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What are real estate transactions?

What are real estate transactions? When a buyer purchases real estate from a seller and a deed (a legal document) is executed or transferred, this document becomes a permanent part of the public record.

How is the purchase price on a real estate transaction determined? The information found in the real estate transactions that you read in the newspaper or online is generated from the deed document. The purchase price is calculated strictly from the deed document and the transfer fee, not from the purchase price recorded by agents. The fee is generally a set amount per $1,000 transferred and varies by community. The transfer fee on the deed generally reflects the accurate purchase price of the property. There are many exemptions and conditions that may increase or reduce the fee charged when the document is recorded. For example, if someone executes a quitclaim deed or trust, the fee for that transaction could be less than the fee for a normal transaction.

Are the real estate transactions that you see in the paper legal notices? Absolutely not. Most newspapers run real estate transactions for reader interest. There is no binding or legal requirement to publish real estate transactions. If there is a price difference that you are aware of, do not worry. It will have no effect on your property taxes or any aspect of your property.

Why are you allowed to publish real estate transactions? Real estate transactions, like many other categories of information, fall into the public record that has existed since the birth of our nation. Bankruptcies, foreclosures and many other forms of legal filings are all part of the public record.

Will my real estate transactions appear in the newspaper or online? Public records are picked up by thousands of companies across the country and abroad. Many newspapers publish complete lists of real estate transactions. Sometimes space is limited and not all transactions can be published. No matter whether your transaction is published, it will still be part of the public record.

Is there any way I can keep my real estate transaction out of the public record? Many people set up trusts in an effort to maintain privacy on certain information about a transaction. A trust designates another representative, such as a bank or trust company, that is the name recorder on the deed for all pertinent documents. If you feel this is an option for you, please contact your attorney.

If the information in the newspaper or online is listed as incorrect in terms of an address, etc., who should I contact?Presenting public records requires keypunching a lot of data, so there's always the possibility that the information may be typed incorrectly. Mistakes may originate on the county level or with companies working from print records. The best option is first to verify the information with the county recorder's office in which the property was sold. They may ask you to come in to accomplish this. It is always a good idea to double-check the information. Just as it is good to look at your credit report every so often, it is also a good idea to check on your public records.

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