The Differences between a Quit Claim and a Warranty Deed

Posted on the December 18th, 2012 under Legal Guides by admin

If you are buying or selling property, you are going to see a lot of paperwork. There are many different documents involved in a real estate transaction and all of these documents have different uses. Two documents that you may come across are a quit claim deed and a warranty deed. These are very different documents and understanding what both of them do is essential.

Quit claim deeds are used when the person selling the property does not actually own it but does have the responsibility of selling it. If for instance, the owner of the property has died and his children are selling it then a quit claim deed would be needed. This type of deed is also used when a couple is married and the owner of a property wants to add the name of the new spouse to the title for the property. Quit claim deeds offer protection to buyers but a low level of protection. In most instances, quit claim deeds are used when the property being sold will actually remain within the same family.

A warranty deed however, it used in almost all real estate sales. The warranty deed is presented by the seller and states that he or she actually owns the property that is being sold and that there are no liens on that property. Essentially, it is a statement saying that it is theirs to sell and theirs alone. The buyer can assume that the seller has the legal right to sell the property and that there will be no claims made on the property by anyone else. Warranty deeds are normally accompanied by title insurance policies to further protect real estate buyers.

There are some real estate transactions that do require both a warranty and a quit claim deed. If for instance the property being sold is on the border of a lake or river and the actual ownership of the underwater area of land where the property stands is not completely clear, then both deeds may be needed to help protect the buyer and to legally complete the transaction.

Those who are planning to buy or sell property should consult with a real estate attorney to ensure that they know which type of deed they require. The laws in your area may be very different from other areas and consulting an attorney who knows the laws in your state is essential. Speaking with an experienced lawyer will ensure that you are not going to be facing legal issues down the road. For instance, if you purchase property that someone else actually has a claim to, you could face a legal battle in the future. An attorney will help you to determine which deed is right for your property and how you should proceed with the transaction.

Real estate transactions can be confusing, particularly considering the number of documents that are required. Before you buy or sell a property, speak with an attorney to ensure that you are doing everything needed to make the transaction legal.

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