Document Preparation

General Information

Legal instruments such as warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, etc., that convey title from one property owner to a new owner, are usually drafted by attorneys, paralegals or legal secretaries under the supervision of an attorney. The forms used for various types of deeds are available at office supply businesses or online through the State Bar of Wisconsin.


Effective June 25, 2010, the cost to record a real estate document in a county Register of Deeds office will be $30 regardless of the number of pages. This is subject to change as redaction projects are completed.


The grantor and grantee (seller and buyer) must be identified on the deed. The grantor’s signature which has been notarized, and a legal description of the property being conveyed must be on the deed. The return address of the person who is to receive the deed after it has been recorded is required.

Only the original deed with original signatures may be recorded with the Register of Deeds, not photocopies. The drafter's name must also appear on the document.


The moment that the correctly prepared deed is handed from one owner to the next is the moment of actual conveyance. Then it is wise to protect one’s interest by recording the deed with the Register of Deeds. The recording fee is $30 per document.

Real Estate Electronic Transfer Return (eRETR)

A Wisconsin Real Estate Electronic Transfer Return, most of the time, must accompany deeds which are to be recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds. Submit your Wisconsin real estate transfer return electronically online. If there are any questions about the electronic transfer return, contact the State Department of Revenue at 608-266-1594.

The Register of Deeds suggests the public contact their attorney if any legal questions arise regarding the completion of their deeds.

Recorded Document Checklist

  • A complete return address is required
  • Deeds and land contracts require real estate transfer return
  • Grantee, grantor, etc. must be plainly identified
  • Pages should be legible, with the ink dark and crisp
  • Signatures must be notarized
  • The legal description should be complete, accurate
  • The name of the drafter must be present
  • The proper fee must accompany the document
We will review your document for these items but the ultimate responsibility for a complete and correct document is yours.