The Definition of a Quitclaim Deed

By Stewart Parnacott
Putting pen to paper to transfer title has many methods of conveyance.
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Utilized as a means of transferring title in real estate transactions, a quitclaim deed has no covenants or warranties. Providing the least amount of protection for the purchaser of real estate, the grantor makes no statement or even implies ownership of the property being quitclaimed to the grantee. Developed similarly in most states, only the grantor and not the grantee sign the quitclaim deed form as prepared by an attorney.

Uninterrupted Interest

Delivering only the assurance of uninterrupted interest in the property in question, the quitclaim deed bestows fee simple title upon the buyer. If the grantor has no interest, right, or title to the property described in the deed, none is conveyed to the grantee. If others with an interest in the property have not signed the deed, then their rights are unaffected by this document and they still retain their ownership.

Language of the Deed

Worded with very specific language, the critical wording in a quitclaim deed is the grantor's statement to hereby remise, release, and quitclaim forever. Renouncing completely all stake in a property, quitclaim means to relinquish all posession, right, or interest. Known as remise, the language using remise means to give up any existing claim on may have, as does the word release.

Purpose

Acquiring any subsequent right or interest in the property, the grantor is not obligated to convey it to the grantee. Seeming strange at first that such a deed should even exist, quitclaim deeds serve a very useful purpose. Originating frequently in real estate, situations often arise in transactions when a person claims to have a partial or incomplete right or interest in a parcel of land. Known as a title defect or cloud on the title, such a right or interest may have been due to an inheritance, dower, curtesy, or community property right, or to a mortgage or right of redemption because of a court-ordered foreclosure sale.

Features

Releasing the right of redemption claims to the fee simple owner through the use of a quitclaim deed, the cloud on the fee owner's title is removed. Used to create an easement, a quitclaim deed can also be used to release (extinguish) an easement. The quitclaim may also be used to release remainder and reversion interests. Quiclaim deeds cannot be used to perpetrate a fraud, however.

Limitations

Recognized as one of the least laborious methods of conveying title to real property, quitclaim deeds provide a unique function throughout the title transfer process. Failing to realize the important limitations can put the buyer into quite a quandary. Limited by assurances not transferred in other types of deeds, a quitclaim deed does not guarantee that the property is the grantee's outright. In most cases, the signed quitclaim deed is a simple and effective way to give up all interest in a property.

About the Author

Dawson, Ga., relies on Stewart Parnacott to get the word out. Parnacott has articles which have appeared in "Men's Fitness," "Georgia Trend," and "The Examiner." Parnacott is a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia and holds degrees in consumer economics, housing, and real estate. He is currently working on two master's degrees from the University of Alabama.