There are a number of reasons why you might wish to transfer real estate in Arizona, and not just because the property is being bought and sold. The quickest way to give away your title – or any interest you may have in the property – and transfer it to a spouse, co-owner or to a family trust is through a quitclaim deed. With this type of deed, you are not making any promises about the title. This is why a quitclaim deed is typically used for transactions between partners and family members and not usually between strangers.
What Is a Quitclaim Deed?
A quitclaim deed is used to transfer the title to real estate from one person to another. You can use it for all types of properties, from residential homes to commercial buildings and undeveloped land. However, unlike other types of deeds, the seller does not warrant, promise or guaranty that he has good title to the property. He does not even promise that he owns the property and that he has the right to sell it. As a result, the buyer may get good title to the property – or he may get nothing at all.
Because of the limitations of a quitclaim deed, it is rarely used in transactions between strangers where money changes hands. So, for example, if you are buying a few acres of land for $10,000, it is much better to use a warranty deed where the seller does promise that he owns the land free and clear of any title problems that could negatively impact your ownership.
Quitclaims are useful in some situations. For example, if you need to transfer title to a family member as part of an inheritance or divorce settlement. Or, if you want to put property into a living trust, then a quitclaim deed could well be the best option. As always, seek the advice of an attorney before making important legal and financial decisions.
Requirements for a Quitclaim Deed in Arizona
For an Arizona quitclaim to be valid, it must:
- Be in writing.
- Be signed by the grantor in the presence of a notary public. The grantor is the current owner of the property – the person selling or giving away his title.
- Contain the following specific statutory language: For the consideration of [insert the agreed price], I hereby quit claim to [name of buyer] all my interest in the following real property [description of property].
Read More: Quitclaim Deed Requirements
How to Fill Out a Quitclaim
Start by downloading a fill-in-the-blanks quitclaim deed form. A quick Google search should turn up multiple options – just make sure the form you choose is applicable to the state of Arizona and contains the required legal wording. Fill out the relevant information, namely:
- Your name and address.
- The grantee's (buyer) name and address.
- Arizona county where the property is located.
The price in dollars if money is changing hands –
write this in words and numbers. * Legal description of the property as it appears on the property deed.
Sign, Notarize and Record the Deed
Take the completed quitclaim to a notary public along with your ID. Sign the quitclaim deed in her presence. The notary will then add her ID number, credentials and notary stamp. The grantee does not need to sign the quitclaim deed.
Once notarized, take the quitclaim deed to the county recorder's office where the property is located. The transaction is not completed until the deed is recorded. Arizona counties each have their own recording requirements and fees. Maricopa County, for example, charges a flat rate of $15 to record all property deeds. Make sure you record the quitclaim within 60 days of the notary public's signature date or the quitclaim will be invalid and you'll have to start over again.
- Arizona Revised Statutes: Title 33. Property § 33-401. Formal Requirements of Conveyance
- Arizona Revised Statutes: Title 33. Property § 33-402. Forms for Conveyances; Quit Claim
- EForms: Arizona Quitclaim Deed Form
- Arizona Revised Statutes: Title 11. Counties § 11-468. Place of Recording Instrument
- Maricopa County Recorder: Recording Fees
- If your use of the quitclaim deed is part of a transaction in which there is more than a nominal payment or other consideration, you must prepare and file an affidavit of property value along with the quitclaim deed, which assists the county assessor in valuing the property for property tax purposes. However, there are 18 statutory exemptions to filing the affidavit.
Jayne Thompson earned an LL.B. in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “Big Law” firms before launching a career as a commercial writer. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts.