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Help Guide

Special warranty deeds (known as limited warranty deeds in some states) are useful for transferring title to a buyer in a real estate transaction. As opposed to quit claim deeds, which make no warranties, special warranty deeds make warranties to the buyer as to the status of the title. Basically, the seller, called the grantor in the deed, is promising to the buyer, or grantee, that the seller has proper title to the property and warrants the title against defects in clear title that may have arisen during the grantor's ownership of the property but not against any defects that may have arisen prior to the grantor's ownership.

Recording Your Deed

Every deed should be recorded with the appropriate local office, usually called the County Recorder's Office or County Clerk's Office. As every county has its own specific filing requirements, we recommend contacting your local office to see if it requires any supplemental forms, whether it has any special requirements you need to complete, and also if you need help writing a proper legal description.

  • Leave all margins blank. Our special warranty deed sets the margin default sizes at one inch except for the top of the first page, which is three inches to give extra space for official use only. Your local office will inform you whether you need to vary these sizes somewhat.
  • Do not staple multiple pages together unless your local office specifically permits it.
  • All signatures on the document must be originals—not copied, printed, or stamped.
  • If the seller is conveying any part of the marital homestead, both spouses must sign.
  • In most states, your special warranty deed will be considered effective and executed once it has been both signed by the grantor(s) and also delivered and accepted by the grantee. Note: the grantee normally does not need to sign; however, in a few counties across the nation, the grantee is also required to sign. Be sure to ask your local office if you think this might apply to you, or you can simply have the grantee sign it below the grantor's signature anyway just to be safe. Although recording is not always required, it is highly recommended that you do record as soon as possible, because it will protect you from potential adverse claims to your title by other parties. Every person listed in the deed should receive a copy of the deed, and the original should be recorded.

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