In New Mexico, a warranty deed is created when real property is conveyed from a seller to a buyer and the conveyance is intended to include certain warranty covenants in favor of the buyer. Sometimes called a "general warranty deed," this type of deed provides the buyer with the broadest form of assurances from the seller that there are no defects in title to the property. Section 47-1-44 of the New Mexico Code provides examples for this type and other deeds.
Warranty Deed Form
New Mexico law specifies the language to be included in a warranty deed and even provides a form of warranty deed to be followed. Section 47-1-29 of the New Mexico Code states that a deed that substantially follows the form for a warranty deed in Section 47-1-44 and is properly executed conveys to the buyer (referred to as "grantee" in the statute) ownership of the property (identified as "fee simple") along with the warranty covenants set forth in Section 47-1-37.
Effect of Warranty Covenants
The warranty covenants set forth in Section 47-1-37 essentially provide four guarantees to the buyer from the seller in a warranty deed. First, the seller guarantees that he has full ownership and possession of the property. Second, the property is free from any liens and encumbrances for unpaid taxes and judgments, or mortgages. Third, the seller has the right to convey full ownership and possession of the property. Fourth, the seller will defend the buyer against any claims made against the buyer regarding these warranties.
Special Warranty Deed Form
New Mexico law also specifies the language to be included in a special warranty deed, as well as providing a form of special warranty deed to be followed. Section 47-1-31 of the New Mexico Code states that a deed that substantially follows the form for a specially warranty deed in Section 47-1-44 and is properly executed shall convey to the buyer ownership of the property along with the warranty covenants set forth in Section 47-1-38.
Effect of Special Warranty Covenants
The special warranty covenants set forth in Section 47-1-38 are essentially the same four guarantees provided to the buyer from the seller under a warranty deed, with one major exception. By using a special warranty deed, the seller is limiting the extent of her warranties to the time period she actually owned the property. With a warranty deed, there is no time period limiting the warranties, so the seller would have to defend title claims that may have their origin prior to her ownership.
A quitclaim deed can also be used to convey the seller's ownership in the property to a buyer, and Section 47-1-44 provides a form for this type of deed as well. However, by using a quitclaim deed, the seller is not making any warranties to the buyer; whatever defects in title that exist will have to be taken care of by the buyer. This type of deed is typically used in conveyances between family members or to settle divorces and should be avoided in arms-length transactions.
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