What Does Convey Mean in Real Estate

What Does Convey Mean in Real Estate

The term “convey” has a specific meaning when it comes to real estate transactions. In simplest terms, to convey property means to transfer ownership of real estate from one party to another. This is typically done through a deed. When property is conveyed, all rights and responsibilities associated with ownership are transferred to the new owner.

The Real Estate Conveyance Process

The conveyance process itself involves several key steps:

Current owner of the property, known as the grantor, must agree to sell their interest in the real estate. This agreement is usually memorialized in a purchase and sale agreement or contract.

The grantor must provide clear title to the property. This involves doing a title search to uncover any liens, mortgages, easements or other encumbrances tied to the land. The grantor must resolve any title issues prior to conveyance.

Deed is prepared and executed. This legal document identifies the grantor and grantee (new owner) and provides a legal description of the property being transferred. The grantor must sign and deliver the deed to the grantee.

The deed is recorded in public records. Recording provides legal notice of the ownership change and documentation for future title searches.

Possession of the property is given to the grantee. The grantor turns over keys, moves out personal property, etc. to transfer physical control.

Financial consideration is provided. The grantee provides the sale price or other compensation to the grantor in exchange for the real estate.

Once this process is complete, the property has officially changed hands from the old owner to the new owner. The grantee takes over ownership rights and obligations.

The Real Estate Conveyance Process

Why Conveyance Matters

The concept of conveyance is foundational in real estate law and transactions. It exists to facilitate the legal transfer of real property ownership interests from one party to another. Conveyance is necessary because:

  • It documents who rightfully owns a property. Property records provide notice to the public of who holds title.
  • It prevents disputes over property rights and boundaries. Clear documentation helps avoid conflict.
  • It formally transfers all rights and duties. Obligations like taxes and maintenance transfer to new owners.
  • It enables the real estate market. Buyers and sellers rely on the conveyance process to exchange property.
  • It creates a record history. Deeds leave a paper trail of transactions tied to a parcel of land.

In essence, conveyance provides the mechanism for peaceful, reliable transfer of real property. It serves an essential function in organized society by maintaining clear records of who owns what land. The formal conveyance process aims to prevent unauthorized taking or confusion over who controls a property.

Conveyance Methods

There are a few standard methods used to legally convey real estate:

General Warranty Deed: This provides the greatest protection to the grantee. The grantor guarantees clear title with no defects.

Special Warranty Deed: The grantor only warrants title against defects arising during their ownership. No protection against earlier title problems.

Quitclaim Deed: Provides no warranty of title. The grantor transfers whatever interest they currently hold, flaws and all.

Grant Deed: A simple, non-warranty deed used in some states. Only promises the grantor has done nothing to encumber the title.

Trustee’s Deed: Used in foreclosure sales where the trustee conveys whatever ownership interest was held by the defaulting borrower.

No matter what specific deed is used, state laws establish ground rules for what makes a lawful conveyance. As long as the transfer meets legal requirements, the new grantee becomes the rightful owner.

Special Conveyance Situations

Special Conveyance Situations

Beyond standard property sales, there are some unique situations where conveyance comes into play:

Inheritance: When a person dies, their property is conveyed via will or probate court order to their heirs. The estate executes the deed transfer.

Divorce: Martial property is divided and ownership transferred by deeds mandated through court decrees. This conveyance severs joint ownership.

Tax Sale: If property taxes are delinquent, the local government can auction the land to recover taxes owed. The tax deed conveys ownership from the prior owner to the auction buyer.

Foreclosure: When a mortgage defaults, the lender can recover the property through foreclosure. The foreclosure deed conveys ownership subject to redemption rights.

Eminent Domain: If the government exercises eminent domain to take property for public use, the resulting condemnation order conveys ownership from the original owner to the government.

Adverse Possession: If someone occupies land continuously without permission for a statutory period (typically 10-25 years), they can gain legal ownership through adverse possession. Since there is no voluntary conveyance, the trespasser must go to court to obtain a judicial deed conveying title.

The core commonality is that the conveyance transfers legal ownership even if the circumstances creating the transfer are atypical. Consent isn’t always required, but the conveyance is still valid.

Key Points About Conveyance

To summarize some of the key points:

– A conveyance legally transfers real estate ownership from one party to another through a deed.

– Clear title must be established before property can be conveyed.

– Deeds must be executed and recorded properly to take effect.

– Ownership rights and duties shift to the recipient after conveyance.

– Conveyances transfer ownership interests completely from the old owner to the new owner.

– Sales, gifts, inheritances, court orders and adverse possession all result in conveyances.

– Conveyance relies on each party upholding their end of the real estate transaction.

When ownership changes hands, the new owner receives title “free and clear” with all rights intact thanks to the act of conveyance. The role of an experienced realtor in negotiating the best home price for you not only secures your investment but also contributes to the stability of the real estate market by ensuring reliable conveyance, allowing properties to change hands with confidence for future generations.


Q: What types of deeds can be used to convey real estate?

A: The most common deed types used to convey property are general warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, trustee’s deeds, and tax deeds. Each provides different levels of protection.

Q: How long does a typical residential real estate conveyance take?

A: The conveyance timeline varies by state, but the process usually takes 30-90 days from signed contract to closing and recording the deed. It involves buyer financing, inspections, appraisal, and title work.

Q: Can I convey an ownership interest less than 100 percent?

A: Yes, you can convey a partial interest. The deed specifies the fractional share being conveyed, such as 50 percent or 1/3 interest. The rest is retained by the existing owner(s).

Q: Is a conveyance the same as recording a deed?

A: No. Conveyance refers to the transfer of ownership rights. Recording documents the transaction in public records but is not required for conveyance to occur. However, recording is strongly advised.

Q: What happens in a conveyance if there is a existing mortgage?

A: Unless formally assumed, existing mortgages and liens on a property remain attached after conveyance. The buyer takes ownership subject to any encumbrances. Mortgages are not automatically conveyed.

About the author

Jennifer Robert

Jennifer Robert

Jennifer Robert is a home design blogger with a passion for creating beautiful, functional spaces. She shares her tips and tricks on her blog, and she's always on the lookout for new trends and ideas.

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