In real estate, a deed is a document that transfers ownership. This written document contains the names of the old and new owners and a legal description of the property, and it includes a reference to the previous deed to establish the chain of ownership. You don’t need your original deed when you sell your property. The original was recorded in the land records of the jurisdiction where the property is located and is public record. That recorded copy will suffice for the title company to review and include as preparing your deed.
The terms “deed” and “title” should not be used interchangeably. A title is the chain of documents recording previous owners, mortgages and rights others have had in this property. A title makes note of any encumbrances on the property – like a mortgage – and allows you to transfer ownership of the property, which is where the deed will come in.
A deed is the only way property can be transferred, and it is recorded in the county where the property is located. Deeds are public records.