Myths & Misconceptions Monday (Real Estate / Home Edition) Vlog #4: “I Need To Make Sure I Have And Keep The Original Deed To My House”
Thinking that you need the original deed to your property, is quite a common misconception. And to be quite honest, makes sense right? I mean, you need the originals of all the other important documents, right?
In this case, however, Connecticut’s law regarding property deeds is a bit different. Watch the video below, or read the script, for a full explanation by attorney Joan Reed Wilson.
“Hi everybody! attorney Joan Wilson. I’m here for your Monday Myths and Misconceptions. This is the home edition, and since I’m home I’m going to be going off-script.
We’re not going to be using the original 10 Myths and Misconceptions because my script is at the office. Since we’re home, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about a myth that I’ve heard quite a bit over the last couple of weeks about your home.
I’ve had some clients who’ve done some real estate deals and purchased a property and then got a letter in the mail. It led them to give me a call because they were a little concerned and confused about the letter that they received.
So I made up a myth about these calls that I’ve been getting and the letters that are going out to people. The myth is:
“When you own a piece of real estate in Connecticut, you have to hold on to your original deed.”
THAT IS NOT TRUE
Connecticut is known as a notice state. This means that in order for your deed to be valid against any subsequent purchasers, it has to be recorded in the land records.
So whenever you purchase a piece of property, the deed is signed by the seller to you. The first thing that is done with it by your real estate attorney, is to send it to the town hall to be recorded.
Generally, that original deed comes back to you with the volume and page up at the top, and it’s got the original signatures on it.
It looks very official and people get worried and feel like they need to put that in a safe place like their safe deposit box. And they get concerned when they lose it that they won’t be able to sell their home.
That’s not true. The actual original recorded document is the legal document that is necessary in order for you to sell your property. Unlike a car where you need the certificate of title in your hand to be able to sign over to your purchaser.
Do You Have The Only Copy of The Deed?
If you’re selling your home, your purchaser’s attorney will do a title search and find the deed on the land records. and that’s where it has to be, and the most important place for it to be.
So the calls that I’ve been getting over the last couple of weeks have to do with a letter that looks somewhat like this. It looks very official it looks like a bill.
Basically what it says is, “We know that you’ve recently purchased a piece of property and it’s very important for you to have a copy of your deed so you should send us $95 so you can make sure that you have a copy of your deed because it’s so important to have this document”.
So as I just explained, it’s not really important to have. You will get a copy of it from your real estate attorney and if you don’t, you can call them and ask them for it.
Is It Free To Get Your Deed From the Town Hall?
If they don’t have it then you can always get it at the town hall, and the town hall is gonna charge you $1/ per page. Generally, deeds are two pages, so it might cost you two dollars to get a copy of your deed if you really really want it.
So if you are a recent homeowner and then you get a copy of this letter, that looks very official the outside envelope looks like it comes from a governmental agency, please don’t be scammed into paying $95 to get a copy of your deed.
You can get a copy of your deed from the town hall if you really wanted and you don’t really need it anyway.
Joan Reed Wilson Esq. – Managing Partner
Practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, conservatorships, probate and trust administration, and real estate. Admitted to practice in the States of Connecticut and California, she is the President-elect of the CT Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), an active member of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, accredited with the PLAN of CT for Pooled Trusts, with the Veteran’s Administration to assist clients with obtaining Aid & Attendance benefits for long-term care needs and with the Agency on Aging’s CareLink Network.