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Quitclaim Deed vs Warranty Deed

Quitclaim deeds are often used for transfers between family members or those well known to each other. Quitclaim deeds are seldom used for traditional real estate property sales of residential homes or investment property but a few states use them specifically for that purpose and a quitclaim deed is considered the standard deed for real estate conveyance in those states. In these states, warranties on the title are obtained through title insurance (which is actually standard in all states) and sales contracts list the buyer's ability to secure title insurance as a contingency of sale. The effect of using a quitclaim in these states is that the seller is completely un-tethered from the title or any question regarding the title after closing unless the seller makes warranties to the title company.

With a warranty deed, the grantor (seller) makes the following guarantees to the grantee (buyer):

     1. Covenant of seisin (possession) - the grantor warrants that they have clear title to the property and the legal right to convey it.

     2. Covenant against encumbrances - the grantor warrants that the property is free of encumbrances apart from those of record or disclosed to the buyer.

     3. Covenant of quiet enjoyment - the grantor guarantees that the title is free of any defects and that grantor will defend the title against claims from any and all persons.

     4. Covenant of further assurance - the grantor promises to deliver any document or instrument necessary to perfect the title (make the title good).

With a special warranty deed, the grantor (seller) warrants that the premises are free from all encumbrances made by the grantor, and that the grantor, his heirs, executors, administrators and successors will warrant and defend the same to the grantee, his heirs, successors and assigns forever against the lawful claims and demands of all persons claiming by, through or under the grantor, but against none other. Please note:

     1.There is no guarantee against encumbrances that may have been present when the grantor received the property.

     2. There is no guarantee against title defects that may have been present when the grantor received the property, nor does it obligate the grantor to do anything further once the title is transferred.