The Differences Between a Warranty Deed and a Quit Claim

By: Craig Berger

There can sometimes be some confusion about the distinction between a general warranty deed and a quit claim deed and which one is needed for a given situation. The difference is actually fairly simple to understand once it is broken down.

What is a General Warranty Deed?

A general warranty deed is a deed in which a seller assures that he owns the piece of property mentioned on the deed and is legally empowered to sell it to the buyer. Within the general warranty deed are six Covenants for Title. These are essentially promises that the seller makes regarding the property: They break down as follows:

Ã?â‚?? Covenant Against Encumbrances
This is a promise by the seller that the property is unencumbered by something such as a lien or a mortgage.

Ã?â‚?? Covenant of Seisin and Covenant of the Right to Convey
These are promises by the seller that he or she owns the property and is entitled to sell it.

The above three are known as the present covenants because if they are violated, they are violated immediately upon signing. The following are future covenants because they may be violated after the title has passed to the new owner:

Ã?â‚?? Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
The covenant of quiet enjoyment insures that the buyer will enjoy undisturbed use of the property for as long as he resides on said property.

Ã?â‚?? Covenant of Warranty
This protects the buyer against other parties that may approach later claiming title on the property.

Ã?â‚?? Covenant of Further Assurances
This assures that if there is a problem with the legal transmission of title due to a mistake by the seller, the seller will do whatever is necessary to make sure the title passes to the buyer.

What is a Quit Claim Deed?

A quit claim deed is a deed wherein anyone who may have an interest in a piece of property relinquishes his or her claims to that property. The quit claim deed provides no promise that the signing party (the grantor), has any actual interest in the property or control over the property. It contains no covenants or promises other than to release any possible property claim to the grantee. It is commonly used for between family members to make sure there are no complications in the transfer of property from, for example, one spouse to another.

You should consult your real estate professional to determine which type of deed you require. They will be able to answer your specific questions about the title transfer process. In general, if you are selling a property to a neutral party, you will probably require some form of general warranty deed.

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