grantor-grantee index

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Grantor-grantee index is a tool used by most counties in the United States to record the transferring of property ownership. Every time someone sells their land, they or the loan company should record the sale with the county records office. Before someone even pays for a piece of property, a title search should be conducted where a title company looks through a grantor-grantee index to find the ownership status of the property the individual wishes to buy. Otherwise, a person may be purchasing an invalid title, which could result in them paying for no legal ownership at all. Grantor-grantee indexes historically have been in a physical form with transfers grouped by year and by name so that transfers can be properly researched. In recent years, these indexes have become digital and organized in a variety of ways. Either way, the grantor-grantee index is the official documentation of land transfers, and courts look to these indexes to see who owns property. If you purchase property but it is not inserted into the index, another person could purchase the same property and record it with the county, likely leaving your purchase invalid. 

See also: title report; real estate transactions

[Last updated in January of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]