Attorneys Stephen Korshak and Lee Karina Dani

What are the differences between a Quit Claim Deed and a Warranty Deed?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Quitclaim Deeds |

Real estate transactions can involve many legal documents and intricacies that may leave individuals feeling overwhelmed. One essential document you should always pay attention to during a transaction is a deed because it outlines the legal transfer of property from a buyer to a seller.

Two common types of deeds, a quit claim deed and warranty deed, can be crucial concerns in property transfers. Breaking down the differences between these documents can better ensure that you have the information needed for a successful real estate transaction.

What is a Quit Claim Deed?

This is a legal document used to transfer the ownership interest of a property. Unlike a warranty deed, it makes no guarantees about the property’s title status. Instead, it simply transfers whatever interest the seller holds in the property to the buyer. Common scenarios where a quit claim deed might be appropriate include transfers between family members, adding or removing a spouse from the property title due to marriage or divorce or clarifying uncertainties in ownership.

While a quit claim deed has obvious limitations, it can work if the grantor truly has legal rights to the property in question and the real estate doesn’t have liens or title issues. However, if the seller didn’t have the right to transfer ownership of the property, the new owner would have no warranty protection.

What is a Warranty Deed?

On the other hand, a warranty deed is a more comprehensive legal document. In addition to transferring ownership, it includes a guarantee, or warranty, from the seller to the buyer that the property’s title is clear of any defects or encumbrances. Warranty deeds are typically employed in traditional property sales where the buyer expects higher assurance regarding the property’s title. This deed provides greater protection for the buyer against any undisclosed issues that may arise in the future.

Whether you’re opting for the simplicity of a quit claim deed or the comprehensive protection of a warranty deed, your choice should align with the unique circumstances of your transaction. By seeking legal guidance, you can make a truly informed decision that better safeguards your interests.