Understand all about the importance of real estate deeds – Part 1. Check out all the steps in this infographic!

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The property deed is the document that carries out the sale and purchase of an apartment. Regardless of whether you have chosen to purchase a property on the plant or ready to move in, the joy generated by the purchase begins to give way to doubts, as the regularization of the property is a process with a few steps, documents and procedures, and this can all be well. confusing for anyone new to this subject.

Many questions can arise at this point. For example: do you only need the deed of the property to be considered the owner? And the registration update, who provides? Who owns the apartment purchased through financing? Is it safer to buy from a private individual or a developer? How to properly save the deed?

The answer to these questions can help you decide the best way to acquire your property, ensuring security in the transfer of ownership.

In order to answer the main questions about the subject, we have prepared this post so that you know everything about the property deed — from the importance of this paper to its registration and custody. It is very useful information that will make this phase of your life a little simpler and uncomplicated. Enjoy reading!

What is the real estate deed?

The deed is drawn up by a notary public and is the document through which the purchase and sale of a property takes place. In order for it to have effect before third parties, it must be signed before two witnesses. Therefore, it is an official statement of the business carried out.

Difference between deed and property registration

As we have seen, the deed is the act of formalizing, with public faith, the purchase and sale of the property. For this purpose, the parties must appear at the Notary Office, where the entire history of the transaction will be noted. As we deal with the purchase of an apartment, the document will contain information about the buyer and seller, with all the necessary documentation from each party, the agreed price, payment method, financing conditions, date of possession, among other relevant information.

The registration individualizes the property, describing it and identifying its correct location. In addition, it has the registration and approvals, demonstrating the legal situation of the apartment. The deed is registered in this document, when the transfer of ownership to the buyer occurs. It is a public record and, therefore, registration can be requested by anyone who goes to the registry. It is even recommended that those interested in buying used properties require an updated registration in order to analyze the regularity of the property and avoid fraud.

Therefore, we can understand that, legally, the buyer is only considered the owner when this deed is registered in the property’s registration – even if he already has a deed done at the Notary Public’s Office proving the acquisition of the apartment. Only then is the effective transfer of ownership possible.

Documents required to obtain the deed

To obtain the deed, after the settlement, the parties involved in the purchase and sale of the property — or their legally appointed attorneys — must go to the Notary Public’s Office. The buyer must present the following documents:

  • RG;
  • CPF;
  • Certificate of marital status (birth or marriage within a maximum of 90 days);
  • Proof of residence (consumption account);
  • Discharge term;

Promise of Purchase and Sale, if any. Being married, the buyer must also bring the documents of the spouse. There are notary offices that may require personal certificates from the parties involved, others not – and through a clause dispensing them. As this usually varies by state and municipality, it is recommended to check locally. The developer must have given the buyer the purchase and sale contract, proof of payment of the unit, registration of the occupancy permit and the write-off of the mortgage on the property (only required by some notary offices).

Why do you need to do the deed?

In the face of a business of such importance, its publicity and effectiveness before third parties is essential. It is the public deed – or the private document that, upon registration in the property registration, indicates a new owner of the property. This document, by itself, constitutes proof of the purchase and sale, and, when properly registered, attests to the right of ownership of the new buyer over the acquired property.

As the registration of the deed occurs at registration, if someone draws up more than one deed attesting to the sale of the same apartment, this can be detected by analyzing the paperwork. In this case, the person who registered first is the owner of the property under the law.

Therefore, when purchasing an older property, it is important to check the updated registration beforehand to find out who is, in fact, the owner/seller — and if there is no legal dispute that could harm him.

At what point in the purchase can you deed?

Strictly speaking, a property deed can be made as soon as the purchase and sale process is completed.

In the case of a cash purchase, this mark is very clear and, since there are no debts to be paid or obligations that prevent the transfer of ownership from proceeding, the registration of the deed can be done promptly after the acquisition. Property is already purchased in cash while still on the plant, it is worth mentioning that the deed process will be done after the individualization of registrations.

However, when the acquisition takes place through financing, a private instrument that provides for the fiduciary sale or mortgage of the apartment has the effect of a public deed, pursuant to art. 38 of Law 9514/1997 and issued by the Financial Institution.

Thus, the property buyer’s right to property is guaranteed, and the receipt of the debt made with the financing of the property is also guaranteed through the property. This document is registered at a notary public and, upon proof of payment of the debt, the competent official must cancel the registration of the fiduciary property (guarantee).

What costs are involved in obtaining the deed?

There are some costs involved in the process that need to be included in your financial planning, as they can impact your monthly budget, which already includes the payment of the outstanding balance after purchasing an apartment. See what they are!

Costs of Registry Offices

To obtain the deed, there are two main costs to be paid, one for the Notary Public and the other for the Real Estate Registry. The registration fee is low, while the deed fee is higher and varies according to the municipality where the apartment is located.

These costs are established by the State Judiciary Branch and are calculated according to the property’s marketable value, that is, the price estimated by the government, taking into account the information contained in the Real Estate Registry or the value declared by the developer. The price for issuing the deed will then be equivalent to 2% or 3% of that amount. To find out exactly, it is necessary to consult the current table in your state and also obtain information about the value of the properties from the City Hall.


There is also the ITBI — Real Estate Transmission Tax —, an amount owed to the City Hall of the municipality where the property is located. It must be paid as soon as the apartment is purchased, and the purchase and sale process can only be made official by agreement.

This tax varies between 2% and 3% of the property’s market value. Payment slip issuance and rules also vary by municipality. Therefore, it is recommended to seek assistance from the City Hall to obtain more accurate information. Find out, mainly, the deadline for payment and the possibility of installment payments — available in some cities.

The registration of the deed is only possible upon proof of payment of this tax, which is, therefore, a mandatory cost. Another very important piece of information is that some landlords may fall into a category that receives a 50% discount on deed and registration income. This is the case for those who purchase their first residential property — but in this case, there is a maximum limit on the value of the property purchased. This information must be verified at the registry offices in the city where the apartment is located.

How and for how long to keep the deed?

Due to the importance of the property deed, this document must be permanently filed, as it attests to the transaction of purchase and sale of the property. In the case of a newly acquired property, it is also worth storing the proposed purchase and sale, the contract and all proof of payment until the time of drawing up and registering the deed.

Preferably, store documents in closed boxes, away from moisture and excessive heat, and, if possible, in plastic packaging capable of insulating the papers and keeping them safe from weather and insects (such as termites and moths ).

Where are the notary offices that we indicate?

To facilitate your search for the closest notary offices, check out four reliable entities that we recommend.