In your contract for the sale or purchase of real estate, you may have seen language that says that the real estate shall be passed by a “good and valid general warranty deed.” What is a warranty deed? Along those same lines: what is a quit claim deed? Corporate warranty deed? Executor’s deed? Sheriff’s deed? Which deed do you need for your real estate transaction?
To start, a deed is the document that transfers ownership of real estate from one person or entity to another. Often when folks think of a deed, they get a mental image of a large, cartoonish scroll of paper with ornate writing and metallic stamps. In reality, a deed is simply piece of printer paper that contains language of conveyance. This begs the question: well, what prevents anybody from simply making a deed to real estate regardless of whether they own it? Title insurance! But that is for another post (Understanding your Title Commitment and Policy).
General Warranty Deed
A “general” warranty deed in Kansas is just that; a standard, plain, warranty deed. The “warranty” portion of the deed is stating that the grantor (seller) of the real estate is “warranting” or “defending” the fact that the grantor actually owns the real estate. They are also guaranteeing that they are passing title to the real estate. A warranty deed is guaranteeing that no other person owns the interest in the real estate being transferred. It works like a warranty on a new car that guarantees the car will perform as promised for a period of time. Additional language regarding the extent of the warranty being given is included in the deed.
Deeds from Businesses or Estates
When the words “corporate”, “executor” or “conservator” appear in the title of a warranty deed, it is basically to identify the entity or authority of the grantor (seller) to transfer the real estate in the transaction. Additional language about the entity or individual transferring title is accompanied in the deed. However, at the end of the day, the title being conveyed by one of these deeds is the same as a general warranty deed.
A “sheriff’s deed” is a deed that results from the county sheriff passing title to real estate. This is typical through a foreclosure sale or tax sale. This type of deed can be quite complicated and must contain certain language regarding how the sheriff came into authority to transfer such real estate. It is advised to consult with a real estate professional when dealing with a sheriff’s deed in Kansas.
Quit Claim Deeds
Lastly, a “quit claim deed” makes no warranty to the grantee (buyer) of the real estate about the ownership held by the grantor (seller) or the ownership to be conveyed upon the grantee. It simply means that any ownership that the grantor may have is being given to the grantee.
Real estate transactions and title insurance can be complicated and confusing. Tallgrass Title professionals are always available and willing to discuss your questions regarding deeds or any other aspect of your real estate transaction. It’s our job!