No- A deed in Texas does not have to be recorded for the transfer of the property to be effective. It will always be the advice of your attorney to record the deed for the property for a whole host of reasons, but if somewhere along the lines a deed was not recorded, it is not necessarily the end of the world.
Recording a deed is simply making the deed part of the public record. Title companies and insurance agencies are able to find the property records and information regarding easements and setbacks if the deeds are recorded. When you record your property deed, you are putting the public on notice of the information contained in the deed such as the property description and boundaries, and the owners of record.
What you are NOT doing is validating the deed. In fact, Texas recorder’s offices will file and record whatever deed you send them, whether it is valid or not. It is not the job of the County Recorder to make sure that your deed meets the basic requirements of a valid deed or to ensure that the property description meets the minimum standards—This should be on your attorney or whomever is drafting your Warranty Deed.
So, put simply, if your deed was not recorded or you have discovered unrecorded deeds in your chain of title, there is no need to worry. The deeds themselves will still be valid and you can file correction instruments to correct any mistakes.
If you are transferring property and want to ensure the deeds you are considering are correct, a free consultation with Texas Real Estate Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert can help answer your questions regarding property deeds in Texas. If you’d like to learn more about real estate law in Texas.