North Carolina General Statutes § 47-18 Conveyances, contracts to convey, options and leases of land

(a)        No (i) conveyance of land, or (ii) contract to convey, or (iii) option to convey, or (iv) lease of land for more than three years shall be valid to pass any property interest as against lien creditors or purchasers for a valuable consideration from the donor, bargainer or lesser but from the time of registration thereof in the county where the land lies, or if the land is located in more than one county, then in each county where any portion of the land lies to be effective as to the land in that county. Unless otherwise stated either on the registered instrument or on a separate registered instrument duly executed by the party whose priority interest is adversely affected, (i) instruments registered in the office of the register of deeds shall have priority based on the order of registration as determined by the time of registration, and (ii) if instruments are registered simultaneously, then the instruments shall be presumed to have priority as determined by:

(1)        The earliest document number set forth on the  registered instrument.

(2)        The sequential book and page number set forth on the registered instrument if no document number is set forth on the registered instrument.

The presumption created by this subsection is rebuttable.

(b)        This section shall not apply to contracts, leases or deeds executed prior to March 1, 1885, until January 1, 1886; and no purchase from any such donor, bargainor or lessor shall avail or pass title as against any unregistered deed executed prior to December 1, 1885, when the person holding or claiming under such unregistered deed shall be in actual possession and enjoyment of such land, either in person or by his tenant, at the time of the execution of such second deed, or when the person claiming under or taking such second deed had at the time of taking or purchasing under such deed actual or constructive notice of such unregistered deed, or the claim of the person holding or claiming thereunder. (Code, s. 1245; 1885, c. 147, s. 1; Rev., s. 980; C.S., s. 3309; 1959, c. 90; 1975, c. 507; 2003-219, s. 2; 2005-212, s. 2.)

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Last modified: March 23, 2014