Friday, October 31, 2014

Hanover Park Real Estate: Types of Property Deeds and How They Differ

All real estate transactions for the purchase or sale of property require a conveyance of title, which is facilitated through the valid execution of a deed. A deed is a legal document that transfers some property right in real estate. Three major types of deeds are often used in real estate transactions to convey title, or ownership of the property, although other types of deeds exist. Those commonly used in real estate contracts include the general warranty deed, special warranty deed, and quitclaim deed. Each deed contains some or all of the covenants, or promises, connected with the subject real estate, which are passed from the previous owner (grantor) to the new owner (grantee) of the property.

Deed Covenants

There are covenants, or warranties, that a grantor /seller may convey to a grantee/buyer in a real estate transaction, depending on the type of deed that is used to transfer title. A grantor who conveys property is legally bound by the warranties of title, whether expressly written on the deed or implied by law, and a buyer may have recourse if a breach occurs.

  • Covenant of seisin – a grantor warrants having possession (seisin) of the property and, therefore, has the legal right to convey the real estate to another.
  • Covenant against encumbrances – a grantor warrants the real estate, unless specifically stated otherwise in the deed, is free of any liens or encumbrances.
  • Covenant of conveyance – this is a promise by the grantor that he or she has the right to convey, or transfer, the title property.
  • Further assurances – a grantor promises to deliver any and all documents or instruments necessary to convey good title.
  • Covenant of quiet enjoyment – the grantor promises to protect the grantee in the event a disturbance occurs with the buyer’s right to possess or use the property.
  • Covenant of warranty – this promise is a covenant not only to defend the grantee’s mere right of possession to the land, but also the land itself and the estate within it.

General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed is the highest caliber of deeds a buyer can receive because it contains all of the present and future covenants. Even more, the covenants contained in a general warranty deed cover not only the period during which the present seller held title to the property, but these covenants go back to the origin of the property itself. Consequently, the present seller would be liable for any defects in title before and through owners of the property.

Special Warranty Deed

The second best type of deed a buyer can receive, a special warranty deed contains the covenant of seisin and the covenant against encumbrances. The main difference between a general and a special warranty deed is that in the latter the seller only warrants against any acts or omissions that occurred while holding title. In other words, no issues in the title are warranted against prior to the seller taking ownership of the property.

Quitclaim Deed

Offering the least protection for the buyer, a quitclaim deed only conveys the rights and interest the grantor has in the property and nothing else. No warranties or covenants are provided to the buyer and, as a result, the seller is not liable for any issues that may arise regarding title. More often than not, quit claim deeds are used to cure defects in title and can be seen in property transfers between family members.

Contact a Hanover Park Real Estate Attorney

The purchase and/or sale of real estate is an important decision and often one of the largest transactions in one’s lifetime. As such, both the buyer’s and seller’s interest should be protected during all stages of a transaction. If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing property, contact a Hanover Park real estate attorney today to learn about rights and obligations associated with real property. The Law Offices of Gilbert C. Schumm has provided legal advice to clients regarding real estate for over 35 years and services the areas of greater Chicago including Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights and Roselle, among others. Call (847) 559-9109 today to schedule your initial consultation.

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