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What is a Grant Deed?
A grant deed is a property deed that is used to transfer ownership of real property from a grantor (the owner of a property) to a grantee (the buyer). A grant deed is a legal document and is unique because it comes with its own set of rules.
When a grantor offers a grant deed after the sale of property, they are guaranteeing that there have been no problems with the title during the time that the grantor has held it, and that the property has not already been transferred to someone else.
How Grant Deeds Work
The purpose of a deed is to provide legal protection to buyers (called grantees) of real property. Grant deeds are most commonly used when a grantee is acquiring real property in a tax or foreclosure sale.
Since grant deeds don’t offer as much protection as other types of deeds, they are ideal for this type of scenario. Grantees get the benefit of purchasing property below market value and grantors take on less risk by making less guarantees. Grant deeds are considered better than quitclaim deeds , but less desirable than general warranty deeds .
Here is a quick overview of what a grant deed includes:
- Date of sale
- Names of grantor and grantee
- Property description
- Signature of grantor
- Notary public acknowledgement
- Warranty statements
Check out this article to learn more about how grant deeds work.
Grant Deed vs. Deed
Deeds are valuable to buyers because they provide certain protections regarding the sale of property. A grant deed is a deed that “grants” certain promises to the buyer:
- The property has not already been transferred to someone else
- There have been no issues with the title as long as the seller has held it
Grant deeds differ from deeds because they offer these protections. A deed offers no protection or guarantees that there will be no issues in the transfer of ownership. For a buyer, this means that there may be additional cost involved in the sale to resolve certain outstanding issues, such as:
- No legal right to own the property
- Property claims issues
- Liens on the property
- Zoning problems
- Mortgage note issues
Grant Deed vs. Deed Benefits
Grant deeds are ideal for buyers because they offer warranties on the property. When a buyer obtains a grant deed, they can be sure the property has not been transferred and that there are no current issues with the title.
Deeds are ideal for sellers because they absolve them of taking responsibility for real property. If a deed is exchanged for a sale and property claim issues arise, the seller is not obligated to provide a resolution. Deeds can be transferred despite issues with the title, so sellers could make money on the property without offering any protections to the buyer.
Here is an article about grant deeds and how they differ from deeds.
Image via Pexels by Emre Can
Do Grant Deeds Need to be Notarized?
Grant deeds are legal documents that govern what protections a buyer receives when a seller transfers ownership of real estate. Grant deeds only need to be notarized in accordance with state law. Check your state legislature’s website or connect with a real estate lawyer in your area to find out if a grant deed needs to be notarized in your state.
Getting a grant deed notarized is an important step to making the document legally binding. This is because a notary public must be physically present while both parties sign the grant deed in order to display their seal that certifies that the signatures are legitimate. In other words, you can think of a notary as a witness with special legal permissions to bear witness to legally binding matters.
Find out more about whether a grant deeds and notarizing by reading this article .
How to Get a Grant Deed
Obtaining a grant deed is simpler than you might think. First, you’ll need to find a piece property that you want to purchase. You can check your local newspaper’s classified ads, do a quick web search, or ask around to your friends and family.
One of the most common exchanges that involve grant deeds are foreclosure or tax sales. These sales are desirable because you have the potential to save money on the purchase agreement , since these types of sales usually happen at auctions. To find a property auction near you, check your local classified ads or check with your local government agency. Real estate agents can usually help, too.
A grant deed can be requested in the negotiations phase of a sale. Keep in mind that while a grant deed does offer some protections, it is not always the best option for the transfer of ownership of real property. General warranty deeds offer more protections and are the best option.
You should only pursue a grant deed when a general warranty deed is not on the table. If you want an extra layer of protection when obtaining a grant deed, you can try performing a deed search to get more details on the property you are interested in before closing the deal.
Check out this webpage to learn more about grant deeds.
Other Types of Deeds
Grant deeds are one of three types of deeds used to transfer real property. Each deed type is unique in its offerings and they are not all created equal. Understanding the different types of deeds out there is essential to making a sound deal when purchasing property.
General Warranty Deeds
General warranty deeds are hailed as the best property deeds out there. This is because a general warranty deed offers the highest level of protection of all property deeds. When a buyer is granted a general warranty deed, they are guaranteed:
- The owner owns the property
- The owner has the legal right to sell the property
- The property does not have any liens or encumbrances
- No defective title for the property exists
- The seller will furnish any document needed to make the title good
Quitclaim deeds are the least desirable of all the property deeds. They make no guarantees to the buyer that there are no liens on the property, so when a buyer receives a quitclaim deed on a piece of property, they take on a considerable amount of risk, especially when compared to other deed types.
Some examples of risks taken when obtaining a quitclaim deed are:
- No legal recourse in the event of a title defect
- No warranties on the property title
- No promises regarding the property title
Quitclaim deeds are usually only recommended for scenarios where the buyer and seller know each other personally. They are often used when a transfer of ownership happens between family members, such as a grandparent transferring ownership of property to a younger generation before they die.
Check out this webpage to learn more about different types of deeds.
Get Help with a Property Deed
If you’re planning on purchasing real property and need the help of an expert, real estate lawyers can help. Post a project on ContractsCounsel today to get connected with real estate lawyers who specialize in grant deeds, general warranty deeds, and quitclaim deeds.
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