Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I am selling my house and my real estate agent wants me to sign over the grant deed to the escrow company and am not comfortable and want to know if this is legal to do before even the closing.The buyers made the deposit and now want me to sign and notarize my grant deed.

Asked on 8/30/13, 4:09 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Gary R. White Burton & White

The transfer documents are not usually drafted and signed until after the buyers funds are received.

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Answered on 8/30/13, 4:45 pm

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I disagree with Mr. White.

Look at your escrow instructions. You have a duty as a seller to deposit a deed that is signed and notarized that deeds the property to the buyer. Escrow cannot close unless you fulfill your conditions. The escrow company holds the documents in trust, and does not record the deed until the buyer has fulfilled their conditions and deposited the purchase price. A deed stolen from an escrow file does not pass valid legal title, and can be set aside, so I think you are worrying about nothing.

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Answered on 8/30/13, 7:25 pm
John Laurie Gertz and Laurie

You should have an attorney review this. I do not see why you would sign a grant deed to the escrow company. The grand deed should be executed in the favor of the buyer no the escrow company unless I am missing something. Would need to see the documents.


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Answered on 8/30/13, 11:23 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

I agree with Mr. Roach -- assuming that the grant deed you're being asked to sign before a notary grants title to the buyer, of course (and not to the escrow holder). This seems like the normal pre-closing paperwork flow. Further, in case of doubt, you could ask the escrow company (they probably have a law department or at least an experienced escrow officer) to explain the whole process.

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Answered on 8/31/13, 10:51 am

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