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Last Update February 27th, 2024

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What Is a Warranty Deed

A Warranty Deed is a legal document that is used to transfer ownership of a property from a seller (grantor) to a buyer (grantee). 

When using a Warranty Deed, the seller makes certain promises to the buyer. These promises typically include guaranteeing that the seller has the legal right to transfer the property, that the property has no undisclosed claims, and that the seller will defend the buyer against any future claims to the property.

Types of Warranty Deed

Two main types of Warranty Deeds are commonly used in real estate transactions - General Warranty Deeds and Special Warranty Deeds.

Note that the specific terminology and requirements for Warranty Deeds may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

General Warranty Deed

A general Warranty Deed offers the highest level of protection to the buyer, guaranteeing  that the seller holds a free and clear title to the property. 

This type of Warranty Deed also protects against any defects in title that may have occurred in previous ownership transfers, providing the most comprehensive warranties and assurances to the buyer.

Special Warranty Deed

A special Warranty Deed, also called a statutory Warranty Deed or limited Warranty Deed, is similar to a general Warranty Deed, but it provides limited warranties. 

It guarantees that the seller holds a free and clear title to the property during the time they owned it, but it does not provide warranties for previous ownership transfers. 

General Warranty Deed Sample

For your convenience, we have provided a sample Warranty Deed that you can use as a reference when drafting your own document. 

Ensure that your final Warranty Deed is comprehensive, legally sound, and accurately represents the transfer of property rights by utilizing this sample.

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Warranty Deed Sample

How to Use a Warranty Deed

Using a Warranty Deed is essential when transferring ownership of real estate property. This type of document provides a guarantee that the seller holds a clear and valid title to the property, free from any liens or encumbrances

This form helps protect both the buyer and seller by establishing a clear chain of title, providing peace of mind and legal protection for all parties involved.

A Warranty Deed is typically required when looking for financing or insurance.

Warranty Deed vs Quitclaim Deed

When it comes to transferring real estate property, there are two commonly used types of deeds: Warranty Deeds and quitclaim deeds

Each serves a different purpose and offers different levels of protection to the parties involved. 

Explore the differences between these two types of deeds in the comparison table below:

Aspect Warranty Deed Quitclaim Deed
Scope Guarantees grantor's ownership and right to sell the property

Highest level of protection

No warranties or guarantees for grantee

Does not provide any assurances about the state of the property's title

Extent of Guarantee No undisclosed claims, liens, or encumbrances

Grantee can seek legal action based on deed's guarantees

Does not guarantee or assure the state of the title

Grantee accepts the property with existing claims, liens, or encumbrances and cannot seek legal recourse against grantor

Common Uses Mortgage financing

Insurance

Transferring property between family members or correcting title issues
Title Insurance Against any undiscovered or undisclosed issues No insurance

Grantee may purchase a separate title insurance policy

Seller's Liability Seller assumes liability

May have to defend the buyer's ownership in case of a claim

Seller does not assume liability
Recommended for When purchasing property from unfamiliar or potentially untrustworthy sellers When transferring property between parties who trust each other fully

How to Write a Warranty Deed

Follow the steps below to ensure you cover all the necessary details while tailoring a Warranty Deed to your specific needs:

  • Describe the property: Specify if it's residential, commercial, or undeveloped land. Include the property's location and, provide the price at which the property is being transferred.
  • Select a warranty type: Decide whether you're granting a full or limited warranty. This choice determines the extent of the guarantee you provide regarding the property's title.
  • Describe the parties involved: Provide detailed information about both the grantor(s) and grantee(s) including their full names and addresses.
  • Consider adding reservations: In certain situations, the grantor may wish to retain a slight interest in the property. To address this, you can include a reservation within the Warranty Deed. The reservation describes an exception to the title transfer.
  • Add final details: Clearly state who will receive tax notices once the transfer is complete. Ensure you add the date and location where the parties will sign the document.

Ensure you have all the accurate and necessary details by using our free online, customizable Warranty Deed template

Warranty Deed Laws by State

State Statute
Alabama §35-4-271
Alaska §AS34.15.030
Arizona §33-402
Arkansas §18-12-102
California §1092
Colorado §38-30-113
Connecticut §47-36c, §47-36d
Delaware §121
Florida §689.02
Georgia §44-5-62
Hawaii §13-16
Idaho §55-612
Illinois §765ILCS5/9
Indiana §32-17-1-2
Iowa §558.19(3)
Kansas §58-2203
Kentucky §KRS382.030
Louisiana §CC2475
Maine §33-§763
Maryland §2-105
Massachusetts §183-10
Michigan §565.151
Minnesota §507.07
Mississippi §89-1-33
Missouri §442.430
Montana §70-20-103
Nebraska §76-206
Nevada §NRS111.312
New Hampshire §477:27
New Jersey §46:4-7
New Mexico §47-1-29, §47-1-44
New York §258
North Carolina §47H-6
North Dakota §47-10-13
Ohio §5302.05
Oklahoma §16-40
Oregon §ORS93.850
Pennsylvania §21P.S.§5
Rhode Island §34-11-12
South Carolina §27-7-10
South Dakota §43-25-5
Tennessee §66-5-103
Texas §66-5-103
Utah §57-1-12
Vermont §301
Virginia §55-68
Washington §RCW64.04.030
West Virginia §36-4-2
Wisconsin §706.10(5)
Wyoming §34-2-102

FAQs About Warranty Deeds

Before beginning to draft your Warranty Deed, you should have a solid understanding of its purpose and legal requirements. 

We understand laws can be complex, which is why we've compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions to help you gain clarity and confidence in the process.

How Do I Get a Warranty Deed?

Create your document using our free online customizable Warranty Deed template to ensure you don’t leave out any significant details.

Once the document has been prepared, it must be signed by the grantor and then notarized in the presence of a notary public. After that, the deed should be filed with the appropriate office in the county or jurisdiction where the property is located. 

It's important to follow the specific rules and regulations of your state or jurisdiction to ensure the Warranty Deed is valid and enforceable.

Does a Warranty of Deed Need to be Recorded?

Yes, a Warranty Deed should be recorded to provide notice to potential buyers and to protect the owner's legal interests. Recording the Warranty Deed establishes a public record of the transaction and helps prevent any future claims or disputes. 

By recording the document, it becomes part of the official land records and can be easily accessed and reviewed by interested parties.

Do I Need to Notarize My Warranty Deed?

Yes, you generally need to notarize your Warranty Deed. Notarization involves having a notary public verify your identity and witness your signature on the deed. Notarizing the deed adds an extra layer of authenticity and helps prevent fraud. 

In most states, notarization is a legal requirement for the document to be valid and enforceable. Failure to properly notarize the deed may result in complications or challenges to its validity in the future.

Does a Warranty Deed Prove Ownership?

Yes, a Warranty Deed serves as evidence of ownership for real estate properties. This legal document is typically used in property transfers and guarantees that the seller holds clear title to the property and has the right to transfer it. 

While a Warranty Deed alone may not be the only proof of ownership, it provides a strong presumption of ownership and protects the buyer from future claims.

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Warranty Deed Sample

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