A Virginia deed is used to transfer real estate from a grantor (the owner) to a grantee (the recipient). This legal instrument is public record once filed with the county circuit court clerk, and it serves to indicate exactly who is on the property title. Deeds also indicate the party liable for title encumbrances, such as mechanic’s or tax liens which might become apparent upon deed recordation.
Generally, deeds that provide warranties against encumbrances (e.g., general warranty or special warranty deeds) are most common in sales, whereas the warranty-free quit claim deeds are often used for transfers without consideration (compensation) such as conveyances between family members and the like.
Deed of Trust – A deed whereby a debtor (the “grantor”) who has acquired a home loan and a creditor (the beneficiary”) agree to assign the property title to a trustee until the debt is fully paid.
General Warranty Deed – A guarantee of the title’s condition and the owner’s right to transfer the title are included in this deed.
Quit Claim Deed – A deed in which the new title holder will be liable for title encumbrances.
Special Warranty Deed – Warranties in this deed are limited to the period in which the grantor owned the property; the grantee will be liable for title encumbrances that occurred before the grantor’s ownership.
Transfer on Death Deed – Allows a person named in the deed to inherit the property after the owner passes away.
- Statutes: Title 55.1, Chapters 1 – 11 (Property and Conveyances)
- Formatting: § 17.1-223, § 55.1-300, § 55.1-316, § 55.1-604. Counties may have specific formatting requirements (see Fairfax County).
- Signing Requirements (§ 55.1-600 & § 55.1-612): Notary Public/Clerk of Court or Two (2) Witnesses
- Where to Record (§ 55.1-407(A)): County Circuit Court Clerk
- Recording Fees (§ 17.1-275(2)):
- $18 for documents of ten (10) or less pages, $32 for documents of eleven (11) to thirty (30) pages, $52 for documents of thirty-one pages or more.
- Virginia deeds are subject to a state recordation tax of ¢25 per $100 of the deed consideration or property value, whichever is greater (§ 58.1-801(A)).
- Virginia Deed Fees and Taxes Calculator
- Cover Sheet (§ 17.1-227.1): Required when recording a property deed in certain counties (§ 17.1-227.1).
- Building Code or Zoning Ordinance Violations Disclosure (§ 55.1-706): Must be provided to the buyer if the property has building or zoning violations.
- Methamphetamine Disclosure (§ 55.1-708): Must be provided to the buyer if the property has a history of methamphetamine production and does not meet the post-cleanup target level (§ 32.1-11.7).
- Military Air Installation Disclosure (§ 55.1-704): Must be provided to buyers of property near a military air installation if the dwelling is within a noise and/or accident potential zone.
- New Dwelling Disclosure (§ 55.1-702(B)): Must be provided to the buyer if a newly built property has building code violations or if located on a mining worksite (including any abandoned pits, shafts, or mines).
- Privately Owned Stormwater Facility Disclosure (§ 55.1-708.1): Must be provided to the buyer if the property contains a private stormwater facility.
- Residential Property Disclosure Statement (§ 55.1-703(A)): Notifies a buyer that certain required property disclosures must be provided by the seller.
- Septic System Disclosure (§ 32.1-164.1:1): Must be provided to the buyer if the property’s septic system requires maintenance.