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Warranty Deed

Warranty Deed


A warranty deed is a legal document used to transfer interest in real property from the grantor to the grantee with warranty.

This document warrants a seller owns a piece of real estate or asset which is free of claims, liens, or encumbrances against their ownership, and guarantees the transaction from any title defects during the ownership of the grantor.

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Warranty Deed FAQs

 

What is a warranty deed?

A warranty deed is a document used to transfer ownership of real estate from the grantor to the grantee. It is where the grantor warrants, or promises, that the grantor owns the property free and clear and has the authority to transfer the title to the grantee. In essence, the grantor is guaranteeing that there aren’t any encumbrances like mortgages, liens or judgement against the title and the grantee will receive the ownership of the property.

Warranty deeds are typically used in most real estate transaction where the grantee is paying full market value for the property and the grantor is transferring the property to the grantee in the sale.  There are two different types of warranty deeds: general warranty deed, and special warranty deed.

 

What is a general warranty deed?

A general warranty deed offers the highest level of protection for the grantee. The grantor guarantees that the grantor owns the property and can legally transfer it to the grantee. Secondly, the grantor represents that there are no outstanding encumbrances like mortgages, lies, judgements, or other claims against the property by creditors. Under a general warranty deed, the grantor will also compensate the grantee if there’s a defect or breach in the warranty. In essence, the general warranty deed covers the title during any time period and guarantees that there are no defects in the title.

 

What is a special warranty deed?

A special warranty deed offers less protection than the general warranty deed because it only guarantees that there are no defects in the title during the grantor’s ownership period. The time period before the grantor owned the property is not guaranteed in a special warranty deed.

 

Who is the grantor in a warranty deed?

The grantor is the person whose name is currently on title and is transferring the interest of the property to the grantee. Generally in a real estate transaction, the grantor is the seller.

 

Who is the grantee in a warranty deed?

The grantee is the person who is receiving the interest of the property from the grantor. Generally in a real estate transaction, the grantee is the buyer.

Please note in some cases a person can be both the grantor and the grantee in a real estate transaction. For example if you are the sole owner of the property and want to add your spouse to the title, you would list yourself as the grantor and list yourself and your spouse as the grantee.  Essentially, you are transferring your interest of the property to yourself and your spouse in this way with the quitclaim deed. A warranty deed is generally not used for adding a spouse’s name to the property; it is more often done via a quitclaim deed.

 

What is the legal description of the property and how do I find it?

The legal description specifies the boundaries of a track of land that is generated by licensed land surveyors. The legal description is not the physical street address of the property. 

The easiest way to find the legal description of the property is to look at the deed of the property, or the mortgage documents of the property. You can also consult the county register or the county recorder where the property is located and search through the county land records. The legal description will typically be listed in the document or be attached as an exhibit on the back of the document.

 

What is the property tax/assessor’s parcel number?

The property tax number is a number assigned to the property for the purpose of property taxes. Depending on the jurisdiction, the property tax number can also be referred to as follows:

  • Assessor’s Identification Number, or AIN
  • Property Identification, or PID
  • Property Identification Number, or PIN
  • Property Account Number
  • Sidwell Number
  • Tax Account Number

 

What is the consideration on a warranty deed?

The consideration is the money or anything of value the grantee gives to the grantor in exchange for the property. List the actual sale price paid to the grantor to create a valid agreement.

 

Do I have to notarize the warranty deed?

The transfer of property is an important act even when it’s done between family members via a warranty deed. Yes, the grantor must sign the warranty deed in the presence of a notary in the jurisdiction to make it a valid document.

 

What are the blank spaces on top margins of the warranty deed?

Once the warranty deed has been signed and notarized, it must be taken to the county register or county recorder to be registered in land records. Most county recorders need a space on the top page of the document to stamp and record the warranty deed. The blank spaces are left there intentionally for recording purposes and they are normal.

 

What needs to be done after getting the warranty deed notarized?

Once the warranty deed is signed by the grantors and notarized in front of a notary, the deed must be submitted to the county register or county recorder to be recorded into land/property records.