What is a quitclaim deed? And is it the right option for me? These are common questions my clients, buyers and sellers of gorgeous homes in South Orange County, ask me on a regular basis. Read on to learn whether a quitclaim deed may be the best way to transfer property ownership for you…

A quitclaim deed (sometimes inaccurately referred to as a “quick-claim” deed) is a legal instrument by which the owner of a piece of real estate (the grantor) transfers his or her interest to a recipient (the grantee).  The owner/grantor terminates (“quits”) his or her right and claim to the property, thereby allowing ‘claim’ to transfer to the recipient/grantee. With a quitclaim, the grantor does not guarantee that he or she actually owns the property at the time of the transfer, or if he or she does own it, that the title is free and clear. It is therefore possible for a grantee to receive no actual interest, and – because a quitclaim deed offers no warranty – have no legal recourse to recover any losses. In other words, quitclaim deeds make no guarantee, promise, or warranty as to whether title will be ‘free and clear.’

While quitclaim deeds are rarely used to transfer property from seller to buyer in a traditional property sale, they are useful when it comes to transferring property between family members who trust one another or when deeding a property as a gift to a person or estate.  This type of deed is also commonly used to add or remove a spouse from the property title, such as a result of marriage or divorce. For instance, if a partner receives the family home in a divorce decree, the other partner would enact a quitclaim deed to remove their own interest in the property.

For more information on issues relating to buying or selling your Orange County home, contact Cheryl Marquis today.