Home Property Insurance What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

Could 4, 2022 by

Up to date on Could 4th, 2022

You’ve been looking for homes for months and at last discovered the one you want. After making your manner via the homebuying course of, one of many remaining steps is ordering a title search after which have the vendor execute the deed to the property at closing. This step legalizes the switch of property possession. Guarantee deeds are most typical in these transactions, however some house sellers may use a quitclaim deed. So what’s a quitclaim deed?

Earlier than studying about quitclaim deeds, it’s necessary to know what a property deed is and what they do. Whether or not you’re a first-time homebuyer in Chicago, IL, otherwise you’re promoting your private home in San Francisco, CA, learn on to find out about property deeds and when to make use of them.

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people signing papers

What’s an actual property/property deed?

Actual property deeds and property deeds are bodily, authorized actual property paperwork utilized in actual property transactions. They legally switch possession (curiosity) of actual property from the present property proprietor/vendor (the grantor) to a brand new proprietor/purchaser (the grantee). Sometimes ready by a mortgage firm, title firm, or actual property lawyer, a deed incorporates a written authorized description of the property and its boundaries and identifies the grantor and grantee events. 

A deed should be in writing, ready correctly, and executed by the grantor to be authorized and submitted for public document. Individuals use several types of deeds relying on the circumstances of the property switch. When a grantee makes use of a title firm to conduct their closing on a purchase order of actual property, the corporate runs a title report. This report ensures that the vendor has good title to the property. The corporate can then select to insure the grantee’s title to the property. Insurance coverage protects the grantee towards sure claims or disputes which will come up regarding the possession, bodily, or monetary curiosity within the property. An underwriter usually authorizes these insurance coverage paperwork. 

What does a deed do?

A deed transfers an possession curiosity in a property. Deeds provide various ranges of safety for each the grantor and the grantee. No matter the kind of deed, a grantee is most protected once they receive title insurance coverage. That is in case one thing later calls the grantor’s proper to switch title into query. 

Adam Leitman Bailey of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., suggests being cautious when utilizing a quitclaim deed. “Sellers might use quitclaim deeds as an alternative of guarantee deeds once they might not be aware of the property, fear a couple of doable title defect, or assume there isn’t clear possession of the promoting property. If a vendor insists on utilizing a quitclaim deed as an alternative of a guaranty deed, the customer can purchase title insurance coverage and stay cautious of the transaction.”  

What’s a quitclaim deed?

A quitclaim deed, additionally typically often called a launch or non-warranty deed, is a authorized doc used to switch property possession. Quitclaim deeds could also be mistakenly known as “give up declare” or “fast declare” deeds. A quitclaim deed conveys a grantor’s curiosity in transferring property with out making guarantees or warranties, equivalent to title possession or monetary obligation. This deed affords little safety to the grantee and is often used when there is no such thing as a or lower than honest market consideration paid for the property curiosity.  

Nevertheless, the deed’s effectiveness will depend on the grantor’s title. If a grantor nonetheless owes a monetary obligation on the property, grantees ought to discuss to a lawyer about who could be liable for paying it and if the property might be foreclosed on if the duty goes unpaid. Likewise, quitclaim deeds solely switch property that the grantor owns. If a grantor doesn’t personal title to the property, the quitclaim deed conveys nothing. 

A lawyer’s take: execs and cons of quitclaim deeds


  • Simple to execute: Quitclaim deeds may be signed and executed by a easy kind obtained by a authorities entity within the presence of a notary public. 
  • A superb choice to carry out fundamental, low-risk adjustments to title possession: If you wish to add or take away a partner, a quitclaim deed is a straightforward and cost-effective solution to switch or change possession of actual property. 


  • Dangerous: In contrast to a guaranty or grant deed, quitclaim deeds are usually not a great way to amass property. Earlier than utilizing one, evaluate the title for any liens, easements, and different restrictions that require consideration earlier than closing.
  • Recording: Whereas a quitclaim deed doesn’t have to be recorded to be legitimate, it should place others on discover that the curiosity within the property has modified. Should you purchased or acquired a property through quitclaim deed, document it with the county recorder’s workplace. – Avi of Sinai Regulation Agency

stack of paper

Exceptions to the quitclaim deed

Many states have completely different legal guidelines and customs which decide how and when to make use of quitclaim deeds. They aren’t utilized in some states due to particular underwriting and insurance coverage necessities. In different states, insurance coverage firms insure property titles derived from quitclaim deeds.

