Buyer Beware of the Quitclaim Deed! Deeds are written documents that convey real property from one owner to another. However, there are a variety of types of deeds that can be used to convey real estate in Texas. In this article, we will discuss the particular type of deed known as a Quitclaim Deed and explain how it differs from a warranty deed. When you are selling or buying real estate in Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park or Pflugerville, you should consult an Austin real estate lawyer to help guide you as to which type of deed works best, prepare the proper documents you need, and make sure that the transaction is handled efficiently.
Warranty deeds, either general warranty deeds or special warranty deeds, are the typical method of conveying real property in Texas. Warranty deeds provide assurances from the seller to the buyer that the following facts are true:
- the seller has not sold or given the property to anyone else;
- there are no liens, encumbrances, or taxes on the property; and
- the seller has the right to sell the land.
Under Texas real estate law, there are many different steps, deadlines, and requirements that must be met before the sale of property is final and title is transferred to a new owner. For instance, deeds must be in writing, signed by the parties, delivered, and filed in the correct county records department. An Austin real estate attorney can provide the necessary documents as well as give you advice to simplify the process so that the transaction is handled smoothly.
Quitclaim deeds in Texas are a release by the grantor of any claim, right, or ownership he has in the property to the grantee. While a warranty deed affirmatively conveys property, a quitclaim deed conveys only what interest, if any, the grantor has in the property. A quitclaim deed does not offer any warranty or promise that the transfer of title is good. It only conveys whatever title to the property that the seller had at the time. To prove title to property, the grantee (buyer) of a quitclaim deed then must prove that the grantor (seller), and prior grantors in the chain, held title to the property. McMahon v. Fender, 350 S.W.2d, 239, 240 (Civ. App. – Waco 1961, ref. n.r.e.). If the grantor of a quitclaim deed did not have title to begin with, the grantee does not either.
Quitclaim deeds in Texas can be useful in limited circumstances to pass title, but are not the favored choice of deeds. Quitclaim deeds are written instruments signed by the parties, and should be recorded with the local Texas county clerk’s office. County clerk’s offices may have additional requirements for quitclaim deeds. You should consult an Austin real estate attorney to ensure that the requirements are met before filing.
- 17-73 Texas Transaction Guide–Legal Forms