What is the difference between a quit claim deed, and a warranty deed?

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Both a Quit Claim Deed and a Warranty Deed are legal documents used to transfer property rights.

A quit claim deed transfers only the interest in a piece of real estate that the grantee (generally the seller) happens to have.

A person could give someone a quit claim deed to the Brooklyn Bridge, and the person receiving the deed (the grantee) would receive nothing (since the person giving the deed obviously does not own the Brooklyn Bridge). In addition, grantee would not be able to successfully sue the grantor for breaking any promise–there is no promise, guarantee, or warranty in a quit claim deed. Essentially, a quit claim deed says “whatever part of this land I own, I transfer to you.”

A warranty deed on the other hand contains a promise or a “warranty” that the grantor has good title to the piece of real estate.

If a person gave someone a warranty deed to the Brooklyn Bridge, that person would still receive nothing (because the grantor still does not own the Brooklyn Bridge), but the grantee could sue the grantor for breach of the warranty.

The most common use of a quit claim deed when conveying good, marketable title to a piece of real estate is not a big concern. For example, in a divorce, a quit claim deed is likely used to transfer a spouse’s interest in the land to the other spouse (who already has good title).

A warranty deed is more common when someone is selling a piece of real estate and the buyer expects to receive good, marketable, flawless title to the property.
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