The Ins and Outs of Quitclaim Deeds: A Complete Guide for Property Owners

DocPro Legal
Last Updated:

10 Nov 2023

Published On:

30 Jun 2023

min read

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Are you property owner looking to understand the complexities of quitclaim deed? 


A quitclaim deed is a legal document that involves the transfer of real estate or land  ownership interest between a grantor (owner) and a grantee (recipient). Download this Quit Deed template  for seamless transfer of assets.


This article further explains:

  • What is a Quitclaim Deed? 
  • How Does a Quitclaim Deed Work?
  • Advantages of using a quitclaim deed
  • Difference between Quitclaim Deed and General Warranty Deed
  • Essential elements of a Quit Claim Deed with downloadable template

What is a Quitclaim Deed? 


To understand what a quitclaim deed is, it’s important to understand general warranty deed. The primary difference is that a warranty deed includes a promise by the grantor, known as a warranty, a quitclaim deed does not entail any promise or warranty from the grantor. 


Warranty deeds are used in complex transactions, including completely unrelated parties. Within a warranty deed, the seller provides assurances regarding the property. Specifically, they affirm to the buyer that they possess legal ownership and the authority to transfer it. Furthermore, they guarantee the absence of any: Easements, Liens and Encumbrances. In the event of any title-related problems arising in the future, the buyer retains the option to potentially pursue legal action against the seller for breach of guarantee. Warranty deed plays a vital role in ensuring legal protection against fraud and potential litigation claims that may arise in the future. By securing a warranty deed, parties can protect themselves and establish a foundation of trust and legal security in the transaction.


Since the grantor in a quitclaim deed does not need to provide proof of title or title insurance to sign the deed, it makes it possible for someone to use such deeds to grant property they do not actually own. Given the absence of protections for the grantee- a quitclaim deed is typically not recommended for purchasing property from unfamiliar individuals through traditional sales, unless this was between close family members who you trust. They are suitable in cases where the absence of liens, mortgages, or third-party ownership disputes is already established.


To summarize, here are the difference between Quitclaim Deed and General Warranty Deed:


  Quitclaim Deed     General Warranty Deed
Definition Establish a change of ownership without warrenting ownership of the seller    Warrants the ownership and guarantees against any mortgage or encumbrance 
Warranties No warranties or guarantees are provided by the grantor Grantor provides full warranties and assurances of title to the grantee
Protection Offers the least protection to the grantee as the grantor's interest may be unclear Offers the most protection to the grantee as the grantor guarantees clear title
Common Usage Commonly used in situations like transferring property between family members, divorces, or to clear any potential cloud on the title Commonly used in traditional real estate transactions, ensuring the grantee has a clear and marketable title


How Does a Quitclaim Deed Work?


A quitclaim deed works by allowing one property owner to sign ownership over to another through a legal contract. This contract includes:

  • a legal description of the property, transfer date, and 
  • the identities of the parties involved in the title exchange. 

Subsequently, the grantor, the original property owner, signs the deed form to officially transfer ownership to the grantee, the new owner.

To ensure legal validity, quitclaim deeds typically require notarization, and certain states may mandate the presence of a witness. Furthermore, filing the deed with the county clerk is crucial to record the change in ownership in a public capacity in certain jurisdictions. 

While minor variations can occur depending on the specific state regulations, this outlines the general workings of a quitclaim deed.


What are the advantages of using a quitclaim deed?

  • Internal transfer : easier to transfer interest in property among family members, Quitclaim deeds can quickly transfer a property title between family members, avoiding the need for a real estate attorney or agent.
  • Tax function: minimize tax obligations typically associated with property transfers. In most real estate transactions, taxes are imposed based on the property's value. However, when the transfer occurs between family members without any monetary consideration, it is regarded as a gift. 
  • Simplicity: The forms used are easy to understand and often only require a notary and witness signature to legalize. 
  • Avoid Probate: By utilizing a quitclaim deed to transfer property ownership prior to the original owner's death, it is possible to bypass the probate process. This practice is frequently employed in cases involving terminal illnesses or other health conditions.

What are the disadvantages of using a Quit Claim Deed?


While Quitclaim deeds serve as a convenient method for transferring real estate ownership, yet they should be approached with caution due to their inherent risks and drawbacks. Unlike Warranty Deeds, Quitclaim Deeds do not provide detailed ownership information. They do not include property titles or insurance titles, which opens the possibility of someone transferring a property they do not actually own. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to engage the services of a knowledgeable real estate attorney during the creation and recording of a quitclaim deed. This ensures that the deed adheres to state-specific regulations, is accurately drafted, and is properly recorded. By taking these precautions, property owners can protect themselves against possible legal and financial pitfalls associated with the transfer.




Understanding the complexities of a quitclaim deed is crucial for property owners . While quitclaim deeds offer simplicity and advantages like internal transfers and tax minimisation, their inherent risks, such as the lack of detailed ownership information, make it essential for property owners to approach them cautiously.


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