When you buy, sell, or transfer ownership of a property to another, you need to be aware of what type of deed a property has, and what type of deed to use when you transfer your interest in a property to someone else. The most common types of deeds are quitclaim deeds and warranty deeds.
Bankrate explains in its recent article, “Quitclaim vs. warranty deed: What you need to know,” that a quitclaim deed is a deed that transfers the actual legal rights to property (if any exist) that the grantor has to another person. That is without any representation, warranty, or guarantee. A quitclaim deed gives no guarantee of the title status of a property, any liens against it, or any encumbrances. It really means that you get only what a grantor may have—nothing more. Therefore, if the grantor has nothing, you get nothing.
A quitclaim deed may work well, if the grantor indeed has the legal rights to a property, and there are no liens.
Quitclaim deeds are used in safer situations where there’s little question about the ownership interest in a property. They can be used when a person is transferring ownership of the real estate to family members. However, a warranty deed is generally used in more complex situations, including when someone is getting a mortgage to buy a home.
With a warranty deed, the seller is guaranteeing that she has a defensible ownership interest in the property and can transfer her ownership interest to the buyer.
Warranty deeds are the wiser option when you’re purchasing a property. Buyers want to be certain that you own the property, so they want you to sign a warranty deed. If you don’t actually own the property, the buyer can sue for a breach of warranty.
If you’re transferring property to your child or your revocable trust agreement as part of an estate plan, a quitclaim deed would be just fine because it accomplishes the change of ownership, but you’re not providing any warranty for the transaction.
All real estate transactions that are arm’s length transactions, use warranty deeds.
You should be aware of and understand the type of transaction into which you’re entering. For more information submit our online form to request a consultation with one of our experienced Madison or Rockford attorneys.