An individual who holds title to real property is free to transfer all or any part of his title to another individual. A transfer of title generally takes place through the execution of a deed. A deed contains a legal description of the land and the signature of the grantor and must be delivered to the grantee in exchange for valuable consideration. For purposes of recordation and creation of a valid instrument against third parties, a deed requires two witnesses.
A warranty deed contains promises relating to title of the property. The general warranty deed in Georgia states that the grantor, as the rightful owner of the property at the time of the deed, warrants right and title of the property to the grantee free of all encumbrances and promises to defend title to the property against the claims of any other individuals. The general warranty deed mandates that the grantor satisfy these obligations for future claims as the warranty extends to “the grantee, his heirs and assigns.” Specific covenants are implied in the general warranty deed. Georgia law states that a general warranty of title includes the following covenants:
Covenant of title. The covenant of title means that the seller warrants that legal title is vested in the seller and the seller has the right to transfer title of the property to another individual.
Covenant of quiet enjoyment. The covenant of quiet enjoyment is a promise by the seller that the transfered title is free of any adverse claims. This is a future covenant that warrants that if a third party presents a valid claim with respect to the property, the seller may be liable for damages.
Covenant against encumbrances. Pursuant to the covenant against encumbrances, the seller warrants that title to the property is owned free and clear of any liens and encumbrances. This refers to easements, liens, mortgages, leases and all other claims that could attach to the land.
Warranty deeds are the most common type of deed and offer the greatest level of assurance to the buyer. However, a general warranty deed cannot be used by everyone. A joint co-owner with a fractional interest in a property or heirs who have limited knowledge about the history of the inherited property should ideally use a quitclaim deed to convey property.
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.