The deed to a property is a document that completes the transfer of property ownership from one party to another. There are two main types of deeds used for real estate transactions, warranty deeds and non-warranty deeds. Non-warranty deeds are also known as quitclaim deeds. The function of these deeds is the same, but there are legal differences that protect the buyer, or the grantee.
Non-warranty deeds are generally used to grant another individual ownership rights to a property. Conversely, they are used to remove these rights as well. These deeds are not generally used when a property is actually sold, but rather to change the ownership status. Often, non-warranty deeds are used between family members or spouses. For example, John owned a home before he married Sue. After they were married, John used a non-warranty deed to grant co-ownership to Sue. The legal language written in the deed acts to complete this transfer.
Warranty deeds offer a blanket of protection to the grantees. The grantor promises that the property is free and clear of any liens against the property by signing the deed. If a lien is discovered or a claim made on the property, the seller is required to offer assistance to the new owners. This is not the case in a non-warranty deed. The grantee accepts the property as it currently is in regards to liens or other acceptable claims. This is why non-warranty deeds aren't used when a property is purchased for a considerable amount of money.
Non-warranty deeds must state the names of all grantors and grantees. Additionally, a complete legal description of the property must be included. Some states require additional information to be included, such as the name of the individual who prepared the deed or the tax mailing address of the grantees. When the deed is fully prepared, the grantors are required to sign in the presence of a notary public. The notary public completes the acknowledgement section and seals the deed. Some states require additional witnesses to sign also.
County governments keep track of deeds, mortgages and other documents related to the properties within their jurisdiction. After a non-warranty deed is signed and notarized, it must be filed on record with the county clerk or recorder. The recording process is different for most places, but some states or counties may require additional paperwork such as a transfer form to be completed. Furthermore, transfer taxes may be assessed at the time the deed is recorded. The taxes are often calculated by a percentage of the sales price listed on the deed. However, because of the nature of non-warranty deeds a considerable sales price is not often included. Additionally, many governments offer tax exemptions for transfers between family members.
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