steve salsbury and tara hartson looking over a survey map

Legal Descriptions

A property description is a written document describing a piece of land. It is used to transfer the title of property when incorporated into a legal document known as a deed. At Herrick & Salsbury, Inc. we have experience writing many types of property descriptions. Our work is found throughout the registry of deeds and has served thousands of clients in title transfer over the years. 

In Maine, many descriptions are written in metes (to measure or assign by measure) and bounds (boundary lines or property limits) format and share characteristics such as: 

  1. A general description of the location
  2. A specific description which contains:
    1. A point of beginning
    2. Courses and distances
    3. Monuments and adjoiners
    4. Area
  3. Notation of any easements benefitting or burdening the property
  4. A source which gives information as to the history of the title

Other types of descriptions include:

  • Description by reference
  • Description by fractional part
  • Description by proportion
  • Description by strip or line

We prepare a variety of legal descriptions, the most common being a metes and bounds description. This type of description gives directions and distances around the property so that others know what you own for property. With the assistance of an attorney, our descriptions are then placed between a heading (to and from) and signatures at the end (sometimes our descriptions will be at the end of the deed which is typically referred to as Exhibit A), thereby turning them into legal documents known as deeds. The deed then gets recorded at the registry of deeds. 

What Our Clients Say


Herrick & Salsbury worked on our Franklin and Sanford sites. The team provided everything we asked for in a professional manner. I would recommend them without hesitation.

Jeffrey F. Mahaney, Maine Public Radio

Getting Started

Have questions on property descriptions or what to expect? Check out our FAQs or reach out via our contact page.