A quitclaim deed is a legal document that’s used to transfer real estate ownership from one person or party to another.  The paperwork releases a person’s interest in the property without indicating their interest or rights. A quitclaim deed does not guarantee that the person relinquishing the property had valid, legal ownership – there are no associated warranties.

Quitclaim deeds, sometimes called “quick claim deeds,” are usually used in non-sale transactions, like when family members or spouses are transferring property between each other. It’s one of the fastest ways to transfer property.

What Does a Quitclaim Deed Include?

For a quitclaim deed to be valid in Georgia, the document must be in writing. It must include:

  • The grantor’s (the person or party transferring the property) name and address
  • The grantee’s (the person or party receiving the property) name and address
  • A legal and physical description of the property including the county and sale value
  • The date of transfer
  • The grantor and grantee’s signatures

In addition to these contents, the grantor, grantee, and two witnesses must sign the document. The paperwork must be properly notarized.

When Can You Use a Quitclaim Deed?

Quitclaim deeds are often used in non-traditional sales. They’re typically not used in real estate sales because the grantee doesn’t receive any guarantees about the ownership, title, or insurance. Quitclaim deeds are common when property is transferred between parties such as family members or spouses. You can also use a quitclaim deed to transfer the property into a living trust.

Other examples of when a quitclaim deed would be used include: adding/removing a spouse from the property title, transferring ownership to a corporation, or when the owner legally changes their name and needs to update the deed. You can also use a quitclaim deed to clear up title to property, if someone else may have an unaccounted-for interest in the property. That person can quitclaim their interest in the property prior to issuing any title insurance.

What is the Difference Between a Quitclaim Deed and Warranty Deeds?

General and specialty warranty deeds warrant the good state of the title and protect the new owner; they can also compensate the new owner for any losses due to a third-party challenge over the title. A general warranty deed contains covenants that the new owner can legally purchase, possess, and enjoy the property. A special warranty deed addresses any issues or defects that arise during the seller’s ownership period.

Unlike general or special warranty deed, a quitclaim deed does not include any protections for the buyer/grantee. It only operates to convey the seller/grantor’s interest to the buyer/grantee. A quitclaim deed doesn’t make any assurance that the seller/grantor even has a legal ownership interest. It merely states that if the seller/grantor does have any interest, the seller/grantor releases those interests to the buyer/grantee. Also, a quitclaim deed differs from warranty deeds in that title insurance is not issued along with a quitclaim deed.

Have Questions? Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates’ Real Estate Lawyers

While quitclaim deeds are one of the fastest ways to transfer property and are very common in non-sale transactions, these documents do not carry the same legal assurances as warranty deeds. If an issue arises, the buyer or the person who acquired the property may have little recourse against the seller.

If you have questions about quitclaim deeds or a problem has developed after using a quitclaim deed in a real estate transaction, please reach out to Brian M. Douglas & Associates. Our team of experienced real estate lawyers are happy to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (770) 933-9009 or with our online contact form.