A Montana deed is a conveyance instrument that transfers ownership of real property from one (1) party to another. Whenever property is sold or gifted, a deed must be executed by the person or entity transferring ownership, the “grantor,” and recorded with the Clerk and Recorder in the county where the property is located. The grantor will also need to file a Realty Transfer Certificate and pay the recording fee ($8 per page). Once recorded, title rights to the property will officially be transferred to the new owner, the “grantee.”
Deeds often include language protecting the buyer against hidden title defects, such as liens, property line disputes, and unpaid tax. When a deed provides no title warranties, the grantee is advised to perform a title search to determine whether any defects exist.
Deed of Trust – Establishes an agreement whereby a buyer transfers title rights to a trustee as collateral for a loan. After the loan is repaid, title rights are transferred back to the buyer.
General Warranty Deed – Contains a guarantee that the grantor has the right to sell the property and that the title is free of encumbrances and claims against the grantor and all former owners.
Quit Claim Deed – Transfers the grantor’s interest in property without providing title warranties. The grantee receives the title “as-is,” including any title defects that may exist.
Special Warranty Deed – Provides a guarantee that is limited to title issues arising from the grantor’s ownership; it does not cover claims against or encumbrances made by previous owners.
Transfer on Death Deed – A revocable deed that transfers property to a beneficiary upon the grantor’s death.
- Statutes: Title 70, Ch. 20 & Ch. 21
- Formatting: § 7-4-2636
- Signing Requirements (§ 70-21-203): Notary Public
- Where to Record: County Clerk and Recorder
- Recording Fees (§ 7-4-2637): $8 per page
- Realty Transfer Certificate (§ 15-7-305): Must be filed with the Clerk and Recorder. This form includes the Realty Transfer Certificate and the Certification of Water Right Ownership Update.
- Condominium Disclosure (§ 70-23-613): Required only when the property is a unit in a larger building.
- Mold Disclosure (§ 70-16-703): Must be completed and given to prospective buyers if there is mold present on the property.
- Water Rights Acknowledgement (§ 85-2-424): If the property uses a private water system, this document must be attached to the purchase agreement.