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Warranty Deed: Legal doc that conveys clear title

Posted on: 29th Jun, 2004 02:35 am
A warranty deed is a legal instrument that is used to transfer the title of a property from one person (grantor) to another (grantee). The most important feature of this deed is that here the grantor promises that the title is clear and free of liens. One major benefit of this deed is that it provides protection to you as the grantor warrants that he/she is the owner of the property and the property is free of outstanding liens.

What are the types of warranty deed?

There are 2 types of warranty deeds used for title transfer. They are:

1. General Warranty Deed:
This legal document guarantees that the grantor (or seller) is the legal owner of the property and no other person has an interest in the property, unless otherwise stated on the deed.

The guarantee offered in the General Deed is not limited to the time the grantor owned property. The grantor can be held liable for any title problems existing before they owned the property, as well as during ownership.

  • How it protects the grantee -
    A General Deed includes 6 types of covenants (agreements between the parties involved) divided into the following categories:

    1. Present Covenant: This represents the grantor's promise that he has legaltitle and possession to the property. The grantor's promise that the title is clear and free of any liens is also part of this covenant.

    2. Future Covenant: This includes the grantor's promise to protect the grantee against any other person claiming title. In some states, this covenant protects the grantor's promise to provide the legal documents necessary to prove that the title passed by the deed is valid.

  • When grantor is held liable -
    If the grantee finds out that someone else owns interest in property that was not listed in the title record, then they have the right to sue the grantor. If there is a defect in property-title such as a tax lien, mortgage claim, judgment, etc, then the grantee or buyer can hold the grantor or seller liable if the defect was not present in the title record.
2. Special or Limited Warranty Deed:

The Special/Limited or Statutory Warranty Deed does not offer as much protection as the General deed.
  • How it protects the grantee -
    The deed conveys grantor's title to the grantee and protects the latter against title defects or claims arising only during the grantor's ownership. The grantor warrants that there are no liens on the property unless otherwise stated on the deed or present in the title record.

    The Special Warranty Deed allows the grantee or buyer to ask the grantor for compensation to fix problems with the property which actually originated during the grantor's ownership in the property if they are guaranteed by the grantor. If a defect in the condition of the property is not warranted in the deed or disclosed prior to closing, then the grantor is not liable for it.

How do you make the deed valid?

The deed should provide the legal description of the property to be transferred. It should be drafted with respect in the state where the property is located. Moreover, the deed should be signed and witnessed by a notary. Check out a sample form given below in the Related References section.

The deed is delivered to the buyer at the time of closing. The buyer then records the deed at the County Recorder's office. The deed should be recorded within the specific period required by state law in order to be valid.

A Warranty Deed offers greater protection than a quitclaim deed. So, whether you're selling property or transferring it to a trust, this kind of deed can serve you the best. When purchasing property, the buyer should supplement the deed by purchasing title insurance policy. Both the deed and the policy can help protect the lender and the buyer against disputes concerning ownership or liens on property.

Related Forum Discussions

Related References

Hi Mackenzie,

It seems that you have already asked a similar question earlier in the forum. I have replied to you there. To view what I have suggested, please refer to:
Posted on: 19th Aug, 2007 11:39 pm
I'm selling my house to my cousin for financial reasons, but I would like to purchase it back from him within six months. Would a quit claim be the way to go to get my name back on the title?
Posted on: 21st Aug, 2007 08:08 pm
hi pete,

welcome to the forum.

you can use both a quitclaim deed or a warranty deed to get your name on the title. but when you wish to purchase the house after 6 months, it will be better if you use the warranty deed as it warrants that the person transferring the property is the legal owner of the property before the transfer. you don't get such assurance with a quit claim deed. but for transferring property rights through a warranty deed, the proeprty should be clear off any lien on it. to know more on why a warranty deed is better than a quitclaim deed, you may refer to:
Posted on: 22nd Aug, 2007 12:55 am
Hi Everyone,

Wow, this is a wonderful forum!! I like it. There's so much great information to read. I have a few questions.

My cousin had a Grant Deed in her name (a single woman). In February, she quitclaimed the deed to my mom. However, the mortgage (still in my cousin's name) was not paid off yet. So my mom made the last payoff to the mortgage on March. The bank sent documents and reconveyance papers to my cousin just a week ago saying that everything has been paid in full and satisfied. She gave my mom the documents. (1) Does this mean my mom has the complete property and all the rights to it as the date of the last documents received? (2) Can my mom use a Grant Deed or Warranty Deed to give the property to her 7 children? and (3) Isn't there something we can do that makes the property it's own entity (where it is safe from ANYTHING) and have all 7 children be trustees/owners of the property where if one child messes up in life, it wouldn't affect the property for the other siblings?

