What Is Conveyance?

The term conveyance refers to the act of transferring property from one party to another. The term is commonly used in real estate transactions when buyers and sellers transfer ownership of land, building, or home. This is done using an instrument of conveyance—a legal document such as a contract, lease, title, or a deed. The document stipulates the agreed-upon purchase price and date of actual transfer, as well as the obligations and responsibilities of both parties.

Understanding Conveyance

In finance, the term conveyance represents the act of legally transferring property from one entity to another. So when two parties engage in the sale of a piece of property, they transfer ownership through a conveyance. For instance, when a car owner legally signs the title over to a buyer, they are engaged in a conveyance.

The term conveyance is commonly associated with real estate transactions. Conveyance of ownership of real estate is also referred to as conveyancing, and the legal representative overseeing the process can be referred to as a conveyancer. Real estate transactions often incur a tax called a conveyance tax or a real estate transfer tax. This levy is imposed on the transfer of property at the county, state, or municipal level.

A conveyance is normally executed using a conveyance instrument. This is a written instrument or contract that outlines the obligations and responsibilities of both the buyer and the seller including the purchase price, date of transfer, and any other terms and conditions associated with the sale. The instrument may be a deed or a lease—a document that transfers the legal title of a property from the seller to the buyer.

Key Takeaways

  • Conveyance is the act of transferring property from one party to another.
  • The term is commonly used in real estate transactions when buyers and sellers transfer ownership of land, building, or home.
  • A conveyance is done using an instrument of conveyance—a legal document such as a contract, lease, title, or a deed.

Special Considerations

There are cases where one party doesn't live up to their obligations as outlined in the conveyance instrument or contract. When this happens, the other party can take the defaulting party to court to enforce the contract or to claim damages. Conveyancing ensures that the buyer is informed in advance of any restrictions on the property, such as mortgages and liens, and assures the buyer of a clean title to the property. Many buyers purchase title insurance to protect against the possibility of fraud in the title transfer process.

If the other party doesn't fulfill their obligations, you can take them to court to enforce the contract or to claim damages.

Types of Conveyances

Real Estate Conveyances

Conveyance is a general term that applies in a legal sense beyond residential real estate. The conveyance in most real estate transactions is also known as the sale deed. Conveyance is the category, and sales deed is a type of conveyance within that category.

The process behind a typical conveyance includes a review for liens and other encumbrances. it ensures all conditions have been met, settling all taxes and charges with the appropriate party prior to transfer, confirming financing, and preparing all the documents for final settlement. The documents provided for conveyancing typically include the deed, mortgage documents, certificate of liens, the title insurance binder, and any side agreements related to the sale.

Mineral Rights Conveyances

Conveyance also applies to the oil and gas industry. As land is a form of real estate with attached rights, exploration companies use the term conveyance to refer to contracts that transfer rights to or ownership of certain parcels of land to the company. The most common conveyance is a contract granting mineral rights without turning over the title of the land, but conveyances are also used to establish the right of way for a company’s operations on a landowner’s property. The landowner is, of course, compensated for transferring these rights to the exploration company.