get DEED or COntract/ so you cant snake my DEAL?

i have been getting the deed but i have been told if someone comes behind me and owner signs and he files his first i am out. On the ontehr had i heard that if i had a contract dated and signed first that i was safe… which is the best way to go if i want to tie the propery up so that another investor cant snake it from me. but at the same time ill have an out if there happens to be a butt load of leins??? thanks any response is appriciated

Howdy Shaamrock:

Get the deed and get it recorded. A contract is of no protection if the seller is greedy and wants to sell it over and over. I had a lady in Houston 20 years ago that sold her house 10 times in a pre-foreclosure and actually got earnest money from several of the buyers paid directly to her. I was lucky enough to not be one of them but I did get a contract signed. Later found out that she deeded the house to her attorney for divorce and other legal fees. All the other contracts were not valid either. They all had legal claims but she had their money. What good is a claim without assets. ZERO.

You will also have recourse against the owner if you get a deed and then another later deed is recorded before yours is recorded but the same thing may happen trying to sue a dry hole.

If you are concerned about recording a deed and then finding liens then you may want to form a shell partnership and if there are liens just let it sit and nothing happen. The property will eventually be sold for back taxes or some how will be disposed of. You can also offer pennies on the dollar on the liens or wait until the end of 7 years and they will go away unless re-filed. A lot of caveats here but that may be one way to get around the lien problem. I have never done this but there may be a way to rescind a deed. An attorney would be helpful here. Good question!!! Hope we get some of the legal experts to help here.


In Texas, you must record your deed before some other person records theirs if they are unaware that you have a deed also. A person who purchase the property after you get your deed but who records theirs first without notice of yours is know as a “bona fide purchaser” (BFP). A BFP will have superior title to your deed. So, don’t wait around to record your deed.
A contract does not give you protection. One thing that you can do if you think that the seller might try to wiggle out of your contract or sell to someone else after you have a contract is to file a “memorandum of contract”. This is a notarized statement filed in the real property records that says that you have a contract to buy. The terms of the contract do not have to be in the memorandum. By recording it, you put the world on notice that you have a contract and they cannot buy the property without your contract terminating.

as for as liens are concerned is it true that after 7 years all prior liens attached to the house detach themselfs? So any prior liens that lasted 7 years i dont have to worry about?
thanks Tommy

No. It depends on the type of lien. In Texas, tax liens do not go away that I am aware of. Judgment liens are good for 10 years and may be renewed for a 10 year period by filing a writ of execution.