What are property deeds?
Property deeds are legal instruments that transfer or assign ownership of property from one party to another. This involves real property such as land or a house and lot.
There are various kinds of property deeds.
- Grant Deed.
In a grant deed, the grantor and the grantee is named, as well as the property being transferred. The grantor states that the property has no encumbrances (apart from what is already disclosed), then the grantor signs off the property to the grantee.
- Warranty Deed.
Aside from the characteristics of the grant deed, the warranty deed has a more important addition. This deed makes the grantor (the seller) guarantee to the grantee (the buyer) that there are no defects to the title, and that if such defects come up, the grantor will be the one who will defend the title.
- Special Warranty Deed.
This is basically the same as a warranty deed, but the seller's obligation to defend the title is limited to claims that are related to the seller's ownership of the property, and not for claims from previous owners.
- Quitclaim Deed.
This kind of deed is used to convey the grantor's interest in the property. This means that the grantor does not necessarily wholly own the property. He will just be signing off his interest or the portion he owns in the property. This is used to add or delete an owner from the title, as is the case during a divorce, where a spouse signs off his interest to the other spouse.
- Gift deeds.
This is usually used when the property is given out as a part of an inheritance or donation. This means that the property is transferred without money changing hands.
- Tax Deeds.
This is used when the property is sold in order to pay for back property taxes.
- Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure.
In the event that the buyer is unable to pay for the property, the buyer can negotiate with the lender and will sign off the property instead of having it foreclosed.
Property deeds should be recorded in the county where the property is located, regardless of whether this is required by law or not. This provides protection, both to the seller and to the buyer. For the buyer, recording the transaction would mean that other prospective buyers will see that the property has already been bought.
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