Delivery: An Important Step in Conveying Real Property

Conveyance is the legal process of transferring real property (a.k.a real estate and/or land) from one owner, the grantor, to another, the grantee.  Conveyance involves careful consideration of certain requirements.  Where property is not sold from one person to another, conveying property by a deed is similar to making a gift.  For the transfer to be held legally effective, the person transferring the real property have the intent to transfer the property, he or she must relinquish control of a deed, there must be delivery of a deed, and there must be acceptance of the deed by the grantee (the person who receives the gift).

The most misunderstood part of the conveyance process involves delivery of the deed.  If the delivery of the deed is not found to be sufficient, the transfer is invalid and of no force and effect.  As a result, real property that would have been a gift to a grantee could potentially be conveyed to someone else, despite the original intentions of the grantor.

In order to ensure proper delivery, the transfer deed should either be delivered directly to the grantee or to a third party for the use of the grantee.  The important aspect to note is that the grantor of the deed must no longer have access to the deed after delivery.  Lack of access to the deed ensures that it is beyond the grantor’s power to revoke the deed. If the grantor still has access to the deed, then delivery will fail and the deed can be found invalid.  While execution and acknowledgments of the deed are also essential, without proper delivery of the deed, these formalities will accomplish nothing.  Having the deed recorded in the land records of the county and state where the real property is located (prior to the grantor’s death), is the best way to ensure proper delivery of a deed, thereby ensuring the validity of the conveyance of real property.

For more information, or for a consultation regarding your legal issues, please contact McCollum & Associates, LLC, at (301) 864-6070,, or

Photo courtesy of  Jeroen van Oostrom,