What is a Grant Deed?
If you are transferring or acquiring title to real property, you need to understand the various types of deeds that may be used. This includes grant deeds, which are especially likely to be encountered if the property is being acquired through a tax or foreclosure sale.
What Is a Deed?
A deed is a legal document transferring title to real property from one party to another. The party can be an individual, a business entity (such as a corporation or LLC), a trust, or an estate. The party transferring title is called the grantor, or the transferor, while the party receiving title is called the grantee, or transferee.
A grant deed, also known in many states as a limited warranty deed or a special warranty deed, gives the grantee some, but not all, of the assurances of a general warranty deed. The typical grant deed only makes two warranties: that the grantor has not transferred the property to anyone else and that there are no title problems that arose during the time the grantor has held the title. It gives no warranties as to any claims that may have arisen before the grantor acquired the title and makes no promise to pay legal costs of defending any title claims.
A grantor would ideally prefer to give a quitclaim deed because it frees them of liability for any title problems. On the other hand, the grantee is best protected by a general warranty deed. A grant deed can be viewed as a middle ground, offering the grantee a degree of protection somewhere between a quitclaim and a general warranty deed.
Content of a Grant Deed
Any deed will contain the date, names of the grantor and grantee, a description of the property being transferred, and the signature of the grantor. There are also typically signatures of witnesses or a notary public acknowledgment, as required by state law.
In some states, the nature of the warranties may be implied by the title of the deed, without the necessity of stating them in the deed itself. For example, if the deed is titled “Grant Deed," the warranties provided in the state law automatically apply.
The exact content, format, and execution requirements for deeds are also a matter of state law. Therefore, you need to be sure to comply with the requirements of the state where the property is located.
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