Learn About Different Property Deeds

Knowing something about the various kinds of property deeds will be helpful if you decide somewhere along the line to convey your property (you then become the "grantor") to someone else (the "grantee.") Being certain of the type of deed you wish to convey will help the notary who must guarantee the legality of your documents to select the right certificate to authenticate the deal.

Deeds are defined by the types of warranty they include, if any. The most common type of deed used in a transfer of property is a warranty deed. Such a deed makes certain assurances to a prospective next owner that the title is free of encumbrances, such as liens, up to a certain point in the history of the property's ownership.

There are other types of deeds, including general warranty deeds. In this instance, the grantor assures the grantee that he will warrant and defend the title against any claims made by anyone since the property was first conveyed, even if the claim regards a time frame before the grantor received the property. This assurance is helpful if the new would-be owner plans to get a loan from a bank or other financial institution to finance the deal. Insurance companies are more likely to extend insurance if there is a general warranty deed.

A special warranty deed echos the provisions of a general warranty, but limits the guarantee to current or future claims made by other parties that arise during the grantor's ownership, but not before. Certain language must be dded to the deed saying "by, through or under grantor (and not otherwise.)" to establish the parameters.

Grant deeds includes no warranties but assure the grantee that the deed has not been conveyed to any other party and that is has no encumbrances to prevent the transfer of the property. This is a most simple document that contains the language to make the conveyance, along with a legal description of the property. A notary must authenticate the signatures of both seller and buyer before the papers are filed with a county property agency.

California does not allow grant deeds and most other states prefer a warranty deed as the documentation for property conveyances.

A quitclaim deed does not really transfer property. When an individual signs a quitclaim, he or she is divesting him or herself of all current and future interest in a property. This often occurs after a divorce when property that has been jointly owned is now conveyed to one of the parties.

A deed for bargain and sale is the riskiest of the methods of property transfer. It is often used to convey property that was purchased at a sheriff's sale or foreclosure. It indicates that the seller now is the legal titleholder, but does not guarantee the the title is clear. When a sheriff's sale or auction is involved, information must be provided to a potential buyer as to past due taxes. This type of deed also may be referred to as a "bargain and sale without covenants."