeds are recorded with the County Recorder at the recorder’s office in the state where the property is located as security for and evidence of the debt.

3. Grant deed

You should know that a grant deed is a legal document commonly used for the sale or transfer of real property from one natural person to the other.  

The grantor is the individual transferring the property or home, and each grantor has to sign the deed. Also, the signature(s) must be notarized. Through a grant deed, grantors guarantee that the relevant property hasn’t been sold or transferred to another party and it doesn’t have any liens, undisclosed restrictions, or unpaid taxes.

4. Warranty deed  

A legal guarantee is always included when a property is transferred or sold through a warranty deed. As the seller, you may transfer property ownership with a warranty deed, and it specifies that there’s no other owner.

Warranty deeds provide the highest level of protection and security to the grantee. This is because, as the name indicates, it involves certain covenants and warranties. Also, the document asserts or affirms that the property is free of liens and debts.  

Different kinds of warranty deeds are used to provide various legal protections to grantors in the event that there is an issue or defect with the property title once it has been transferred.

5. Bargain & sale deed

The fifth type of deed is known as a bargain and sale deed. Note that this real estate deed must only be used in certain instances. A bargain and sale deed indicates or suggests that only the seller of a commercial or residential property holds the title and can transfer ownership interest.

This kind of deed provides no guarantees for the homebuyer against property liens or other legal claims to the property. This means that the buyer may be held responsible for these problems if they do turn up.

Bargain and sale deeds typically accompany homes and other properties sold at foreclosure. This is usually because the seller is likely to have little or no knowledge of the status and history of the property.

6. Mortgage deed

A mortgage deed is similar to a deed of trust. It is a legally binding agreement and uses the property as collateral or security for a loan. When you buy a house, you make regular payments on a home loan.

So, a mortgage deed is the legal paperwork and forms you sign that allows the mortgage lender to place a lien on the property until you pay the loan. 

What type of deed can be notarized?

The document must be notarized any time a deed is required as part of a real estate transaction. This is the case for all deeds, regardless of the situation. While you should check which type of deed best suits your situation, you will need to have the deed notarized regardless.

Can a deed be notarized online?

In most US states, local and state laws allow notaries to electronically and remotely acknowledge the execution of various documents and forms, i.e., allows a public notary to notarize a document, such as a deed and an affidavit, without being in the physical presence of a person when they execute the document. 

Remote online notarization, also called RON, was first launched in the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, it has considerably risen in popularity over the past ten years. A recent ALTA survey revealed that RON transactions increased a whopping 547% in 2020 compared to 2019.

With the PandaDoc Notary platform, it is simple and quick to get your quitclaim deed or warranty deed notarized along with other commonly notarized real estate documents, such as the power of attorney.

How to Notarize a Deed?

Some simple steps involved in getting a deed notarized through PandaDoc Notary include:

Step 1: Upload your documents

You can take a picture of your deed or upload a PDF file from your computer. You can also upload from a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox. No matter the time of day or location, or device, PandaDoc Notary has notaries ready to complete all your notary requests!

Step 2: Confirm your ID

Now, you just have to confirm your identity with PandaDoc’s verification process. The platform uses identification verification technology in order to verify government-issued photograph IDs and passports.

Step 3: Connect to a notary

You can connect to a live notary anytime and confirm your identity on a secure call or face-to-face on a webcam. Connect easily with a professional and licensed electronic notary public over live video in order to sign and notarize your warranty or quitclaim deed. The PandaDoc Notary agent will verify your identity and witness your signature, assisting you throughout the process.

Notarize a deed online with PandaDoc Notary

If you are looking to purchase a piece of land or residential property, you can use various types of deeds, such as warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, and bargain and sale deeds. In most cases, a warranty deed is the best.

This is because it protects you from all past and future issues, including encumbrances, with the property title and any outstanding liens or debts.  You can use PandaDoc Notary to notarize your property deed and other legal documents remotely. Contact us to learn how we can help you with your deed notarization needs and requirements.