What Is a Grant Deed?

Grant deeds are one way to transfer ownership of property from one person to another.

Grant deeds are one way to transfer ownership of property from one person to another.

Grant deeds are one of the most commonly used deed types. In some areas, such as California, they are used almost exclusively. A grant deed, simply put, lists the property that is changing hands, the seller and the buyer. Even so, there are a few rules and requirements that must be in place to use a grant deed.

Purpose

When you're buying property, you'll need a deed as proof of ownership. There are several kinds of deeds, and you should know the difference between them before you buy real estate. A quitclaim deed, for example, is what you'll need if you're giving up your claim to a piece of property. Understandably, these deeds are often used during divorces as part of the settlement. A warranty deed is similar to a grant deed, but with one important difference. Grant deeds imply the property has a clear title and no liens; warranty deeds say that explicitly.

Places Used

In most places, grant deeds are acceptable and often preferred to other deed types. For the few places where grant deeds are not allowed, warranty deeds are used instead. The difference between the two is in how much protection the seller gets. Because grant deeds just imply the title is clear, the seller would have no need to help if a third party later claimed it had a right to the property. On the other hand, because warranty deeds state clearly the title is clear, if someone claimed ownership after the sale, the seller would have to prove the title was clear after all.

Requirements

Grant deeds have a few basic requirements. The seller states that as far as he knows, no one else can lay claim to the land. He also has to put it in writing that he's told the buyer about any loans against the property. This act says to the best of his knowledge, there are no legal or financial problems with the property he hasn't already shared with the buyer.

Property Transfer Examples

All property is equal in the lines of a grant deed. It doesn't matter if you've got a vacant lot, a strip mall or a barn. If it's real property, the flexible grant deed will let you move it from you to some other party.

Terminology

The "grantor" in a grant deed is the person doing the selling or gifting to the "grantee." They may be singular terms, but don't let that fool you. They can describe multiple people. If one name is listed in the title or 100, they all count under the same grantor or grantee term.

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