Deeds and Title

What are the Elements of a Deed?

A deed, like all legal documents, has certain key elements. These are shared by almost all types of deeds and important to understanding how a deed evidences your title to the property. 

Below we’ve highlighted more specifics about each of these items as an easy reference guide:


The person conveying the property is called the grantor. When title to a property is transferred via a deed, it is called a grant. This is true whether the property is sold, given, or conveyed by another means (such as inheritance).  

For most conveyances, the grantor will be a seller. Often, as part of a transaction, we will use the term seller, rather than grantor. However, for purposes of the deed specifically, grantor is the proper term. 


Just as the seller or conveyor is the grantor, the buyer or person receiving the property is the grantee. This may be a buyer, the receiver of the gift, or heir. 

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Consideration is a contract term. At a high level, consideration is anything of value given in exchange for something as part of a contract. In most cases, the consideration for real estate is money. Money does not have to be the consideration, however. Anything of value that is given by the grantee to the grantor in order to cause the grantor to convey the property would be consideration. 

The only exception would be when the thing given technically has value, but the value is trivial in comparison.  For example, paying one dollar for a house is technically giving something of value, but the value of the dollar is trivial when compared to the value of the house, and therefore would be unlikely to be considered true consideration if challenged. 

Many deeds will include language to the effect that “Ten Dollars and other valuable consideration” has been paid from the Grantee to the Grantor. While potentially confusing, do not be alarmed if you come across this language. It is merely an old-school way of saying that consideration has been paid in exchange for the transfer of ownership.

Description of the Property

Every deed requires a legal description of the property being conveyed. This is to ensure that the deed reflects title to the correct property.

There are two common forms of legal descriptions used in deeds: 

The Subdivision Description: a description locating a particular lot in a subdivision. These descriptions identify the lot by referencing the plat of the subdivision typically filed with the county. 

Here is an example:

“Lots 11 and 12 in Block 26, of ABC Addition, a subdivision in Travis County, Texas, according to the map or plat thereof recorded in Volume 1,  Page 415, of the Deed Records of Travis County, Texas.”

The Metes and Bounds Description: a description of the property as it would be found on a survey. The metes and bounds description is used when the property in question is not located in a subdivision. The description states the boundaries of the property as they would be located on the survey document, using corners of the property as landmarks. 

Here is an example: 

“Beginning at a point from which the north quarter corner of Section 4, T. 1 N (township 1 north), R. 70 W (range 70 west) of the 6th PM (the sixth principal meridian, a north–south reference line) in ABC County, Colorado, bears N 45° W 1,320 feet, at which point of beginning an iron stake has been placed; thence south 600 feet to a point also marked by an iron stake; thence N 45° W 700 feet to a large oak tree; thence northeasterly to the point of beginning.”


The notarized signature of the Grantor to a deed will be required. In these cases, a notary public is required to witness the signature, attest to that fact via signature, and stamp the form with the notary’s seal.  

This process is required to ensure that the signing parties are, indeed, the correct parties and that the signatures are not forged. 

Guarantees, Conditions, and Restrictions

Deeds may contain specific guarantees (see warranty deeds), conditions, or restrictions. These are typically listed below the standard elements above. Always read your deed when it is delivered for your signature to ensure you understand all the rights, conditions, and restrictions you may have with regard to the property you are receiving.


While most deeds are fairly straightforward forms, it is important to understand all their elements.  Each element is important to the conveyance being made.  Without an individual element accounted for, the title may not pass properly or at all.  Knowing exactly what each element is and how it works will help you ensure that each of your transactions is sound and that you own the title you intended to purchase. 

The information provided in Blueprint Academy does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.