Top 5 Facts About Quitclaim Deeds (2023)

Real property was once transferred through a ceremonial act known as “livery of seisin" in which the person transferring the land passed a twig or clod of turf from the land to the person taking delivery of the land.

A verbal and/or written contractmay have accompanied the gesture, butonly the "livery of seisin"legally transferred title to the property. Of course today, title to real property is conveyed by a deed. A property deed is a written and signed legal instrument that is used to transfer ownership of real property from a previous owner (the grantor) to a new owner (the grantee).

Deeds can be classified in numerous ways. Broadly, deeds are either official or private. Official deeds are executed pursuant to court or legal proceedings, such as trustees' deeds and tax deeds. Most property transactions, however, involve private deeds.

Deeds are also categorized based on the type of title warranty provided by the grantor.General warranty deeds provide the highest level of buyer protection, while quitclaim deeds typically provide the least. Here we take a look at quitclaim deeds in greater detail.

Key Takeaways

  • A quitclaim deed is used for amending or changing title to real property in an efficient way.
  • A property deed is a written and signed legal instrument that is used to transfer ownership of real property from a previous owner (the grantor) to a new owner (the grantee).
  • Broadly, deeds are either official or private.
  • General warranty deeds provide the highest level of buyer protection, while quitclaim deeds typically provide the least.
(Video) Top 5 Quitclaim Deed Facts

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

Quitclaim deeds are most often for transferring property between family members or to cure a defect on the title, such as a misspelling of a name. Although they are relatively common and most real estate agents have experience dealing with them, they are generally used in transactions where the parties know each other and are therefore more likely to accept the risks associated with the lack of buyer protection. They may also be used when a property transfers ownership without being sold, that is when no money is involved.

Because quitclaim deeds offer such limited buyer protection, it's important to understand exactly what you're getting when you buy property this way. Here are five things to know about these contracts.

The word "quitclaim" means to formally release, renounce, or relinquish a legal claim to property.

(Video) Warranty Deed v. Special Warranty Deed v. Quitclaim Deed - All Up In Yo' Business

1. You're Buying the Least Amount of Protection of Any Deed

Also called a non-warranty deed, a quitclaim deed conveys whatever interest the grantor currently has in the property if any. The grantor only "remises, releases, and quitclaims" their interest in the property to the grantee. There are no warrantiesor promises regarding the quality of the title. The deed will clarify this by including language such as, "The Grantor makes no warranty, express or implied, as to title in the property herein described."

In situations where the grantor under a quitclaim deed has no interest in the property, the grantee acquires nothing by virtue of the quitclaim deed and acquires no right of warranty against the grantor.

2. Only Accept a Quitclaim Deed From Grantors You Know and Trust

Because quitclaim deeds make no warranty about the quality of the grantor's title, they are best for low-risk transactions between people who know each other and typically involve no exchange of money. Quitclaim deeds, therefore, are commonly used to transfer property within a family, such as from a parent to an adult child, between siblings, or when a property owner gets married and wants to add their spouse to the title.

Married couples who own a home together and later divorce also use quitclaim deeds. When one party acquires the home in a divorce settlement, the other may execute a quitclaim deed to eliminate their interest in the property (and to comply with the court's decision).

3. They Can Be Used to Clear a Title Defect

A quitclaim deed is often used to cure a defect(a "cloud on the title") in the recorded history of a real estate title. Title defects include items such as issues with wording (for example, on a document that does not comply with state standards), a missing signature (such as that of a spouse), or failure to properly record real estate documents. For example, if the name of a grantee is misspelled on a warranty deed placed in the public record, a quitclaim deed with the correct spelling can be executed to the grantee to perfect the title.

(Video) Quitclaim Deeds For Real Estate Explained

As another example, assume a title search reveals that the spouse of a past grantor may have an interest in the property because they did not properly execute a past deed in the chain of title. In this situation, the spouse of the past grantor can be asked to execute a quitclaim deed to the present owner, "quitclaiming" any interest they may have in the property.

