A quitclaim deed is a type of deed that transfers an interest in real estate. Whenever someone receives property by deed, she must record the executed deed in the county where the property is located. If the property is in Pierce County, Washington, recording the deed is a simple process that can be done either online, by mail or in person.
What is a Quitclaim Deed?
Ownership of land is evidenced by a deed. A deed will contain language showing a conveyance; that is, it will say something like "John Smith, Grantor, to Jane Doe, Grantee" to show that John Smith is transferring property to Jane Doe.
A quitclaim deed is a type of deed that transfers only whatever interest the grantor has in the property. If John Smith owns the property with five other people in equal shares and quitclaims the property to Jane Doe, then Jane Doe will only receive one-fifth of an interest in the property. If John Smith owns the property subject to three mortgages and a tax lien, then Jane Doe will receive the property with those encumbrances still attached.
Read More: Quitclaim Deed Requirements
Recording a Deed for Land
After the grantor prepares and signs a deed, the grantee must take the deed to the recorder in the county where the property is situated. The grantee will pay a fee, and the recorder will record the deed in the Book of Deeds, where it will be assigned a book number and a page number. Anyone who does a search of the records for that property will be able to see that the grantee is the current owner.
Pierce County, Washington Deed Requirements
In Pierce County, deeds are recorded with the Auditor's Office. The deed itself must have a top margin of 3 inches, 1-inch margins on the sides and the bottom of the first page and each additional page must have 1-inch margins on all sides. The first page must have a return address in the upper left corner inside the 3-inch margin; the address should be the address where the recorded deed can be sent.
The first page must also contain the names of the grantor and the grantee, an abbreviation of the property's legal description, any reference numbers if the deed refers to a previously recorded document and the assessor's tax parcel number.
The paper should be no larger than 8 1/2 by 14 inches, and the font must be 8 points or larger.
The Pierce County website has a quitclaim deed form available in Microsoft Word format, which property owners can use to prepare the deed and ensure that the requirements are met.
Deed Recording Fees
The fee to record a quitclaim deed in Pierce County is $103.50 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page. If the deed is three pages, for example, the fee will be $105.50.
Recording the Deed Online
Once the deed is prepared, the grantor must sign the deed before a notary. The grantee can then record the deed. He can scan a copy of the signed deed and record it online at the Pierce County website, which has an eRecording feature. He can pay the required fee with a credit card.
Recording the Deed by Mail or in Person
If recording the deed online isn't an option, the grantee can take the deed to the Auditor's Office during business hours and record it in person. The grantee will need a check for the required fee. She can also mail it to the Auditor's Office with the required fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the auditor to send the recorded deed back to her.
Quitclaim deeds can be recorded in Pierce County, Washington, by scanning the completed document and using the county's eRecording feature. Grantees can also walk into the Auditor's Office with the appropriate fees and record it over the counter, or they can mail the deed with a check for the fee.
Rebecca K. McDowell is a creditors' rights attorney with a special focus on bankruptcy and insolvency. She has a B.A. in English from Albion College and a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School. She has written legal articles for Nolo and the Bankruptcy Site.