5 common types of deeds

Property deeds serve as legal documents that transfer ownership of real estate.

Knowing the different types of property deeds is important for both buyers and sellers. Each type offers distinct rights and protections.

1. Grant deed

A grant deed is the most common type used in California real estate transactions. It guarantees that the seller holds the title to the property and has the right to sell it. This deed also ensures the property is free from undisclosed encumbrances, except those noted in the deed.

2. Quitclaim deed

A quitclaim deed transfers the seller’s interest in a property to the buyer. However, it does not guarantee the seller’s ownership rights. This type of deed is often used in non-sale situations, such as transferring property between family members or clarifying ownership disputes.

3. Warranty deed

A warranty deed provides the highest level of protection for the buyer. It guarantees that the seller owns the property free and clear and has the right to sell it. Additionally, it promises to defend the buyer against any claims to the property’s title.

4. Interspousal transfer deed

An interspousal transfer deed is frequently used to transfer property between spouses during a divorce or legal separation. It allows for the transfer of ownership without triggering reassessment for property tax purposes.

5. Deed of trust

A deed of trust is a type of security instrument used to secure a loan for real estate. It involves three parties: the borrower, the lender and the trustee. Unlike mortgages, where the lender holds the title until loan fulfillment, in a deed of trust, a neutral third party holds the title until loan completion.

When selecting the right deed, consider your specific circumstances and the level of protection you desire. Whether buying, selling or transferring property, choosing the appropriate deed ensures legal clarity and safeguards your rights.