What Is the Difference between a Deed and a Simple Contract

When it comes to legal documents, it can be easy to get confused. Two terms that often get mixed up are deeds and simple contracts. Although they may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two. This article will help you understand what each document is used for and how they differ.

What is a Deed?

A deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of real property from one entity to another. Real property can include land, buildings, and other physical assets. Deeds must be signed, notarized, and recorded with the appropriate government agency to be considered valid.

There are different types of deeds, but the most common ones are warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. A warranty deed guarantees that the person selling the property has a legal right to do so and that there are no outstanding liens or encumbrances on the property. A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, transfers any ownership interest the grantor may have in the property without any guarantees as to the title.

What is a Simple Contract?

A simple contract, also known as a regular contract, is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. It can cover a wide range of topics, from buying or selling goods or services to employment agreements. Simple contracts can be verbal or written but must meet certain criteria to be considered valid.

A contract must have an offer, acceptance, and consideration to be enforceable. Offer refers to the proposal made by one party to the other. Acceptance occurs when the other party agrees to the offer. Consideration is the exchange of value, such as money, goods, or services.

Differences Between a Deed and a Simple Contract

The main difference between a deed and a simple contract is the type of property being transferred. Deeds are used to transfer ownership of real property, while simple contracts can be used for any type of agreement.

Another key difference is the level of formality required. Deeds are formal legal documents that must be signed, notarized, and recorded. Simple contracts can be written or verbal, although it is recommended to have them in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.

Finally, deeds have much greater legal weight than simple contracts. Deeds are considered conclusive evidence of ownership and are subject to specific laws and regulations. In contrast, simple contracts are more flexible and can be modified or terminated by the parties involved.


Deeds and simple contracts are both important legal documents used to transfer ownership or establish agreements between parties. Understanding the differences between the two will help you determine which one is appropriate for your specific situation. If you are unsure which document to use, it is always best to seek the advice of a legal professional.

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