Three legal professionals discuss: quitclaim deeds may be a simple choice, however be cautious

You should use a quitclaim deed so as to add or take away events on title. It’s also possible to use it to vary how the possession is held. For instance, those who personal the property as Joint Tenants can use a quitclaim deed to vary their standing to Tenants by the Entirety or Tenants in Frequent. – Erica Minchella from Minchella and Associates

A quitclaim deed is much like another deed. It supplies authorized description of the property and the names of the grantor and grantee. The deed is a fast and straightforward kind to finish. Nevertheless, it makes no ensures or guarantees as to the kind of title the vendor holds. – Prashant Bhatia, lawyer with Prashant Regulation Agency

In contrast to a conventional guarantee deed, a quitclaim deed supplies no warranties or ensures associated to the property. This implies the property might not be free from title defects and encumbrances, equivalent to tax liens, judgments, and third-party title claims. So all the time remember to do your personal, impartial due diligence on a property and its title earlier than accepting a quitclaim deed. – George Chebat, lawyer with Enara Regulation

Kinds of actual property/property deeds

Guarantee deeds are widespread in residential actual property transactions. The sorts of commonly-used guarantee deeds differ by state and are ruled by state regulation. Different sorts of actual property deeds embody normal guarantee, particular guarantee, and covenant deeds. As well as, there are a selection of much less widespread particular objective deeds, which embody:

  • Grant deeds
  • Tax deeds
  • Administrator’s deeds
  • Executor’s deeds
  • Sheriff’s deeds
  • Deeds in lieu of foreclosures
  • Deeds of present

Manuel Yllesca from Properties Miami recommends not utilizing a quitclaim deed to buy actual property. “We’ve observed an growing variety of patrons utilizing quitclaim deeds to amass actual property possession from householders rapidly. We advocate utilizing them just for family-related actual property transactions, equivalent to including, eradicating, or ceding full possession curiosity in a property’s title. Don’t use a quitclaim deed to buy property.”

A lawyer’s take: Pennsylvania quitclaim deeds

In Pennsylvania, a quitclaim deed is used just for the switch of curiosity in actual property, it doesn’t switch the property itself. Most Pennsylvania residential buy-sell transactions are performed via a title insurance coverage firm or an attorney-title agent, and the same old type of deed is a normal guarantee deed. –  Jay Kivitz, lawyer with Kivitz & Kivitz, P.C.

Last recap

A quitclaim deed transfers the grantor’s possession curiosity in property, no matter it could be, from a grantor to a grantee with none guarantees or warranties. Notably, the deed makes no assurance that the grantor owns the property – it merely states that they launch their rights in the event that they do. Relying on the state the place the property is positioned, a title firm, actual property lawyer, or one other approved get together can put together a quitclaim deed. A title firm examines the title to find out whether or not the grantor has insurable title to the property. 

Michael Kuldiner, lawyer from the Regulation Workplaces of Michael Kuldiner, suggests utilizing quitclaim deeds for household transactions. “A quitclaim deed is a simple solution to convey your curiosity within the property to a different. It’s usually used for intra-family transfers or transfers to different associated events. A title firm is really useful to ensure they offer you an insurable deed.”

Earlier than getting into right into a contract to buy property, be certain that you perceive the sort of deed the grantor intends to make use of to convey the property. If the vendor proposes to convey the property by a quitclaim deed, the customer must be notably cautious to ensure the grantor has full property possession and that there aren’t any monetary obligations secured by the property. Examine your state and native legal guidelines if you wish to file your personal quitclaim deed. If in case you have questions, ask a lawyer for recommendation. 

Redfin doesn’t present authorized, monetary, or tax recommendation. This text is for informational functions solely, and isn’t an alternative choice to skilled recommendation from a licensed lawyer, monetary advisor, or tax skilled.