To file a quitclaim deed in Pennsylvania, sign a quitclaim deed form that contains a legal description of the property, add the grantee's Certificate of Residence and have all signatures notarized. Then, pay the transfer tax if necessary and record the deed in the recorder's office of the county in which the property is located.
A quitclaim deed is sometimes erroneously called a quick claim deed. This kind of deed is used to convey an interest in real property that makes no guarantees about title. It simply transfers to a grantee whatever interest the grantor may have in the real property.
This means that there is a risk to accepting a quitclaim deed from a stranger. However, quitclaim deeds are effective ways to transfer property interests in families or between co-owners. Quitclaims are often used to:
- transfer property title from community property to joint tenancy
- transfer property into a revocable living trust
- transfer property from a spouse to the other after a divorce
- transfer a co-owner’s interests to another co-owner
- transfer property you currently own yourself into co-ownership with someone else
Read More: What Is the Advantage of a Quitclaim Deed?
Pennsylvania Quitclaim Deed Laws
State statutes provide that whenever a Pennsylvania deed uses the words “release and quit claim,” this means that the grantor (making the deed) is releasing to the grantee all her right, title and interest in the property.
The laws specify that after signing a quitclaim deed, the grantor has no further legal claim to the property. Since a quitclaim doesn't use the words “grant and convey,” the grantor does not warrant that the estate is free from encumbrances, liens or mortgages.
Preparing and Filing a PA Quitclaim Deed
In Pennsylvania, the person making a quitclaim deed signs it before a notary. The grantee signs a Certificate of Residence listing his name and address. This must accompany the quitclaim deed and the signatures must also be notarized.
Under Pennsylvania law, the deed must be recorded with the recorder of deeds in the county where the property is located. If the quitclaim deed isn't recorded, it is considered void on behalf of a future buyer who doesn't know about the quitclaim.
Pennsylvania imposes a real estate transfer tax that must be paid at the time the quitclaim is filed, but various exemptions apply. For example, transfers between family members are exempt, as well as transfers to or from a living trust or transferring property under a will.
In some cases, you also have to file a Realty Tax Statement of Value form along with your deed. For example, you have to do this if you claim a transfer tax exemption other than for an intrafamily transfer, i.e. transfers between spouses, parents and children, grandparents and grandchidren, and siblings. Get the form and instructions from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website.
Many counties impose their own additional tax, so check before you go to record. The amount of the tax is based on the value of the property being transferred.
Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.