4. They're As Effective As a Warranty Deed to Transfer Title, But Only If the Title Is Good

A quitclaim deed can convey title as effectively as a warranty deed if the grantor has a good title when the deed is delivered. It is the lack of any warranties, however, that makes a quitclaim deed less attractive from a grantee's perspective. If the title contains a defect, for example, the grantee has no legal recourse against the grantor under the deed. A quitclaim deed is often used if the grantor is not sure of the status of the title (whether it contains any defects) or if the grantor wants no liability under the title covenants.

Because quitclaim deeds expose the grantee to certain risks, they are most often used between family members and where there is no exchange of money.

5. A Quitclaim Deed Affects Ownership and the Name on the Deed, Not the Mortgage

Due to this, quitclaim deeds typically are not used in situations where the property involved has an outstanding mortgage. After all, it would be difficult for many grantors to pay off a mortgage without proceeds from the sale of the property.

In some instances, however, quitclaim deeds are used when the grantor has a mortgage. In this case, the grantor remains liable for the mortgage even after ownership has been transferred through the execution of a quitclaim deed. Quitclaim deeds transfer title but do not affect mortgages.

(Video) Title Fraud & Quitclaim Deeds

This situation can become worse if the mortgage contains a due-on-sale clause, a common provision stipulating that the entire loan becomes due as soon as the title is transferred (not just if the property is "sold" with an exchange of money, as the name "due-on-sale" would seem to imply).

If the grantor has quitclaimed the property with the belief that the grantee will make the mortgage payments, the grantor has no recourse if the grantee stops making payments or sells the property to another party. To mitigate potential financial and legal troubles, the grantee can assume the mortgage with the lender (with the lender's approval) or refinance the property and pay off the original loan. To add protection to the grantor, a legally enforceable agreement can be drawn to document the terms of payment.

When Is it Appropriate to Use a Quitclaim Deed?

Quitclaim deeds lack certain protections and promises found in other types of deed to real property. Because of this, they should only be used under certain circumstances. These include transferring real estate between close family members, for instance, from a parent to a child. It should also be used to amend a title to a property, such as adding a new spouse after marriage, or removing them after divorce.

What Is the Difference Between a Quitclaim Deed and a Warranty Deed?

A warranty deed provides guarantees of clear title to real property and that the current owner has the legal right to sell it or transfer it to another party. A quitclaim deed, in contrast, contains no guarantees about the quality of the title or owner. Because of this, a warranty deed is more trustworthy than a quitclaim deed.

How Can I Nullify a Quitclaim Deed?

The easiest way to overturn or cancel a quitclaim deed is if both parties to the transaction explicitly agree to do so. If somebody believes that a quitclaim deed was used to illegally transfer a property, it can be challenged in court. Such challenges may be subject to a statute of limitations of a few years - this will vary by state.

(Video) A QUITCLAIM DEED *might* Do Nothing For You (or your buyer)

The Bottom Line

The transfer of an owner’s title is made by deed. Certain essential elements must be contained in the deed for it to be legally operative. Different deeds provide various levels of protection to the grantee, and the form of the deed determines the obligations of a grantor.

A quitclaim deed offers the least level of buyer protection and is generally used for title transfers between family members or to clear a defect on the title. If the property comes with what is known as a "special-purpose deed"—which could be a correction deed, a deed of gift, or a deed of release—it usually offers no more protection than a quitclaim deed. Be sure to consult a qualified real estate attorney: Deeds are important legal documents that affect ownership interests and rights.


What is the purpose of a quit claim deed? ›

A deed in which a grantor disclaims all interest in a parcel of real property and then conveys that interest to a grantee.

Who benefits the most from a warranty deed? ›

The buyer, or grantee, of a property benefits the most from obtaining a warranty deed. Through the recording of a warranty deed, the seller is providing assurances to the buyer should anything unexpected happen.

What is the meaning of a quitclaim? ›

: to release or relinquish a legal claim to. especially : to release a claim to or convey by a quitclaim deed. quitclaim noun.

Does a spouse have the right to property after signing a quit claim deed Illinois? ›

One issue with using a quitclaim deed in a divorce case is that Illinois has homestead rights. In Illinois, homestead rights mean that spouses who use the property as their primary residence cannot be removed from the deed unless there's a court order or if the spouse waives their homestead rights.

