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What is Alienation?
Process of transferring property ownership.
What is a deed?
Most common form of voluntary transfer of title. The grantor (current owner) transfers title to the grantee (prospective owner) with a deed. The act is called a conveyance of title. The deed provides evidence of the change in title.
What is a warranty deed and what are the two types of covenants that are associated with it?
Most common. Greatest protection for a real estate buyer. The grantor warrants against all defects in title that arose either before or during the grantor’s period of ownership.
i.    Covenant against encumbrances – The grantor warrants that the property is not burdened by any easement, mortgage, lien, or other third party right, other than those listed in the deed.
ii. Covenant of quiet enjoyment – The grantor warrants that the grantee’s possession of the property will not be threatened by a lawful claim from any third party.
What is a special warranty deed?
Deed contains the same warranties made in a warranty deed, but it limits the grantor’s warranties to the period during which the grantor owned the property. The grantor makes no assurances about earlier defects. This type of deed is most commonly used by corporations, which may not have the authority to make greater warranties.
What is a quitclaim deed?
Contains no warranties of any sort and it does not convey after-acquired title.

Compared with other deeds, a quitclaim deed creates the least liability for the grantor.

i.    Interest conveyed – A quitclaim deed conveys only the interest the grantor has when the deed is delivered. It conveys nothing at all if the grantor has no interest at that time. If the grantor does have an interest in the property, the quitclaim will convey title like any other deed.
ii.    Curing clouds on title – The primary reason for using a quitclaim deed is to cure clouds on title. In this capacity, a quitclaim deed may also be known as a reformation deed.
What MUST be contained in a deed for it to be valid?
Identifies parties
Signed (competent grantor)
Living grantee
Words of conveyance
Propety description
What is an "attorney in fact"?
Attorney in fact – A deed can be signed by a grantor’s attorney in fact. The authority to do so is created by a document called a power of at- torney, signed by the grantor and recorded in the county where the property is located. An attorney in fact may not deed a property to himself.
How do corporations transfer property via deed?
Authorized officer to sign
Corporate seal
For a conveyance to be deemed proper, it requires three characteristics.  What are they?
Acknowledgment, delivery, and acceptance – A proper conveyance requires acknowledgment, delivery, and ac- ceptance.
a.    Acknowledgment – Acknowledgment occurs when the grantor swears before a notary public or other official witness that her signature is genuine and voluntary.
i.    Notary public – The notary public cannot have an interest in the transfer (as either grantor or grantee).
ii.    Unacknowledged deed is valid – Technically, a deed is valid even if it is not acknowledged. But an unacknowledged deed cannot be recorded.
b.    Delivery – The transfer of title occurs when the deed is delivered to the grantee. Delivery must take place while the grantor is alive.
c. Acceptance – Delivery is not complete until the grantee has accepted the deed. The deed may be ac- cepted by an agent of the grantee (such as an escrow agent).
What are nonessential terms to a deed?
Nonessential terms – The following terms are not essential to the validity of a deed, but may be included:
a.    Habendum clause – A deed generally includes a habendum clause (or “to have and to hold” clause), which states the nature of the interest the grantor is conveying (such as a fee simple or a life estate).
b.    Exclusions and reservations clause – An exclusions and reservations clause is a list of encumbrances (easements, private restrictions, liens) that the grantee will take title subject to.
c.    Grantee’s signature – The grantee ordinarily does not sign the deed. The date of conveyance is usually included, although not required.
What are the requirements of a will?
Requirements for a valid will – The following three re- quirements must generally be met for a will to be valid:
a.    Writing – A will must be in writing.
b. Signature – A will must be signed by the person
making it.
c.    Witnesses – A will usually must be witnessed by two competent individuals.
What is "involuntary alienation" of real property?
Involuntary Alienation – Involuntary alienation refers to the ways real property can be conveyed by operation of law, without any voluntary action by the owner.
What is "dedication" of property?
Private land given to public.

