What is a Deed?
A deed is a legal document used to convey the transfer of a real estate property from the seller (grantor), to the buyer (grantee).
To be valid, deeds need to contain the following information:
– The name and signature of the seller
– The name and signature of the buyer
– A comprehensive description of the transferred property, including any chattels or fixtures
Although the buyer is not obliged to record the signed deed for it to go into effect, the document still needs to be filed with the local land records office, usually called the County Recorder, the Land Registry Office or the Register of Deeds.
What types of deeds are there?
The different kinds of deeds illustrate the varying degree the seller (grantor) can guarantee protection to the buyer regarding future claims to the property.
– General Warranty Deed – offers the buyer the highest level of protection. By signing a general warranty deed, the seller makes specific promises, called covenants. One of them refers to the absence of easements (right to use another’s property for a specific and limited purpose) not previously mentioned. Another one insures the grantee (buyer) that there are no other legal claims to the property by a third party. If that is false, the buyer can sue the seller for any inherited unsettled debts or issues regarding the property that come to light at any point after the transaction is completed.
– Special Warranty Deed – the main difference between a general and special warranty deed is the share of the property’s history for which the parties are willing to be accountable. That is, in the case of a special warranty deed, the seller accepts responsibility only for any claims or issues regarding the transferred property that may have originated during the seller’s ownership of said property.
– Quitclaim Deed – this document is used to pass on any remaining interests in a property, usually in a money-free exchange between family members or legal entities representing the same company, without guarantees to the property title. In case of future claims to the property by a third party, the buyer can’t sue the seller.
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