How long is a quitclaim deed good for? ›

A quitclaim deed does not expire because it permanently transfers ownership from one party to another. That being said, the new deed must be filed with the county clerk's office to record the official transfer.

What happens to mortgage after quit claim deed? ›

Keep in mind that if you sign the Quitclaim Deed giving him your legal rights in the home, you no longer have any legal rights to the home but you can still be financially responsible for the mortgage if your name is on the mortgage.

What type of deed is most commonly used? ›

General warranty deed

Mainly for this reason, general warranty deeds are the most commonly used type of deed in real estate sales.

Which of the following types of deeds is the safest? ›

As one of the most secure types of deeds, general warranty deeds are used in most real estate title transfers. General warranty deeds provide guarantees that the grantor has the right to sell the property and that the grantee will be receiving a title that is free of debt, claims, or other legal encumbrances.

Which is more important title or deed? ›

Which is more important: title or deed? Both the title and the deed are of equal importance because they both have a purpose in the home selling process. For instance, a title search can note only confirm who owns the property, but also lists any liens, loans, or property taxes due.

In which of the following situations could a quitclaim deed not be used? ›

Terms in this set (4) In which of the following situations could a quitclaim deed NOT be used? c. The answer is to warrant that a title is valid.

What is waiver of quitclaim? ›

An Employee Quitclaim is a formal document where an employee waives his/her claim or demand against the employer arising from the employment relationship.

Are quitclaims valid? ›

Hence, quitclaims in which employees voluntarily accept a reasonable amount or consideration as settlement are deemed valid. These agreements cannot be set aside merely because the parties have subsequently changed their minds.

Can someone sell a house if your name is on the deed? ›

You can only sell the house without consent from your spouse (this includes civil partnerships) if they are not joint owners. If you are the only person named on the official copies or title deeds for the property then you are the sole owner and you would not fall into this category.

What are my rights if my name is not on a deed? ›

In single name cases (as opposed to situations where both owners' names are on the deeds) the starting point is that the 'non-owner' (the party whose name is not on the deeds) has no rights over the property. They must therefore establish what is called in law a “beneficial interest”.

How do I challenge a quit claim deed in Illinois? ›

If you are facing a quitclaim deed challenge, you should talk to an attorney. Gather any proof you have about the execution of the deed including: People who can testify they witnessed the quitclaim executed. Proof of the grantor's intent, such as letters or emails.

How do you transfer property title? ›

Step 1. Determine and prepare the needed requirements for a title transfer.
  1. Deed of Conveyance. ...
  2. Photocopies of valid IDs of all signatories in the deed. ...
  3. The Notary Public's official receipt for the deed's notarization.
  4. Certified True Copy of the Title (3 copies) ...
  5. Certified True Copy of the latest Tax Declaration.
3 May 2022

Can you sell a house if you are on the deed but not the mortgage? ›

Both owners of the home, typically being spouses listed on the deed, do not have to both be listed on the mortgage. Remember that the mortgage does not indicate who the owner of the home is, so not being listed on the mortgage will have no effect on your ownership of the home.

Do you pay taxes on a quitclaim deed in Florida? ›

In fact, taxes may be due on a quit claim deed even when the property is transferred between spouses. With such transfers, if the property is mortgaged, then tax is generally due on half of the outstanding balance.

How do you get someone's name off a mortgage without refinancing? ›

You usually do this by filing a quitclaim deed, in which your ex-spouse gives up all rights to the property. Your ex should sign the quitclaim deed in front of a notary. One this document is notarized, you file it with the county. This publicly removes the former partner's name from the property deed and the mortgage.

Can I refinance if my ex is on the deed? ›

There is only one way to have your spouse's name removed from the mortgage: You will have to apply for a loan to refinance the mortgage, in your name only. After all, the original mortgage was approved in both of your names, giving the lender two sources of repayment.

Can you get someone off a mortgage without refinancing? ›

If you need to remove your ex's name from a mortgage without refinancing, you could request a quitclaim deed (a legal document that allows you to transfer interest in real estate as a grantor to a grantee). In this situation, you are asking that your ex-spouse sign the quitclaim deed in front of a notary.

