When you sell a home, you transfer the title of that home to the buyer. A home’s title represents the rights to a given property. It means that you have ownership and can access, modify, and transfer that interest to others. The document that conveys the title to the new owner is called a deed. The deed contains the names of the previous and new owners, a legal description of the property, and is signed by the person transferring the property.
A property deed can take on various forms. Among the more common types of deeds in real estate transactions are grant deeds (also known as warranty deeds) and quitclaim deeds.
Grant deed: A grant deed transfers ownership and guarantees that the seller has the right to sell the property and the title is free of encumbrances, except as spelled out in the deed. By providing a grant deed, the grantor assures the buyer (or grantee) that his or her is good and there are no liens or debts associated with the property.
Quitclaim deed: a quitclaim deed transfers any ownership interest a person has in a property, with no extra protections extended to grantees. It makes no guarantees about the legitimacy or extent of the person’s interest. In addition, if any challenges to the property arise, grantors cannot be held liable.
Why use a quitclaim deed?
Quitclaim deeds are most commonly used to clear a defect on the title and to transfer properties between family members or spouses after a divorce. A quit claim deed is, on one hand, a convenient and fast way to transfer property, as it involves no money, no title search, and no title insurance. On the other hand, it offers the new owner the least amount of protection and is not used for real estate sales.
While this type of real estate transaction occurs primarily between family members, it can also be used when a title insurance company finds a potential additional owner of a property and wants to protect it against subsequent claims. In this case, the insurance companies might request the additional owner(s) to sign a quitclaim deed.
How to fill out and file a quitclaim?
Quitclaim deeds must include information on the property, date of transfer, location, and the names of those involved (grantor and grantee). You can obtain a quitclaim deed form from your attorney or real estate professional. These forms are also readily available online for download, such as on your county’s recorder’s website or on your local government’s recorder page. To be valid, the document must be signed, notarized, and filed with the county clerk where the property is located.
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