A Guide to Property Registration in the U.S.

Property Registration

A Guide to Property Registration in the U.S. Have you completed the purchase of your new property? Does that make you the lawful owner of the property?

The journey of buying a property is incomplete without property registration; you need all the necessary documents before the property can lawfully be yours. While there is a contract between you and the seller, a change of ownership only occurs after the property is legally registered under your name in the government’s data.

The process of property registration is a must in the U.S. and it differs by state. This article is a guide that will give you all the information you need about property registration in the United States.

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What Is Property Registration?

Property registration is a process of ensuring that the ownership of a property, possession and other significant rights are legally recorded with the government. This is to ensure that there is evidence of ownership is provided and to avoid an illegal transfer. The property registration process is not generally binding on all states in the U.S. Individual states have their different functions and their duties differ. However, wherever it is, the process aims to ensure that your property is formally registered. 

The Torrens title system is the most commonly used system for property registration. States like Illinois, Massachusetts, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, New York, Washington, and North Carolina operate with the Torrens Title system. 

In the Torrens title system, the landowner will have to demand that their land be registered. And at the end of the process, a title certificate will be issued to the owner of the property. However, not all states in the United States use the Torrens title system. 

What Is Vacant Property Registration?

A property that is not well maintained poses a potential threat to the neighborhood. There are cases of abandoned vacant buildings with no owners or occupants to secure the maintenance. These vacant properties can cause high chances of risk of fire outbreak, the diminishing value of the neighboring properties, loss of tax revenues, and criminal activities. So, it is advised that the owner of such property get it registered according to the law of their state. 

Vacant Property Registration

Those who have the right to report a vacant property are the owner, agent, or any organization involved. SGPNow.com is an organization involved with vacant properties and they are aimed at ensuring that vacant properties are registered formally.

SGPNow.com is committed to ensuring that all the necessary documents and statements are submitted according to the terms and conditions. SGPNow will also inform the owners of the property of all the requirements and the laws that will be binding on the property. SGPNow has a professional and highly experienced team of inspectors that will also guide you on how to maintain your property to meet the standards laid. 

Vacant Property Registration Ordinances (VPROs)

Now that you are familiar with vacant property registration, VPRO guides the proper registration for vacant properties. Vacant property registration ordinances contain obligations, codes, and regulations of which the vacant property owner must be aware. It also states standard maintenance that the owner must abide by. Also, the ordinance states the fees which include covering costs that will help motivate owners to take responsibility. 

Vacant property registration ordinances are very important because it gives the government the power to demand the owner of the property to register their abandoned properties and pay for the necessary fees. The governments are given more rights to ensure that the property is maintained and meets the safety standard. 

Vacant property registration ordinances must ensure that a vacant property and the owner are well defined. Vacant property registration ordinances also state that necessary information of the owner and the property must be provided. Also, the ordinances clearly state the obligations of the owner of the property and that includes the maintenance of the property. In the vacant property registration ordinances, penalties are included should in case the property owner refuses to fulfill their obligation. 

The VPROs help decide who has the title of the owner. Rental properties and institutions like the bank are the parties involved in the vacant property registration process. 

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What is a Property Registration Fee?

Property registration fee refers to the fee you pay after applying for the registration of your property. So, after you have gotten all your documents ready, you must make payment for the registration fees in the state your property is located. 

Ensuring that a deposit is made is an assurance that both parties are committed to the process. You need to ensure that there is an agreement between you and the agents that will register your property should in case you want to withdraw from the registration process. 

Since the U.S. does not have a unified policy on property registration, the property registration fee in individual states is different. Unlike the property transfer fee that is paid by the seller, the property registration fee is usually paid by the buyer. 

If you are registering in California, you will be charged 3% of the price you purchased your property. You must pay this fee within the space of three days after your application has been accepted. In Florida, you will be charged 10%, New York charges 10 to 20% which must be paid within the space of 5 to 10 days.

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What Are the Benefits of Property Registration?

Registering your property has a lot of advantages to you as the owner. Property registration helps add to the value and authenticity of your property. It yields higher investment and proves you as being in possession to help avoid conflict and fraud. The advantages of property registration include the following:

Proof of Ownership:

There is no better way of proving your property besides the proof of ownership issued to you by the government. Just in case any issues arise, the document is a legal document that shows you own the property. The certificate will help protect your rights as the owner of the property. 


There has been a lot of cases of property fraud in the past and unregistered properties are the most vulnerable. To protect your property from fraudsters that may want to sell your property illegally or mortgage it without your knowledge, you need to register with the government. 

For better clarity, it is advised that you have your property formally registered under your name so you can have all the benefits to the land. It helps you get a state-based guarantee that protects your property from any sort of illegal actions. 

Collateral for Loans:

You can have access to loans if your property is registered under a legal official. Should in case you want to apply for loans, the financial institution will demand proof of registration to ensure that your property is registered. Proof of registration helps increase the market value of your property because it is genuine and reliable, which makes it acceptable as a form of collateral. 

Easy Transfer of Ownership:

You need to get your property registered for easy transfer of ownership in the future. You may want to sell the property in the future or choose to offer it as a gift to someone, so, to avoid any sort of complication in the future, all you need is proof of registration. 

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Disadvantages of Property Registration

Registering your properties comes with a few disadvantages but they can’t be compared to the numerous advantages. So, you shouldn’t let yourself get discouraged by the disadvantage because every bit of the process is worth it. Some of the disadvantages of property registration include:

The Process Costs Money:

In the U.S., the percentage charged differs by state. Most of the time, people consider the amount without considering the value it will add to their property. When your property is in New York, you can’t expect that you will be charged this same way in Florida. In most cases, they demand that you make deposits after your application is accepted so you can try to make your money available before the due date.

The Process Can Be Time-Consuming:

Property registration can be very complicated and the process does require time. You need to be very careful in the process of registration and gathering your legal documents to avoid rejection. You need to take your time while at it. First, you will need to apply for property registration. You need to wait for a certain period may be weeks before your application is accepted. Even after you have paid the deposit and sent all the documents, you still need to wait for more time before you can be issued the deed.

You Could Get Rejected:

Although this is not common, it happens. If you are not careful enough, your application can get rejected. That's why you must ensure that your document is legible, complete, and valid. It can be discouraging but you can seek help when it comes to gathering all the vital information. Earlier on, we also mentioned the vital information you need to include in the document you will have to tender for your property registration. 

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What If The Property Is Not Registered?

If you still refuse to register your property after all the rules, then your property is considered illegitimate according to the law and unrecognized. The fact that you haven’t registered your company doesn’t mean that you are not the rightful owner. However, it only brings about some complications that could have been avoided if you register your property. These complications include:

You Won’t Be Able To Transfer Ownership

If your property is not registered, you can't transfer ownership or sell your property. The deed which will be the proof of registration will be needed and if you don't have it then you can't legally sell your property.


Getting your property registered will help get your property more secured by the government. There won't have to be a case of fraud or a situation where your property is used without your knowledge. So, you should get your property registered and get your property secured. red. 

It Will Be Difficult To Prove Your Ownership:

While you know that you are the owner of the property, how will you be able to prove that you are the lawful owner without the deed to prove your ownership? For your ownership to be considered legitimate, you need to get your property registered.

Getting your property registered is very crucial and it has a lot of benefits that can’t be ignored. Whatever amount of money that it will cost you to get your property registered, it is worth it. You won’t have to worry about any complications. 

If you have any questions as regards registering your property anywhere in the U.S., you can reach out to SGPNow.com at sgpnow@safeguardproperties.com and let us help you make things easy.