What is the strongest form of deed? ›

The General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed provides the highest level of protection for the buyer because it includes significant covenants or warranties conveyed by the grantor to the grantee.

What is the weakest type of deed? ›

General warranty deeds give the grantee the most protection, special warranty deeds give the grantee more limited protection, and a quitclaim deed gives the grantee the least protection under the law.

What type of deed is best? ›

A Warranty Deed is the best of the best. It protects you from all future and past issues with property title and any outstanding debts or liens.

Where should you keep house deeds? ›

What are the best places to keep real estate deeds? Your bank or building society can take care of your deeds. Although keeping your paper documents in a safe deposit box is a very convenient option, they typically charge you for renting a deposit box.

Which of the following is a feature of a quitclaim deed? ›

A quitclaim deed usually includes a legal description of the property, the name of the person who is transferring their interest, the name of the person who is receiving that interest (the grantee), the date, and both parties' notarized signatures.

Which of the following covenants are not found in a quitclaim deed? ›

A quitclaim deed contains no covenants or warranties of title.

Is a deed of transfer and title deed the same thing? ›

There seems to be a lot of confusion between a Title Deed and Deed of Transfer. Basically it is exactly the same document. Title Deed is just a more common name that is used. The legal documentation submitted when transferring a property is called a Deed of Transfer.

Are deed and title the same thing? ›

A deed is the physical legal document whereas title is the name that describes a person's legal position regarding something. Deeds are official written documents, and in most states are required to be recorded in a courthouse or assessor's office.

What happens to title deeds when mortgage is paid? ›

When the mortgage is repaid you are entitled to have your Ownership Documents, or property Deeds returned to you. Your Mortgagee is not entitled to hold them any longer, and will almost always return them to you after receiving your final payment.

What are the disadvantages of a quitclaim deed? ›

No guarantees to the new owner: Unlike a warranty deed, a quitclaim deed does not guarantee that a property is free from title defects such as tax liens or title claims from third parties. For this reason, it is a poor legal instrument to use when selling a piece of property for cash considerations.

What is the primary purpose of a deed? ›

A deed is a signed legal document that transfers ownership of an asset to a new owner. Deeds are most commonly used to transfer ownership of property or vehicles between two parties. The purpose of a deed is to transfer a title, the legal ownership of a property or asset, from one person or company to another.

What is the highest form of ownership in real estate? ›

Fee simple is a legal term used in real estate that means full and irrevocable ownership of land, and any buildings on that land. Fee simple is the highest form of ownership — it means the land is owned outright, without any limitations or restrictions other than local zoning ordinances.

When should you give Quitclaim? ›

Usually, a quitclaim is prepared by the employer and is being utilized in instances where an employee files a labor dispute and subsequently agrees to a settlement, or when a resigning employee has been terminated from employment but given a substantial severance pay so that no future litigation can be filed by the ...

What is Affidavit of Quitclaim? ›

Release/Waiver/Quitclaim in relation to employment contracts is an intentional and voluntary giving-up, relinquishment or surrender of some known right. ( Legal Dictionary, Gifis) (Sample Affidavit of Quitclaim in relation to an execution of Judgment)

How much does it cost to file a quitclaim deed in Ohio? ›

Typical Quitclaim Fees

The conveyance fee varies by county and is usually between $1 and $4. For example, in Franklin County, the conveyance fee is $3 per every $1,000 of the real property or manufactured home sale price.

What is the purpose of a quit claim deed? ›

A deed in which a grantor disclaims all interest in a parcel of real property and then conveys that interest to a grantee.

What does to wit mean on a quit claim deed? ›

Title - Legal ownership as evidenced by a deed or other instrument. To wit - That is to say.

Which type of deed releases any rights of the grantor to the property to the grantee and clears any clouds on a title but does not offer any warranties to the grantee? ›

Also called a non-warranty deed, a quitclaim deed conveys whatever interest the grantor currently has in the property if any. The grantor only "remises, releases, and quitclaims" their interest in the property to the grantee. There are no warranties or promises regarding the quality of the title.

