Trustee's Deed vs. Grant Deed

by Cindy Quarters

A deed is a formal document that shows the transfer of ownership of a piece of real estate. The type of deed used in a specific transaction varies, depending on the situation. Although a warranty deed is often used to transfer property, and to guarantee that the new owner has clear title, other types of deeds are also used to show the transfer of ownership.

Deed Contents

A deed must provide an accurate and legal description of the property being conveyed. This document will also contain the name of the person transferring the property, known as the grantor, and the name of the person receiving the property, known as the grantee. The grantor must have her signature on the deed notarized in order for the document to be valid. The deed must be registered in the county where the property is in order for the deed to be recognized. A trustee’s deed will also include the name of the lender.

Trustee’s Deed

A trustee’s deed is held by a lender or an escrow company as security for a loan on a piece of real estate. When property is sold, the title is conveyed from the seller to a trustee, assuming that there is money owed. The trustee holds the deed until the property is paid off, in which case a deed is issued to the buyer, or the buyer defaults. If the buyer defaults, then the trustee’s deed is used to convey the property to a new buyer after the trustee sells the property.

Grant Deed

A grant deed is used to transfer the ownership of property from one party to another. Such a deed contains an implied warranty that the seller has not already conveyed the property to someone else, and also that the property is not encumbered. This type of deed is one of the most commonly used deeds. It can be used to transfer property to an outside party, but may also be used in situations where the property is transferred from one family member to another, such as a transfer made subsequent to a divorce.


A trustee’s deed is not held by anyone except the trustee. In some situations the the trustee’s deed is used instead of a mortgage. It provides security for the lender, since it makes it easy for the trustee to sell the property if necessary, and provide the proceeds of the sale to the lender. A grant deed, on the other hand, is used to convey the property from one person to another but is not normally used as security for a loan, or when a foreclosure is involved.

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