Navigating the Different Types of Property Deeds

Posted by Team - 11 June, 2014


ID 100215176Deeds come in multiple forms and with varying levels of protection. From administrator’s deeds and quit claim deeds to traditional and special warranty deeds, understanding the difference between deeds will save you time and money. Whether you’re researching property, genealogy or your next investment, carefully review the differences between deed types. 

Common Deeds

Of all property deeds, the most common are warranty deeds. By ensuring the property is free of liens and debts, warranty deeds offer interested parties peace of mind prior to signing on the dotted line. The following deed types are considered common:

  • Traditional warranty deeds. Traditional warranty deeds are generally issued when a real estate transaction involves a residential property. Receipt of a traditional warranty guarantees the property lacks debts and the accuracy of ownership history is intact.
  • Special warranty deeds. Unlike a traditional warranty deed, special warranty deeds do not guarantee the accuracy of ownership throughout the life of the property. Instead, special warranty deeds, often used for commercial property or estate sales, guarantee a deed is claim-free for the period of time the current owner has been on the deed.
  • Bargain and sale deed. Used in transfer of property when there has been a court seizure or an estate sale, the bargain and sale deed does not guarantee that a property is free from debts or liens.
  • Grant deed. When interest in a property will be exchanged or forfeited for an established price, a grant deed may be issued. No protection for title defects is offered with this deed.
  • Quit claim deed. Property transferred from one person to another without monetary exchange is documented in a quit claim deed. Offering little protection in the event of a claim, this deed type generally occurs only in situations where all parties know each other.

Special Deeds

Generally issued by an official, special deeds exist to document certain circumstances. The four most common special deeds are as follows:

  • Executor’s deed. Common after an individual with a will passes away, an executor’s deed is issued to declare new ownership as established in probate documents.
  • Gift deed. Depending on your state, a gift deed may be given to indicate transfer of property without monetary exchange.
  • Tax deed. When a property is foreclosed upon, a tax deed is issued indicating its sale. In lieu of foreclosure, certain deeds may be issued that prevent proceedings and terminate the loan debt.
  • Administrator’s deed. If an individual passes away without a will, it becomes the responsibility of the courts to distribute assets. In this case, an administrator’s deed is used to indicate transfer of property.

Know Your Deeds

Recognizing and understanding the purpose of different deeds is vital, whether you’re a land professional, researcher, business owner, or prospective buyer. 

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Topics: Legal

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