What is Recording?

Recording is the process of delivering a document to a relevant government entity. Depending on the state or county, this process may be required to convey or obtain a lien on real property. Although some states consider the execution of a deed to be evidence of conveyance on its own, the document must be recorded in the public records. At that moment, the buyer’s ownership becomes a visible element of the chain of title. 

Here is how recording works at a high level:

Step 1: Executing the Deed

The recording process starts after documents have been signed and executed and funds have been received for the transaction. As part of closing, the seller will execute a deed transferring ownership of the property. Deeds are a required part of a purchase of real estate as they are the physical representation of the owner’s title. You can dig further into the types of deeds here. 

Once the deed is signed, the seller has manifested their intent to transfer the property. In some states, such as Texas, this moment represents the transfer of title. In others, the title does not pass fully until the deed is recorded in the public records. 

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Step 2: Filing the Deed

Once the deed is signed and executed by the seller/grantor, it is ready to be filed with the relevant governmental authority. At this point, your title agency or attorney will review the documents once more for accuracy.  Then the agency will submit the documents for recording, unless the state or county requires an attorney to handle the recording.

Many counties have more recently embraced digital filings (known commonly as e-filing or e-recording).  Others still require a paper copy to be delivered to the county authority. Your title agency, or title attorney where required by law, will determine the proper steps for both e-recording and manual submission based on the county guidelines for the county where the property is located.

While some states such as Virginia, Nevada, and Arizona require the deed to be recorded before the disbursement of the transaction, some states allow the disbursement and recording to occur simultaneously.

Step 3: After Recording

Documents are typically initially submitted for recording within 48 hours of closing. The county authority rules set the timing for the final recording between one and 60 days after closing. Once the team completes the necessary procedures and the deed has been recorded, the county authority will index the document to the property in the public records. 

This completes the recording process and ensures that the transfer of ownership is public record. In certain states and counties, it is at this moment that title officially passes to the buyer. 


Recording a deed is an important, and required, step in the process of a transaction. This procedure should be handled by your closing team or attorney, and is often a relatively straightforward process. Ensuring that your deed is recorded can save you headaches in the future. 

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.