How does a quit claim deed work in Arizona? ›

An Arizona quit claim deed is used to transfer property from one person (grantor) to another (grantee) without any warranty as to whether the title is clear. In other words, the person transferring the property is not making any warranties against other claims to the property from others.

What is a quit claim deed Nevada? ›

A Nevada quitclaim deed is a form of deed that functions essentially like a release. It transfers any title, interest, or claim the person signing the deed holds in the real estate with no promises regarding the quality of the transferred interest.

Can someone sell a house if your name is on the deed? ›

You can only sell the house without consent from your spouse (this includes civil partnerships) if they are not joint owners. If you are the only person named on the official copies or title deeds for the property then you are the sole owner and you would not fall into this category.

How does a quitclaim deed work in Michigan? ›

The Michigan quitclaim deed form gives the new owner whatever interest the current owner has in the property when the deed is signed and delivered. It makes no promises about whether the current owner has clear title to the property.

How much does it cost for a quit claim deed in Arizona? ›

The fee to record a document in County Recorder offices throughout Arizona is now $30.00 for each complete document. A Quitclaim Deed is a document that releases or “quits” one's interest in a piece of real property.

Does an Arizona quit claim deed need to be notarized? ›

A properly filled out quitclaim must be notarized to be considered valid in Arizona. It is essential that the grantor and grantee sign the quitclaim in the presence of a notary public. Then, the grantee will pay the appropriate fees to file the quitclaim with the appropriate county recorder's office.

How do I remove someone from a deed in Arizona? ›

The only way to forcibly change the ownership status is through a legal action and the resultant court order. However, if an owner chooses to be removed from the deed, it is simply a matter of preparing a new deed transferring that owner's interest in the property.

How much is a quitclaim deed in Nevada? ›

You must pay a fee to file a deed with the county recorder. The fee should be $14.00 to record the first page of a quitclaim deed and $1.00 for each additional page. However, you should call ahead of time to check about the amount and acceptable methods of payment.

What is the difference between grant deed and quitclaim? ›

A grant deed ensures that the grantor has a legal interest in the property. A quitclaim deed merely releases any potential interest the signatory may have in a property with no warranties.

How do I do a quit claim deed? ›

How to File a Quitclaim Deed
  1. Obtain a quitclaim deed form. Your very first step is obtaining your quitclaim deed. ...
  2. Fill out the quitclaim deed form. ...
  3. Get the quitclaim deed notarized. ...
  4. Take the quitclaim deed to the County Recorder's Office. ...
  5. File the appropriate paperwork.

Can I put my property in my daughter's name? ›

As a homeowner, you are permitted to give your property to your children at any time, even if you live in it. But there are a few things you should be aware of being signing over the family home.

What happens when one person on a deed dies? ›

Normally when property is purchased jointly there is a survivorship clause, meaning that on the death of one of the joint owners, their share in the property automatically passes to the survivor(s).

Who keeps the title deeds to my house? ›

The title deeds to a property with a mortgage are usually kept by the mortgage lender. They will only be given to you once the mortgage has been paid in full. But, you can request copies of the deeds at any time. Do you need your title deeds?

Who can prepare a quit claim deed in Michigan? ›

To successfully execute a quitclaim deed in Michigan, the property owner needs to complete a quitclaim deed form and sign it in front of a notary. Then they pay any transfer taxes due and record the deed in the land recorder's office in the county in which the property is located.

How long do you have to file a quit claim deed in Michigan? ›

For example, challenging a quitclaim deed given by a close family member or a court-ordered sale has a five-year statute of limitations. The statute for bringing a lawsuit based on fraud or on a contract in Michigan is six years.

Do you have to register a quit claim deed in Michigan? ›

The signature of the grantor is mandatory on the quit claim deed to transfer the property. The grantee is not required to sign the deed in Michigan. The quit claim deed must be signed in front of a notary public, who attests to the fact that you are who you claim to be and that you signed the document.


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4. Multiple Siblings, Quit Claim Deeds, Survivorship Rights | Probate Mastermind Podcast #326
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