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A quitclaim deed is an important document that transfers an individual's ownership rights to a property or real estate to another person. It can be used in various circumstances, such as resolving disputes, removing a name from the title, gifting property, and transferring property between family members without a sale.

The following blog discusses what a quitclaim deed is, how it works, and its advantages and disadvantages.

Quitclaim deeds are commonly used when the parties know and trust each other, such as transfers between family members or divorcing spouses. They are also used in situations where the seller is not entirely sure of their ownership interest in the property, such as in cases where there may be competing claims or unclear title issues.

How a Quitclaim Deed Works

A quitclaim deed provides no guarantee about the title of the transferred property. Instead, it simply transfers any ownership interest the grantor (the person transferring the property) has in the property to the grantee (the person receiving the property).

The grantor prepares the quitclaim deed. The grantor is the person who currently owns the property and wishes to transfer it to someone else. The grantor must fill out the quitclaim deed, which includes information such as the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee, a legal description of the property, and the date of the transfer.

The grantor signs the quitclaim deed in the presence of a notary public, who will verify the grantor's identity and witness the process. The grantee receives the quitclaim deed. The grantee must receive the original signed quitclaim deed from the grantor.

The grantee records the quitclaim deed. They must file the quitclaim deed with the county recorder's office in the county where the property is located. It creates a public record of the transfer of ownership and helps protect the grantee's ownership interest in the property.

It's vital to note that a quitclaim deed does not guarantee that the grantor has clear title to the transferred property. For this reason, a quitclaim deed is often used when the grantor and grantee are familiar with each other and there is no question about the property's title.

How to Create a Quitclaim Deed

Creating a quitclaim deed involves several steps, including drafting the document, signing it, and recording it with the appropriate county or state authority. Here are the basic steps to create a quitclaim deed:

  1. Identify the Parties Involved. The first step is to identify the grantor (the person transferring the property) and the grantee (the person receiving the property).
  2. Obtain the Property Information. Gather information about the property, including the legal description, address, and county where it's located.
  3. Draft the Quitclaim Deed. Write the quitclaim deed document, including the names of the parties involved, the property description, and a statement indicating that the grantor is transferring any interest they have in the property to the grantee. You can find templates or examples of quitclaim deeds online or hire a real estate attorney to draft one for you.
  4. Sign the Quitclaim Deed. The grantor must sign the document in front of a notary public or other authorized official.
  5. Record the Quitclaim Deed. After the document is signed, it must be recorded with the appropriate county or state authority, such as the county recorder's office. This makes the transfer of ownership official and creates a public record of the transfer.
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When to Use a Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is commonly used when the parties know each other, such as between family members or divorcing spouses. It may also be used to transfer property between business partners or to clear up any questions about ownership.

However, it's important to note that a quitclaim deed may not be appropriate in all situations. For example, if you're buying or selling a property, it's generally recommended to use a warranty deed instead, providing greater protection for the buyer.

It's also important to clearly understand the potential risks involved when using a quitclaim deed, particularly if there are any outstanding liens or other claims against the property. In any case, it's always a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney before using a quitclaim deed to transfer ownership of real property.

Quitclaim Deed vs. Warranty Deed

A quitclaim deed and a warranty deed are both legal documents used in real estate transactions to transfer ownership of a property from one party to another. However, they differ in the level of protection they offer to the buyer.

A quitclaim deed is a document that transfers any interest the grantor (the person transferring the property) has in the property to the grantee (the person receiving the property), but it makes no guarantees or promises about the title.

In other words, the grantor is only transferring their interest in the property without making any warranties or guarantees about the title. This means that the grantee takes on any risks associated with the title, such as any liens, encumbrances, or defects.

On the other hand, a warranty deed is a document that transfers ownership of a property and includes promises or warranties from the grantor that they have clear and marketable title to the property.

It means that the grantor is guaranteeing that they own the property free and clear of any liens or encumbrances and that they have the right to transfer ownership to the grantee. If any issues with the title arise after the transfer, the grantor may be held liable and may have to compensate the grantee for any losses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Quitclaim Deeds

Advantages

  1. Simplicity: A quitclaim deed is a simple way to transfer property ownership without requiring an extensive legal process.
  2. Cost-Effective: Compared to other types of property transfers, a quitclaim deed is generally less expensive and can be completed quickly.
  3. Speed: Since there is no need for title searches or insurance, the transfer can happen quickly and without much delay.
  4. Flexibility: Quitclaim deeds can transfer property to family members, business partners, or anyone else without requiring extensive paperwork or formalities.

