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Types of Real Estate Deeds

Real estate is bought and sold every day, so it should come as no surprise that there are many different types of deeds used to facilitate these transactions. Listed below are the four most common types of deeds.

1. WARRANTY DEED: This is one of the most common real estate deeds. In a warranty deed, the seller (the grantor) pledges that he/she possesses the absolute right to sell off the property in question. This deed gives the highest level of protection to the buyer, and the grantor is legally bound by the warranties.
The warranties here can be simply implied by some statutory words or they may be expressly written into the deed. The basic warranties are:
a. Covenant of seisin: Seisin refers to possession, so the grantor warrants that he/she owns the property and possesses the legal right to convey the same.
b. Covenant against encumbrances: warrants that the property does not have any encumbrances or liens, except for any mentioned specifically in the real estate deed.
c. Covenant of quiet enjoyment: guarantees that the grantee will not lose the property to someone claiming a superior title.
d. Covenant of further assurances: the grantor promises to help the grantee establish clear title.
e. Covenant of further assistance: the seller promises that he/she would deliver any instrument or document necessary for the purpose of clearing the title.

2. GRANT DEED: The grant deed is more or less like the warranty deed with the exception of lesser guarantees in certain cases. It is also possible to include additional warranties in the text of the form. Grant deeds are the most commonly used real estate deed in a number of states in the US.

3. SPECIAL/LIMITED WARRANTY DEED: The special warranty deed is a bit of misnomer. Although it is similar to the general warranty deed, it offers less protection to the buyer. In this kind of deed, the grantor provides only two warranties to the grantee. The first warranty is that the grantor warrants for the fact that he/she has received the title. The second warranty is that property in question was not encumbered during the time period when the grantor owned the property, unless this has been specially noted in the deed. In effect, the grantor in the special warranty deed is only warranting the title against his/her own omissions and actions. This kind of deed is most commonly used by trustees and executors.

4. BARGAIN AND SALE DEED: In this kind of deed, the buyer (grantee) does not get any protection from encumbrances. The bargain and sale deed does not imply that the grantor possesses the title to the property in question. In addition, because this deed offers no warranties on title from the seller, the buyer could get into trouble if title defects emerge in the future. The bargain and sale deed is often used for foreclosure actions or for tax sales. It is similar to the grant deed in the sense that other warranties could be conveyed in it if these are specifically stated.

5. QUITCLAIM DEED: Out of the five most common real estate deeds, the quitclaim deed provides the least protection to the buyer. This kind of deed does not provide any covenants or warranties to the grantee. The grantor relinquishes his/her rights, if any, to the property. In addition, the grantor also does not provide any guarantee about the accuracy of the title. Think of it like an "as-is" transaction.

Selecting the correct deed can be confusing. Please contact an attorney with questions about deeds, or for any other issues related to real estate sales.

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October 2, 2011, Deeds.com - Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed, you should always confirm this information with the proper agency prior to acting. The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date.