When a house is transferred from the previous owner (the grantor) to the new one (the grantee), it’s done so with a property deed. Although there are many classifications for a deed, most property deeds are considered private. Deeds are also classified according to the type of title warranty that the grantor provides.
General warranty deeds offer a high level of buyer protection, while quitclaim deeds usually provide the least. A quitclaim deed is often used when a property is transferred between family members or to cure a defect on its title. In most cases, the parties involved know each other and accept the risks associated with it.
Since quitclaim deeds offer the lowest level of buyer protection, it’s important to know all of the nuances involved when purchasing a property this way.
Remember That a Quitclaim Deed Offers Minimal Protection
When using this non-warranty deed, the grantor isn’t required to make a promise or offer a warranty concerning the quality of the title. He or she only “remises, releases and quitclaims” his or her interest in the property to its acquiring owner.
Remember to Only Accept a Quitclaim Deed From a Trustworthy Grantor
Since the property’s grantee acquires no right of warranty against its grantor, it’s important to only accept a quitclaim deed from someone you know and trust. For example, when a married couple owns a property and divorces, one of the parties may use a quitclaim deed to eliminate his or her interest in the property. In another instance, a parent may use a quitclaim deed to transfer a property to a child.
Remember That You Can Use a Quitclaim Deed to Fix a Defected Title
In addition to transferring property, a quitclaim deed can be used to fix a defected title. This could include mistakes as simple as a misspelling or a missing signature.
Remember That a Quitclaim Deed Affects Owners and Not the Mortgage
Since the grantee of a quitclaim deed exposes himself or herself to certain risks, it’s often only used in transactions where there isn’t an exchange of money. That’s why quitclaim deeds aren’t usually used if there’s an outstanding mortgage on the property – and if they are, the grantor remains liable for the mortgage after transfer.
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.