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Understanding the different types of deeds

Whether you are looking to purchase or sell property, a deed is an essential part of the process. In short, it certifies that the party looking to make a transaction with the property has the right to do so. 

There are different types of deeds, and depending upon what you are looking to do with the property, a certain type of deed could be most beneficial to you. In order to make that determination, it can be helpful to review the main categories for deeds.

Warranty and special warranty

As the name indicates, a warranty deed provides a type of guarantee to the buyer by the seller. If the buyer discovers that the specific guarantee is not true, the buyer is able to seek and receive damages from the seller through the courts under this warranty. The general warranty covers five specific guarantees, or covenants:

  1. Seisin (sole ownership of the property)
  2. Right to convey
  3. No undisclosed encumbrances
  4. Quiet enjoyment
  5. General warranty (protection from harm due to title defects)

Under the general warranty deed, the seller is responsible for the warranty for himself or herself, as well as any previous owners. However, under a special warranty, the seller is only responsible for the warranty of the property during the time he or she has been the owner.

Fee simple

A fee simple deed denotes that the seller is selling the property to the buyer "fee simple." In other words, the seller is acknowledging that he or she has full and complete ownership of the property, and is able to relinquish those same rights to the buyer.


A quitclaim deed is common for abandoned or unclaimed property. It is important to understand that unlike the other deed types, this deed does not bestow rights to the property. Rather, it verifies that a party that could have rights to the property is releasing them, which can allow another party to claim rights to the property.

There are a few variations of deeds that fall under the different deed types. Consider how the different deed types could benefit your situation to determine the best option for you.

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