Knowledge Mondays – Deciding on How to Take Title

A deed is a document used to transfer title and ownership of property. In every closing, a seller will have to sign a deed transferring their property to the new owner. In Florida, a property is typically transferred in what is called a warranty deed. A warranty deed is preferred because it provides an absolute guarantee that there are no problems with title.

With a warranty deed, the grantor, which is the seller of the property, is responsible for all undisclosed title issues, including issues that arose before the grantor even owned the property. A warranty deed provides the buyer with a peace of mind because the seller is asserting that he/she has the right to transfer the property without any undisclosed liens or encumbrances, that there are no defects in the title that will interfere with the buyer’s ability to use the property, and that the seller agrees to protect the new owner from damages caused by a title defect.

Although in Florida a warranty deed is preferred, a special warranty deed or quit claim deed may be used. A special warranty deed is extremely similar to a warranty deed; however, a seller’s promise as to title in a special warranty deed does not protect a buyer from issues that may rise from a time when the seller did not own the property. In essence, a special warranty deed limits the warranty that a seller is providing the buyer of the property to only the time period of when the seller owned the property, any defects that existed before the seller took possession will not be protected. A special warranty deed is often used in foreclosures.

A property may also be transferred with a quit claim deed. A quit claim deed offers buyers the least protection in property purchases because a seller makes no guarantees regarding title. With a quit claim deed the seller is simply giving the buyer any claim or interest they might have to the property. As a buyer you are assuming all the risk for any title issues that may occur during your ownership of the property. A quit claim deed is not preferred with transfers of property.

While closing on a property, always make sure to check what type of deed is being executed to transfer ownership. Remember that a warranty deed is the preferred type of deed due to their ability to reduce a buyer’s risk.

If you would like to discuss your purchase contract, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Alvarez Law Group today. Call us at (786) 620-2820 or email to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. *

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