Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

What are warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds in New York?

In last week's post we discussed the basic requirements for a New York real estate deed. This week we will take a look at some of the different types of deeds used to convey real property.

One of the most common types of property deed is the general warranty deed. A general warranty deed provides the most protection to the purchaser. It includes covenants that promise the buyer that the seller owns the property free of any liens and encumbrances, and that the seller has the legal right to sell it. The covenants are legally binding and if they are discovered to be untrue, the buyer will have legal recourse against the seller.

A special warranty deed offers more limited protection to the buyer; it only protects the seller from title issues that arose during the seller's term of ownership.

A quitclaim deed is at the other end of the spectrum in terms of protecting the buyer. In a quitclaim deed the seller makes no warranties about title, liens, encumbrances or even the seller's right to sell the property. The seller essentially conveys to the buyer whatever interest the seller has in the property, but makes no representations about what that interest is. A quitclaim deed is often used to clean up title issues. It can also be used to convey property between spouses in connection with a divorce.

In addition to warranty and quitclaim deeds, there are a number of specialized deeds for particular transactions. For example, an executor's deed is used to convey property from the estate of a deceased person.

Choosing the correct form of deed is critical in any real estate transaction. An experienced real estate attorney can identify and draft the deed that meets a client's needs.

Source: Investopedia, "Understanding Property Deeds," accessed Nov. 15, 2015

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