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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 is also known as full covenant, which means that the seller is giving specific warranties related to the title of the property, the ownership, and so on. This deed gives the highest level of protection to the buyer, while the grantor is usually 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. Some of 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 – The seller warrants that his/her property does not have any encumbrances or liens, except for any mentioned specifically in the real estate deed.
c. Covenant of quiet enjoyment – The grantor guarantees that the title would be beneficial against the third party/parties who are attempting to establish such title to the grantor’s property.
d. 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. In a number of states in America, the grant deed is the most commonly used real estate deed.

3. Special Warranty Deed - The special warranty deed is a bit of misnomer. Although it is similar to the general warranty deed, it does not offer a lot of protection to the buyer. In this kind of deed, the grantor provides very few warranties; in fact, only two warranties are conveyed by the grantor 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. If it is specifically mentioned in the deed, then other warranties may also be conveyed. This kind of deed is most commonly used by trustees and executors.

4. The bargain and sale deed – In this kind of deed, the buyer (grantee) does not get any protection from encumbrances. This kind of deed usually has specialized uses. The bargain and sale deed does not imply that the grantor possesses the title to the property in question. In addition, because of the fact that this kind of 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. This deed is similar to the special warranty deed in the sense that other warranties could be conveyed in it if these are specifically stated.

5. The quitclaim deed – Out of the five most common real estate deeds, the quitclaim deed provides the least amount of protection to the buyer. The uses of the quit claim deed are extremely limited, especially in relation to its popularity. This kind of deed does not provide any covenants or warranties to the grantee. The grantor quits his/her rights over the concerned property, thus making the quit claim deed rather insecure. The grantor usually does not provide any kind of warranty, but simply gives up his/her rights—even if he/she didn't have any to begin with. In addition, the grantor also does not provide any guarantee about the accuracy of the title. It is very risky to use this kind of real estate deed.
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October 2, 2011, - 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.
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