Category: Property Deeds



If you are buying or selling a home, the Deed is one of the most important documents.  The Deed is the only document that actually transfers title to the property from you (as a seller), or to you (as a buyer).  Four of the more common types of Deeds that you may see are a 1) Quit Claim Deed, 2) Warranty Deed, 3) Special Warranty Deed, and 4) Deed in Trust/Trustee’s Deed.

A Quit Claim Deed merely removes an individual from a property’s title.  In other words, the individual that executes a Quit Claim Deed is simply disclaiming any interest in the property.  The individual obtaining the property via the Quit Claim Deed receives no assurances or warranties as to ownership, or whether the property is free of the interests of any third parties.

Quit Claim Deeds are not generally used in real estate transactions.  The contract between the buyer and seller often requires that the seller provide the buyer with “clear and marketable title.”  A Quit Claim Deed does not deliver clear and marketable title because it makes no warranties as to property ownership or any encumbrances on the property.

The Warranty Deed is a more common method of conveyance in a real estate transaction.  Under Illinois law, any deed that simply states that “seller warrants to buyer,” is guaranteeing the buyer that 1) the seller is the lawful owner of the property, 2) the property is free from encumbrances, 3) the buyer is entitled to possession of the property, and 4) the seller will defend the buyer in court against certain claims to the property.  If you are purchasing property, ensure that you are receiving a Warranty Deed.

Special Warranty Deeds are less common, but you may encounter one if you buy property from a bank that recently foreclosed on certain property.  The Special Warranty Deed only provides guarantees during the time that the bank owned the property.  It does not provide any warranties related to the time period when the previous owner, who lost his or her interest due to foreclosure, owned the property.

Finally, both buyers and sellers of property may see conveyances that are labeled as a Deed in Trust or a Trustee’s Deed.  A Deed in Trust is simply one that conveys the property into a certain trust.  A Trustee’s Deed is a conveyance from the trustee of a certain trust, to another individual or entity.  Both a Deed in Trust and a Trustee’s Deed can be either a Quit Claim Deed, or a Warranty Deed.  You can tell the form of the conveyance by whether the Deed in Trust or Trustee’s Deed states that “seller quitclaims to buyer” or that “seller warrants to buyer.”  Based on that language, the Deed in Trust or Trustee’s Deed will contain the same basic characteristics of a Quit Claim Deed or a Warranty Deed.

Types of Deeds for My Property

Types of Deeds for My Property

When you are getting ready to buy or sell your real estate, you may hear discussions about the deed to the property.  You may have some questions regarding the deed and its purpose. Many people are surprised to find there is more than one type of deed which can be granted to you, and each deed has different warranties. It is important to have an attorney with you to make sure you are getting a clean and correct deed.

In real estate transactions there are three main types of deeds which you may encounter. A general warranty deed, a special warranty deed, and a quit claim deed. Each are independent of each other and each promise different warranties to the buyer.

Quit Claim Deed

A quit claim deed offers the least amount of protection for home buyers. A quit claim deed does not provide a warranty of title. It does not even guarantee that the person transferring you the land, actually owns the land. A quit claim deed does not guarantee that there is nothing encumbering the property. This means, if the previous owner did not pay a tax bill, a tax lien could be placed on the property. The grantee of the quit claim deed has no recourse against the grantor because a quit claim deed makes no guarantee. You may be thinking, why would one even use a quit claim deed to begin with? A quit claim deed is easy when there is no uncertainty about ownership. For example, a recently married couple may want to add the new spouse’s name to the deed, or you would like to add a family member to your deed.

Warranty Deed

A warranty deed is the most common deed in a real estate transaction. A warranty deed warrants more than a quit claim deed.  For example, a warranty deed warrants the grantor has a valid interest in the property, the property is free of any incumbrances and the grantor promises they will defend title to the property against anyone who makes an unlawful claim. A warranty deed is a good option for buying a home because it allows protection on the property.

Special Warranty Deed

Another common deed is the special warranty deed. A special warranty deed however, only protect against any claims that arose when the Seller had the property. It does not protect against any claims or liens from the previous owner before the grantor. A special warranty deed is often done for homes with new construction or homes bought at a foreclosure sale. It is important you speak with a qualified attorney to go over your options and your protections any time you buy or sell a home.