Let’s Talk Quit Claim Deeds

Congratulations! You just closed on your first home, or commercial building. You signed what seemed to be a tree’s worth of paper. Somewhere in that stack, the seller signed a piece of paper called a “deed” transferring ownership to you as the new owner. A type of deed that is commonly used is called a quit claim deed.

Okay, first things first. If someone – anyone- refers to the deed as a “quick claim” deed, run away. Quickly. There is no such thing as a “quick claim” deed!

When a quit claim deed is used, the grantor gives only whatever interest, if any, they may have in the real estate to the grantee without any warranty whatsoever. Just remember, the grantor is quite literally quitting any claim from ownership in the property.

From the grantee’s perspective, accepting a conveyance of real property by quit claim deed is much riskier than by warranty or covenant deed as there is no recourse against the grantor for imperfections on title. Transfers to trusts, clearing previous mistakes in the chain of title, and spousal transfers to satisfy a divorce are common examples of quit claim deeds.

Be careful when using this type of deed as either grantor or grantee. I can quit claim you my interest in the Empire State Building, but I assure you, I don’t have any.

Do you have questions on deeds or other legal terms in real estate transactions? Get in touch, we’d love to help.