A deed is a written legal document that is used primarily to convey real property from a seller to a buyer. There are several different types of deeds that are used in various situations when rights or interests to a property are transferred between individuals. Different types of deeds, such as a warranty deed, are used to convey title covenant to real property by guaranteeing that a property title is free of all encumbrances. Other types of deeds, such as a quit claim deed, transfers an individual's interest in the property to a recipient but does not guarantee the status of a property title.
The key elements of a deed include the names of the old and new owners of the property along with a detailed legal description of the property that is changing ownership. The deed must also be signed by the person who is transferring the property and is usually notarized. There are basically three different types of deeds that are most frequently used when property is transferred.
A grant deed is utilized to transfer ownership of real property from one person to another and promises to the buyer that the seller did nothing during their ownership of the property to create a defect on the property’s title.
A warranty deed is used to transfer property with the highest level of guarantee that the title is free of encumbrances. A warranty deed differs from other deed types as it protects the buyer with a guarantee against any prior or existing claims against the title of the conveyed land. If, during the course of ownership of the property, the buyer has a claim placed on the title from a previous owner, the seller of the property can be held financially accountable to the buyer.
The quit claim deed offers the least amount of protection as to the condition of the title to the property. The quit claim deed conveys any interest the seller has in the property but does not promise or guarantee that the property is free of any encumbrances. Quit claim deeds are usually used to transfer property between family members or trusted individuals or if the seller is unsure of the status of the property’s title.
In order to legally transfer property, the buyer and the seller must have something in writing to document the transaction. This documentation comes in the form of a deed of one type or another and grants title of a property from a seller to the buyer.
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