Quitclaim Deed

A Quitclaim Deed, often simply referred to as a "quitclaim," is a legal document used to transfer an individual's interest in a property to another party.

The property deeds establish the transfer of real property. There are a number of property deeds. It is usually either private or official. Among these, quitclaim deeds is the most common property deed.

Quitclaim deeds is possibly the easiest one to understand as it doesn’t really involve that much of a legal instrument. The most common use of a quitclaim deed is to transfer property between family. It is also a common practice to cure a defect on the title such as the misspelling of a name with a quitclaim deed.

Generally, you will want to transfer property with quitclaim deed between family members or with people that you really trust. This is because quitclaim deeds offer very low buyer protection. While warranty deeds—another common type of property deed offer high buyer protection.

One thing to keep in mind about quitclaim deeds is it affects the ownership, not the mortgage. So a quitclaim deed is only going to change the name on the deed.

Accepting a Quitclaim Deed

Since quitclaim deeds offer the least buyer protection, you should only accept it from grantors you trust. For those who don’t know, the grantor means the seller of the property. Because quitclaim deeds do not give any warranty about the quality of the grantor’s property, you should always check everything from bottom to top about the property you’re accepting with a quitclaim deed.

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The bottom line here is quitclaim deeds are not any different than other types of deeds but only if the title (property) is in good condition. As long as you trust the grantor, a quitclaim deed can save a lot of the burden that comes with transferring property.

How Does a Quitclaim Deed Work?

1. Transfer of Ownership

  • A grantor, the current property owner, conveys their interest in the property to a grantee, the recipient.
  • This transfer of ownership can include full or partial interest in the property.

2. No Guarantees

  • One critical aspect of a quitclaim deed is that it does not guarantee the title’s validity or the absence of liens or encumbrances.
  • The grantor essentially “quits” their claim to the property without assuming responsibility for any potential issues.

3. Common Uses

  • Quitclaim deeds are frequently used in family or divorce situations when transferring property between family members or spouses.
  • They are also used to clear up minor title issues or to add or remove someone from a property’s title.

Quitclaim Deed vs. Warranty Deed

Quitclaim deeds are distinct from warranty deeds in several ways. Here’s a comparison:

AspectQuitclaim DeedWarranty Deed
Title GuaranteesNo guarantees of clear titleProvides clear title guarantees
Used ForOften used in family transfersCommon in standard property sales
LiabilityLimited liability for grantorGrantor assumes full liability
Title SearchMinimal title research neededExtensive title research required
Title InsuranceTypically no title insuranceCommonly includes title insurance
Quitclaim Deed vs. Warranty Deed

Benefits of Using a Quitclaim Deed

  1. Simplicity: Quitclaim deeds are relatively simple and straightforward, making them suitable for various property transfers.
  2. Family Transfers: Ideal for transferring property between family members or as part of estate planning.
  3. No Warranty Worries: Since no warranties are provided, it can be a quick way to transfer property without extensive legal processes.

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