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Why Do Deeds Have a $10 Consideration?

In many jurisdictions, for a contract to be legally enforceable, it must include consideration. In a contract, consideration refers to something of value that is promised, given, or performed to make the contract enforceable. This is a common feature of contract law, including the law of real estate transactions.

In real estate transactions, deeds are often used to transfer property from one party to another, and for a deed to be legally effective, it must include consideration. The consideration is the price or value the buyer provides to the seller in exchange for the property.

The requirement for consideration is rooted in the idea that a contract should be a two-way exchange, where both parties give and receive something. This prevents contracts from being simply gifts and helps establish the seriousness of the contractual intent.

It is important to note that the law does not specify how much consideration must be given. As a result, it's become a common practice to state a nominal consideration, such as $10, in the deed, regardless of the actual property value or purchase price. This nominal consideration is not meant to reflect the actual price paid for the property but is instead a placeholder that fulfills the requirement for consideration.

The actual purchase price of the property is typically included in a separate document, often a purchase and sale agreement, which is not usually recorded in public records. In many jurisdictions, the purpose of this separation is to maintain the parties' privacy and to prevent the public disclosure of financial details.

In some places, the law or local practice may require the actual consideration to be stated in the deed. However, in Florida, it's common for deeds to state a nominal consideration of $10, even when the actual price paid for the property is much higher.

It's always a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney or professional to understand the current practice and legal requirements.

Published: Jul 18, 2023

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

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This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations or warranties about this FAQ's completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability. Each legal situation is unique; consult an attorney for personalized guidance.

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