Does a contract for deed between family members need to be notarized and/or filed at the court house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does a contract for deed between family members need to be notarized and/or filed at the court house?

My brother wants to sell his house contract for deed. He has a very simple and easy contract with no place for a notary to sign. Is this required for it to be legal or can they just both sign the simple contract and be good? Does it need to be filed?

Asked on April 24, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Contracts are not filed with the court: the actual deed or title, when it is transferred, must be, but not the contract.
No contract has to be notarized. All a notary does is verify that the person signing is who he/she claims to be, either by checking photo ID or because the notary knows the personally. Notarization is only required for a few things by law, like wills, powers of attorney, and the like.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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