At closing on a property, a seller delivers a deed to a buyer. This important legal document transfers the real property from the seller to the buyer and provides evidence of ownership of the real property to the buyer. However, not all deeds are created equal.
A general warranty deed specifically includes the phrase “conveys and warrants”. These deeds include several warranties which the seller is making to the buyer. The seller warrants that he is the lawful owner of the property at the time the deed is made and delivered and that he has the right to transfer the property. The seller warrants that the property is free from all encumbrances or liens. The seller also warrants that he will defend title to the estate so that the buyer and the buyer’s heirs and assigns may enjoy quiet and peaceable possession with the right to transfer.
A special warranty deeds limits the responsibility of the seller by stating that seller is only warranting what the deed specifically states. Often, the seller only warrants that he did nothing to impair the title to the property during the period of time that he held title. No warranty is typically provided for anything that occurred prior to the seller owning the property.
A quitclaim deed only conveys to the buyer all of the legal or equitable rights the seller has in the property that exist at the time of transfer. There are no warranties of title. This type of deed provides the least amount of protection for a buyer.
The type of deed a buyer receives clearly has a substantial impact upon the extent to which he is assured of title. For more information about deeds and other property issues, please contact an experienced attorney at the law firm of Paulson & Paulson, PLC.