A general warranty deed is by far the most common type of deed and is used in traditional property sales between parties that do not know one another. It is the most extensive type of deed with respect to the kinds of protections and representations it makes. A general warranty deed guarantees that the seller of the property has good and marketable title to the property and has the right to pass on such title to a subsequent buyer. The deed also guarantees that the seller will step in on the buyer’s behalf and incur the costs of defending the title or assume liability for the buyer’s damages if necessary.
In some situations, a general warranty deed is not necessary or is not appropriate given the context of the purchase. A special warranty deed can be given when the seller seeks to warrant that he has not engaged in any actions that may impair the quality of title, but makes no representations about whether previous owners have impaired title (such as having outstanding judgments). Thus, this deed does not contain representations about defects in title that arose when the seller was not in possession of the property. Special warranty deeds are typically used in divorce settlements when one spouse conveys title to the family home to the ex-spouse.
A quitclaim deed is the third type of deed used in exchanges of property. This type of deed is often utilized when there is no sale of property in the transaction. The quitclaim deed simply conveys the seller’s interest in the property, regardless of the marketability of that interest or the quality of the title. In a quitclaim deed, the seller does not warrant or make promises as to the nature of his interest in the property, if any exists at all. Buyers should be extremely hesitant to accept a quitclaim deed; if the seller ultimately has no interest in the property, then the buyer cannot obtain damages.
In certain contexts, quitclaim deeds are suitable for the conveyance of property between parties. For example, they are used when a property owner dies and bequeaths the property to an heir. A quitclaim deed is also appropriate where the seller cannot legitimately make warranties about the property. For example, a boundary line between neighbors that is in dispute and not clearly demarcated may be fixed through the use of quitclaim deeds. Neither party can guarantee that he has good and marketable title to the affected property where the property line is contested.
The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at http://www.markweinsteinlaw.com to find out how they can advise you.