Dedication may be involuntary, as when a county requires a land developer to dedicate land within a new subdivision for public streets. It may also be a voluntary gift of private land for a public use.
What is "intestate" succession of property?
Intestate Succession – A person who dies without leaving a will is said to have died intestate. The law provides for the distribution of the property of someone who has died intestate by a process called intestate succession.
1. Heirs – Persons who receive property by court order through the intestate succession process are called heirs. Heirs take title by descent, rather than by bequest or devise.
What is "escheat"
Escheat – If the probate court cannot locate any heirs or ben- eficiaries, the property of the person dying intestate will pass back to the state according to the laws of escheat. Since the state is the ultimate source of title to property, it is also the ultimate heir when there are no lawful heirs or beneficiaries. Abandoned property also passes to the state through escheat.
What is "condemnation" of property?
Condemnation – The government has the constitutional power to take private property for public use, as long as it pays just compensation to the owner of the condemned property. The government’s power to condemn (take) property is called the power of eminent domain.
1.    Requirements – For eminent domain to be exercised, the use must be a public use and the owner must receive just compensation.
2.    Who may exercise – The power of eminent domain may be exercised by any government entity, and also by some semi-public entities such as utility companies.
3.    Inverse condemnation – If a property owner feels that her property has been taken or damaged by a public entity, the owner may file an inverse condemnation action to force the government to pay the fair market value of the property.
What is quiet title?
a court procedure to remove a cloud on title when the cloud cannot be cleared amicably with a quitclaim deed. The court decides questions of property ownership, and the result is a binding determination of who owns what.
What is a "suit for partition"?
a court procedure for dividing co-owned property when the co-owners cannot agree on how to divide it.
What is a "foreclosure" action?
Foreclosure Actions – Persons holding liens against real property may bring a foreclosure lawsuit to force the sale of the property if the debts secured by their liens are not paid.
What is "adverse possession"?
Adverse Possession – Adverse possession is a process by which the possession and use of property can mature into title.
1. Requirements – In Washington there are five basic re- quirements for adverse possession:
a.    Actual – Actual possession means occupation and use of the property in a manner appropriate to the type of property. For example, the adverse possessor does not have to reside on the property unless it is a residential property.
b.    Open and notorious – Possession of the land must be conspicuous.
c.    Hostile to the interests of the true owner – Hostile intent exists if the adverse possessor uses the property the same way as an owner would use it.
d.    Exclusive – The adverse possessor must have exclu- sive possession of the property. The true owner must be excluded from possession.
e.    Continuous and uninterrupted – In Washington, the possession must be continuous and uninterrupted for ten years. Successive adverse possessors may add together their periods of possession to equal the statutory time period, which is known as tacking.
What is "perfecting title"?
Perfecting title: taking the necessary steps to remove title defects and defeat claims against one’s title.
Accession – Accession is any addition to real property from natural or artificial causes. It can result in involuntary alienation. Accession includes:
1.    Accretion – When riparian or littoral land is enlarged by waterborne soil (such as a river depositing additional soil on land that borders it), the owner acquires title to the added soil.
2.    Reliction – When a body of water gradually retreats, the newly exposed soil belongs to the landowner.
3.    Avulsion – Avulsion occurs when land is torn away by flowing water and deposited elsewhere, or when land is exposed by a sudden change in a watercourse (such as when a river that acts as a boundary between two properties changes its direction after massive flooding). (Avulsion usually does not alter the ownership of the changed piece of land.)
Recording process?
Recording Process – Recording is accomplished by filing an acknowledged document according to policies and procedures established by state law. Recorded documents serve as the ba- sis for title searches; a purchaser can search the grantor index to determine if the seller has already conveyed the interest to another party.
1.    What may be recorded – Almost anything affecting title to property (deeds, mortgages, abstracts of judgments, lis pendens) may be recorded. Listing agreements and sales contracts (i.e., purchase and sale agreements) are ordinarily not recorded.
What is constructive notice?
Notice – Notice may be either constructive or actual.
1.    Constructive notice – Recording a document gives con- structive notice to the world of the existence and contents of the document, even if a person does not check the record.
a.    Presumed to have notice – A person is presumed to have constructive (legal) notice of something when he should have learned it through reasonable diligence or an inspection of the public record.
b.    Failure to record – A grantee who fails to record her deed can lose title to a subsequent good faith purchaser who did not have notice of the earlier conveyance. In a conflict between two purchasers, the one who records his or her deed first has good title to the property, even if the other purchaser’s deed was executed first.
c.    Benefits of recording – It is to the grantee’s advantage to record a deed. It is to a mortgagee’s advantage to record a mortgage.
d.    Possession as notice – Possession of the land by someone other than the seller gives constructive no- tice to the buyer that someone may have an interest in the property, and the buyer has a duty to inquire further.
Actual notice?
When someone actually knows about it.
What is title insurance?
This form of insurance protects against losses resulting from undiscovered title defects. Title insurance provides only financial protection, not a guaranty of marketable title.
Chain of Title and Abstract of Title
A chain of title is a complete history of recorded interests in a property, while an abstract of title is a condensed history of the recorded interests. Having a history of title only allows the buyer to make a more informed decision as to the quality of the title; it does not insure against losses due to title defects. As a result, almost all buyers purchase title insurance policies instead.
Title search
A title insurance company will perform an inspection of public records to determine all rights and encum- brances affecting title to a piece of property. Most insurance companies maintain their own sets of these records, called title plants.
Title report
After a title search is completed, the title com- pany issues a title report describing the condition of the title. The report lists all defects and encumbrances of record; these items will be excluded from the policy coverage. A title report should reveal any clouds on the title.
Most common two types of title insurance?
The most common types of policies are the owner’s policy, which protects the buyer’s title, and the mortgagee’s policy (or lender’s policy), which protects the security interest of the buyer’s lender.
What are the two types of coverage offered by title insurance?
Standard and extended
Standard coverage of title insurance
Standard coverage – An owner’s policy is usually a standard coverage policy.
a.    Covered: Standard coverage insures against defects in title, including hidden risks such as forgery, an improperly delivered deed, or a lack of capacity by a party to a transaction.
b.    Not covered: Standard coverage does not insure against rights of adverse possessors, defects known to the owner but not disclosed to the title insurer, or problems that would be discovered by an inspection of the property, such as encroachments.
Extended coverage of title insurance
Extended coverage – A mortgagee’s policy is almost always an extended coverage policy.
a. Greater coverage – Extended coverage insures against any defects not in the public record, such as rights of adverse possessors, unrecorded mechanic’s liens, and encroachments.
b.    Includes survey – While a standard coverage policy relies only on an inspection of public records, an extended coverage policy will also include a survey of the property to ascertain boundary lines.
c.    Government action – Neither standard nor extended coverage applies when a loss occurs as a result of governmental action, such as condemnation or zoning changes.
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