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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 Mary,

Welcome to the forum.

Is your mother also on the title?

Your mother cannot just remove him if she has quitclaimed the property to him. She should request him to quitclaim the property back to her.

If he does not agree to quitclaim back to her then she will have to prove that the deed was invalid.

Best of luck,
Posted on: 01st Mar, 2008 11:36 am
My husband & I want to title on death deed our house to our 3 boys. If I die first, can my husband change the title on death deed to give it to someone else?
Posted on: 03rd Apr, 2008 01:10 pm
Hi Sue,

Welcome to forums.

I think you're talking about a Transfer-on-death deed. Yes your husband can change the deed after you pass away. This is because he is one of the grantors on the deed.

Posted on: 03rd Apr, 2008 11:31 pm
Condo with existing mortgate in my name only. want to get property out of my name. would quit claim or warranty deed accomplish this? Or is the best way to actually have son purchase property?
Posted on: 06th Apr, 2008 08:29 am
Hi naya,

Welcome to the forum.

You cannot use a quitclaim deed in this case as it is a mortgage property. You should better use a quitclaim deed. BTW have you taken the lender's consent? If you don't take the lender's consent then the lender may call sale on due.

To know more about it, please have a look on "Due-on-sale Clause" article at

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

Best of luck,
Posted on: 06th Apr, 2008 10:48 pm
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