Home Buying in Sacramento>Question Details

kathybrad, Home Buyer in Sacramento, CA

My husband and I have been purchasing a house from private seller (lease to buy) and it is coming very close to the end of the contract what is

Asked by kathybrad, Sacramento, CA Wed Jan 16, 2013

involved in transferring the property to our daughters name. Are there taxes or county fees we must pay?

Help the community by answering this question:


As many great professionals have stated here, it depends on the specific contract language and whether the private seller is flexible with your plan to ultimately have it in your daughter's name (has that been communicated to him/her)?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2013
Hi Kathy,

I have re-read your post/question a couple of times, it would be very difficult come up with an answer for your specific purchase as we are not party to the contract, nor have access to review what you are actually doing (lease option to purchase, exercising the option or completing the purchase in full with or without a loan?)

In general depending on the County and City transfer of property between parents/grandparents to children or grandchildren may be exempt from the transfer taxes, check with the County Assessor's office or City Clerk. Transferring the property from the person you are purchasing it from will require payment of transfer taxes plus completion of any point of sale requirements the City/County may have.

Hopefully you had a real estate attorney draw up the lease option contract, had your option recorded and have a Title and Escrow company handling the escrow and insuring clear title. Consulting with a tax and financial professional is also a good idea, as gifting property may trigger tax issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
One more thing. If you have a loan on the property, you can't just transfer title to a third party without triggering the due on sale clause (most loans contain such a clause). One more reason not to take any action without consulting with an attorney. Like I said, the transfer tax issue is not the real issue here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
You have very good answers here from my esteemed colleagues. I agree with Ute especially.
I believe you are about to exercise your option to purchase (which is incorporated in your lease to own contract). I believe it would be prudent for you to get a real estate attorney or broker to review your contract and guide you through this process and make sure that you get clear title to the property.

Once you own the property, then you can deed it to your daughter. There are gift tax, transfer tax issues etc. You might want to consult a cpa to determine the CA and Federal tax ramifications

James Tan
Bethany Real Estate and Investments
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Hi Kathy

I agree with every agent's response on this thread. I won't wallow in what you should have done. The details of your transaction don't matter.

Truth is, we cannot advise you. As REALTOR's (which most of us are), we each abide by the State of CA DRE laws and regs and are bound contractually to the terms and conditions which were created and ascribed according to the California Association of REALTORs and can be backed up by a slew of real estate attorneys on their payroll. If you had a question which fell under any of those terms, we could advise you all day. And as an extra bonus, we would also have the legal power behind us to back you up.

When people opt to go outside of a traditional real estate transaction, ungoverned and unpoliced, they are taking a risk.

Your lease to buy agreement, if you have questions, should probably be reviewed with a real estate attorney, a title company, and a full-time real estate agent. It may not be too late to get the right entities involved.

It's not worth it in the long run to try to sav a little money. If you end up in court, you'll end up paying way more than you tried to save.

Hope that helps.

Keisha Mathews, REALTOR®
CDPE®, HRC®, HAFA® Certified
"The Short Sale Lady"
Century 21 Landmark Network
(916) 370-1803 cell/direct
(916) 405-3886 fax
lic#: 01439130
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Your note does not really say what it is you are attempting to accomplish.
Do you wish to transfer the property to your daughter after you consumate
your LEGAL contract to purchase, or prior?
Because you are involved in a LEGAL contract if you are doing anything
prior to owning the property you should have an attorney review your
contract to advise you as to your options. You have no legal right to transfer
a property you do not own, but you may be able to assign your contractural
right to purchase to your daughter. Only your contract will answer this question.
Good luck to you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
This is difficult to give you one answer because I, nor any other Realtor in this market, is party to your original contract. We are not able to advise you without being party to your contract.

One option of many possibilities--if the home is titled in your name, than you can use a sort of Deed and record the transfer of title to your daughters name. State, County, City transfer taxes, recording fees, escrow fees may apply. And there may be other fees.

You should consult a Real Estate Attorney, and/or a Tax advisor as Steve suggested, to be sure you are handling the transfer correctly--as the scenario I described above may not work for your situation.

Transferring property is legal and can be done, if done correctly.
Web Reference: http://www.kyleeroe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Review your purchase agreement. It sounds like you entered into a lease to own agreement. That is actually three agreements in one- a rental agreement, a purchase agreement and an option for which you paid a certain sum to buy the home at a certain price within a certain timeframe.

The purchase agreement will define who is authorized to buy under the agreement. If your daughter is not the name on the agreement, there needs to be an assignment clause that allows the daughter to buy it under the same terms as offered to you. The costs related to the purchase will also be defined under the terms listed in the original agreement.

Jay is right, it'd be best to have a realtor assist you in executing this option. In additiion, execute the puchase using a title and escrow company to ensure that you obtain clear title when you purchase. Executing the contract is not complex but it is detailed and it's important that it be done correctly. This is a case where 'you don't know what you don't know'. Get someone to help you. Good luck and congratulations on your (soon to be) home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Based on what you are saying it sounds like you only have an option to buy and the time to exercise the option is coming up. Are you asking how you can transfer title to the property to your daughter after you have exercised the option to buy or are you asking whether you can assign your rights under the lease option agreement to your daughter? I believe avoiding the transfer taxes is the least of your problems (there should not be any transfer tax unless the transfer involves an exchange of money - if you gift the property to you daughter, there should not be a transfer tax - you may have to submit an affidavit). My suggestion to you is that you consult with an attorney not only about how to transfer title (once you have it), but also how transferring title to your daughter affects you (e.g., gift taxes, estate planning goals).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
Hi kathybrad,

You should speak to a Tax Advisor to determine how to best transfer the property (make sure to bring your copy of the executed Lease).

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Good luck, Kathy. This is a great reason to hire a REALTOR to manage the offer and transaction process. Much of this is clarified in the purchase agreement. Bottom line: You and the seller make the decisions on who pays what.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
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