REAL ESTATE: Quit Claim vs. Warranty Deed

A Deed is a document that conveys, or passes, real estate from one party to another. Whether you buy a home, inherit property from your parents or want to add your spouse to your home’s title, a deed is the written, legal document that transfers the title to the real estate. There are two types of Deeds commonly used: a Quit Claim Deed (often erroneously referred to as a “Quick Claim Deed”) and a Warranty Deed. Although they have similar functions, it is important to note their significant differences.

Both types of Deed are signed by the current owner of the property, called the Grantor and contain the legal description of the property, the tax mailing address and the name of the person who the property is being transferred to, called the Grantee. Additional information may be required to be contained in the Deed, depending on the state in which the property is located. This additional information may include the property address, the current address of the Grantor and Grantee, the sales price, and signature of the Grantee.

In a Warranty Deed, the Grantor warranties or guarantees that the property is free of all liens, encumbrances, and claims of third parties. If a claim is presented to the Grantee after the Warranty Deed has been executed, the Grantor who has issued the Warranty Deed is legally responsible to compensate the Grantee for any damages or collection actions. This type of Deed is most commonly used in a traditional sales transaction between unrelated parties, although may also be used in various other types of real estate transactions as well.

In a Quit Claim Deed, the Grantor makes no warranties or guarantees that he or she owns clear and legal title to the property. The Grantor has no obligation to defend the title to the real estate in the event of claims, liens, or encumbrances. The Grantor is simply saying whatever ownership interest he or she may have in the property is being transferred to the Grantee. A Quit Claim deed is often used when the property is not the subject of a traditional sales transaction such as conveying property through a will, as a gift, or to a spouse.

By: Rachele Cummins

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