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The Document of Property Transfer

A deed is the document that transfers ownership of real estate from one person or legal entity to another. The deed contains the names of the old and new owners and a legal description of the property. The person transferring the property must sign the paper to execute the deed.

Do I need a deed to transfer property?

You cannot transfer real estate without having something in writing. In some situations, a document other than a deed is used. For example, a court order may transfer real estate from a divorcing couple to one of the former spouses.

Quitclaim Deed, Grant Deed, Warranty Deed

The substance of the deed determines the type of deed: the description of the transferred property and the names of the old and new owners.

A quitclaim deed transfers whatever ownership interest you have in the property. It does not guarantee the extent of your interest. Divorcing couples often use quitclaim deeds; one spouse transfers any rights in the property to the other. A quitclaim deed can be useful if the parties are not clear how much of an interest, if any, one spouse has in a property.

A grant deed transfers your ownership and implies certain warranties. The grant deed says that title has not been transferred to someone else or been encumbered, except described in the deed. Grant deeds are the most common type of deed.

A warranty deed transfers your ownership and explicitly guarantees to the buyer that you have good title to the property. A warranty deed may make other promises to address particular problems with the transaction.

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