Title & Deed Attorneys - The APEX Law Firm

What Is A Property Deed And What Do I Need To Know?

There is often confusion among clients between the title to a piece of property and the deed to the property.  Whereas a person may have the title or ownership of a piece of real property, the deed is the instrument, which conveys title.  Unlike a car title, a deed is not one document that stays with the property forever.  Your deed was drafted by an attorney.  Different deeds do different things, and like all things legal, language matters.  An experienced Connecticut real estate attorney can help you properly draft a deed in order to protect your claim to a property.

There are two primary types of deeds, Warranty Deeds and Quit Claim Deeds.  A Warranty Deed provides the Grantee (receiver of the property) a guarantee that the Grantor (or Seller) owns the property and has the authority to convey the property without any encumbrances (loans or liens).  In essence, the Warranty Deed ensures that you receive what the Deed says you are getting.  If you open a bag of chocolate chips, there had better be chocolate chips inside…

You may wonder how you can get a deed to a property that does not give you what it says you are getting.  The answer is simple, and it is the Quit Claim Deed.  The Quit Claim Deed relies on the age-old principle that you cannot give away more than what you have or things that you do not have (credit aside).  If I sign a Quit Claim Deed conveying my home to you, you may get quite a bit less than you bargained for.  For starters, my husband and I own the home together, which means the Deed that I just signed over to you only gave you half of a house.  Although you have the right to occupy the entire house, you will have to share it with my husband…  Oh, and p.s., don’t forget to pay the mortgage…  That Quit Claim Deed seemed like you were getting a good deal, but I only conveyed whatever equity interest I had in the house.  There was no guaranty that there was any…

So, why would anyone accept a Quit Claim Deed?  Typically if you are purchasing property for value (money), you would not or I would likely counsel you against it.  The Quit Claim Deed does serve a purpose, however, and is primarily used for transferring ownership interests among family members or related entities.  As an example, you purchased your home prior to getting married.  Once married, you would like to own the house together with your spouse and make sure that in the event that anything happens to you, that your spouse would now own the home and not be put out on the street (you still like each other).  A Quit Claim Deed from you to you and your spouse together as joint tenants would allow you to own the property together subject to any and all debts, which you would still be solely responsible for paying.  Of course, your spouse’s half of the property would still be pledged as collateral as well.  I will discuss whether you should own the house as joint tenants or tenants in common (and why it matters) next month.  In the meantime, if you own your home, take out your deed and have a look at what type of deed you have and if you own the home with someone else whether you are joint tenants… Consider that your homework.

As always, if you have any questions, you are interested in buying a piece of real property or selling one, or just want to give away what you have, the knowledgeable Connecticut real estate attorneys at The APEX Law Firm are happy to help you; to ensure that you are getting what you bargained for and not half a house that you’ll need to share with my husband.

Call The APEX Law Firm today at (860) 900-0900  or contact us online to schedule a free no obligation consultation with one of our experienced Connecticut real estate attorneys.