Thanks all!!

Posted on: 16th Sep, 2007 10:35 pm
Hi Guest,

When your mom has received all the documents of the deed from her cousin and the mortgage is also paid off, then it means that she has gained her complete property ownership rights towards it. And I think your mom should use a grant deed to transfer the property to her 7 children as this type of deed will help to transfer the ownership and at the same time ensuring that no other person can claim any rights on the property after the transfer.

After the property is transferred, each of the children will receive their individual shares. And even if one child messes up his property, it will not have an impact on the properties of the other siblings.
Posted on: 16th Sep, 2007 11:32 pm
Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for the appreciation. :)

If the loan has been paid off and your cousin has received the reconveyance papers, then your mom need not worry. Now, she will be the owner of the property with all rights on it. And, she can transfer it to whoever she wishes to. But the heirs need to be careful about taking any loan against the home and paying off property taxes because any unpaid debt on the home be it loan payments or back taxes may lead the heirs into trouble. There's the possibility that they may lose the home if they cannot fulfill the financial obligations attached to the home.

Good luck
Posted on: 18th Sep, 2007 11:00 am
My 80 year old friend was taken to daughters attorney 3 weeks after her husband died. They had her sign lots of papers, the daughter told my friend she had to do this. One of the papers were to sign was to make her daughter joint tenant on her home. She said it was a warranty deed that was filed. Can she do anything to get her home back?
Posted on: 20th Sep, 2007 10:24 am
Hi Doris,

Welcome to forums.

If it's a joint tenancy on the property, then your friend is co-owner. In that case she already occupies a certain part of the property. However, if she wants to get back the entire share of interest in the property, then that's a different issue and she will have to wait till the daughter agrees to give it her back.

Posted on: 21st Sep, 2007 11:28 am
I had an attorney draw up a warranty deed conveying the property to my wife from me.In looking at the deed there is a one-half undivided interest in and to clause in this.Does this mean we still both have ownership?
Posted on: 23rd Sep, 2007 03:11 pm
Hi John,

In the warranty deed, if it is mentioned that a portion of the property is in undivided interest, it means that the ownership of that portion of the property is in both of your names. But if you are conveying the entire property to your wife, then in that case, there should not be written something like this in the deed. You should talk to the attorney about this and ask him to make the required correction on the deed.
Posted on: 25th Sep, 2007 12:44 am
What steps do I have to take in order to transfer ownership of our mobile home to my son's, which we own in full. Also, how long does it have to be in my son's name in order for the state not to take it if we were to end up in a nursing home and how does it affect his taxes?
Posted on: 26th Nov, 2007 06:55 am
Hi Julie,

Welcome to this forum.

You can use a quitclaim deed, but I think it will be better if you use a warranty deed. Because it assures your children that the property is free of any kind of liens. Take help from a lender. He will help you in the process. Now as soon as you notarized the deed and record it in the county recorder office, it will be a valid deed and the property will be in your son's name.

Posted on: 27th Nov, 2007 04:17 am
After the divorce, my ex-husband refinanced our home and had me sign a quick claim deed when he was approved. I am afraid that there is a lot of debt and loans against the home, whiat happens if he can not make payments, will the bank come after me as I had orginally signed the mortgage or because I signed the quick claim deed, does this mean they can not come after me?
Posted on: 04th Dec, 2007 12:36 pm
Hello Heather,

If you are on the mortgage note along with your ex-husband, then you are responsible for the mortgage payments in case your ex-husband defaults.

But are you sure that you are still there on the loan after the refinance?

If you have signed a quit claim deed, that will only remove your name from the title and not from the mortgage. But if your ex-husband has refinanced the mortgage in his name only, then you are already out of it and not financially liable for the loan.
Posted on: 05th Dec, 2007 05:20 am
we need to take out equity from the property my husband has a low score that no bank could be able to help us so the loan officer mention to be able to get the extra equity to payoff my bills he will need to quit claim the mortgage because my score were alot higher they could only be able to payoff my debts just need to know will he still be on title
Posted on: 12th Dec, 2007 07:51 pm
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