Disadvantages

  1. Limited Protection: The grantee of a quitclaim deed has limited protection against any claims that may arise against the property compared to other types of deeds that provide stronger legal protections.
  2. Not Suitable for All Situations: Quitclaim deeds may not be appropriate for certain situations, such as when buying or selling a property or when a third party is interested.
  3. Potential for Disputes: If there are any disputes over ownership or claims against the property, a quitclaim deed may not provide enough legal protection for the grantee. It could result in costly legal battles to resolve the dispute.

Quitclaim Deeds and Mortgages

While a quitclaim deed removes an individual's name from the property title and removes that individual's right to property, it doesn't eliminate mortgage responsibilities. A quitclaim deed removes a name but does not absolve that person from needing to pay off any debts they incur as the property's owner.

The mortgage is a separate document from the quitclaim deed. This can come into play during a divorce. For example, if one spouse quitclaims their property to the other spouse, this doesn't remove either spouse's name from the mortgage — nor does it remove the responsibility to pay that mortgage.

The only ways to relieve a borrower from their mortgage obligation are by using:

  • A payoff of the mortgage
  • A refinance ( Here is an article about refinancing your mortgage)
  • A sale of a property that results in a mortgage payoff

Deed transfers, including quitclaim deeds, solely impact property ownership and do not affect existing mortgages on the property.

Although a quitclaim deed removes an individual's name from the property title and their right to the property, it does not release them from any mortgage responsibilities. Even after a quitclaim deed, the individual must continue to pay off any debts they incurred as the property owner.

It is important to note that a mortgage is a separate document from the quitclaim deed, which can become relevant in situations such as divorce. For instance, if one spouse transfers their property to the other spouse using a quitclaim deed, it does not remove either spouse's name from the mortgage nor their obligation to pay it.

To relieve a borrower from their mortgage obligation, they can use one of the following methods: a payoff of the mortgage, a refinance, or a sale of the property that results in a mortgage payoff.

Key Terms for a Quitclaim

  • Quitclaim Deed: A legal document that transfers ownership of real property in a state from one person (grantor) to another (grantee) without any warranties or guarantees regarding the property's title or condition.
  • Grantor: The person who currently owns the property and is transferring ownership through the Quitclaim Deed.
  • Grantee: The person receiving ownership of the property through the Quitclaim Deed.
  • Consideration: The amount of money or other valuables exchanged between the grantor and grantee as part of the Quitclaim Deed transaction. It is worth noting, Quitclaim Deeds are often transacted for no consideration, such as gifting or transferring a property.
  • Cloud on Title: Any claim, lien, or other encumbrance that could affect the grantee's property ownership, even though the grantor makes no warranties or guarantees about the property's title.

Final Thoughts on a Quitclaim

A quitclaim deed is significant because it provides a simple, cost-effective way to transfer property ownership. However, it provides no guarantees or warranties about the title or ownership.

For help with Quitclaim deeds, we would recommend getting in touch with a real estate lawyer who specializes in these types of documents. Seeking professional legal advice is always the best course of action for this type of transaction.

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Real Estate

Quitclaim

Oklahoma

Asked on May 12, 2022

Can a quit claim be contested after 18 years for any reason?

X is trying filing to contest

Elbert T.

Answered Jun 3, 2022

Hello! I hope you are well! If X is contesting a defective or invalid deed, and the quitclaim deed has been recorded for at least five years, then the deed will be considered valid. Under Oklahoma law, an instrument (in your case, the quitclaim deed) that has not been acknowledged or which contains a defective acknowledgment shall be considered valid notwithstanding such omission or defect, and shall not be deemed to impair marketability, provided such instrument has been recorded for a period of not less than five (5) years. 16 O.S. §§ 27a & 39a. I would note that my response is limited based on the information that you have provided and that each individual situation may present its own unique issues. I hope this helps!

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Recent Project:
quitclaim and LLc
Location: New Jersey
Turnaround: Less than a week
Service: Drafting
Doc Type: Quitclaim Deed
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Bid Range: $850 - $1,250

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Recent Project:
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