Profile picture for user4008809

How long does a buyer have to transfer deed into their name?

I sold a piece of property on April 1st 2013 as a private sale and wrote them a transfer deed, and even had to correct it once just a few days after, when the buyer went to the courthouse to complete the transfer. Now, 6 months later, I was just contacted by the code today about a violation, so I looked it up on the county property tax appraisers site, and the property is still in my name. What do I do. The buyer was saying they were thinking about moving back to their home town in Puerto Rico and their phone is no longer in service. Do i reclaim the property? resell it? or is there a way to put it into their name without them. I have original sale documents with their info. Please Help. Thank You
  • September 25 2013 - Lake City
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Answers (5)

The tax records may not have been updated. I might ask a title company, or take a visit to the county courthouse in person.

An attorney could tell you if there's a statutory length of time that a buyer has to record a deed; I don't think there is. The buyer runs a risk that you will sell the property before they record the deed, and that will create a significant problem.

If the deed has not been recorded, I would still consider it sold, take my money, and leave the premises.

All the best,

  • September 26 2013
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Sally, they didn't need a Realtor for a private sale, they needed a title company/lawyer to handle the closing. That's like me saying they should have hired a loan officer for a cash transaction.
  • September 26 2013
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Profile picture for sallygrenierRE
Did anyone record the transfer deed with the county???  Hindsight is 20/20. Should have hired a Realtor to begin with and you wouldn't be in this mess!  Time to hire a lawyer.
  • September 26 2013
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Lawyer time for you, which is what you probably should have done in the first place and certainly what the buyer should have done.

  • September 26 2013
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Depends on local and municipal regulations. 

For the sake of avoiding nonsense, if you're a logical person, the correct answer to your question is one day - and that would be the day of closing and recording of the contracts.

Let's move on.  I like to take the moral high ground, but in this case you seem to be in a bit of a bind.  If you have no way to contact the buyers, and they never recorded the property as theirs, you own it free and clear.  Consider it kind of like winning the lottery.

Now, I'd make a concentrated effort to get in touch with them before reclaiming the property as your own for the purposes of reselling it, etc.  But once you've done that, there's only so much you can do, and you can assume ownership of this property once more with a clear conscience.

As yes, the question of putting it in their name.  You can always quitclaim it to them (a type of deed).  I highly recommend against doing this, as the property might sit there forever under ownership of people who will never know about it. 

Do the right thing, like I said.  Make the effort, and once you've exhausted all reasonable methods, you still legally own that property and may do with it what you wish.
  • September 26 2013
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