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Quitclaim Deed In Maryland & DC (And better alternatives) | TPF.legal

What Is A Quitclaim Deed In Maryland or D.C.?

A quit claim deed is a deed in which the grantor conveys all of the interest that he or she may have in a property to the grantee, without warranties.

Why Don’t You Like Drafting Quitclaim Deeds Attorney Pendergraft?

The keyword is “may”. Or in other words, the person who conveys the deed is essentially saying that they may not own the property. I think this made sense back in the days of the Wild Wild West where no one knew who owned what. But nowadays, with Title searches we can figure out with a high degree of certainty who owns what.

But What If I Am 100% Sure The Grantor Owns The Property?

Even if the Grantor and Grantee are 100% certain that the Grantor owns the property, I still think using a quitclaim deed is bad practice. One of the main purposes of deeds is to create a Public record. People such as myself often look up deeds to determine proof of ownership. Whenever I see a quitclaim deed I am immediately suspicious. There is no reason to draw my or a Title examiners ire unless it is absolutely necessary. When it comes to the land ownership, the leaner the Public Record the better.

Can Quitclaim Deeds Adversely Affect Title Insurance Policies?

Yes. Some Title companies may refuse to insure quitclaim deed transactions. The rationale is why should they warrant title when the grantor seller doesn’t warrant that they own it? Another situation is you may decide to quitclaim a property to a business or trust that you wholly own. If you discover defects after the transfer, it’s possible that your quitclaim may have voided your Title Insurance Policy. Consult with your Title Insurance provider before doing any conveyances via quitclaim.

What Are Better Alternatives To Quitclaim Deeds?

If you made it this far you’re probably wondering what I prefer to draft over quitclaim deeds. My preferred tool is a special warranty deed. I think it’s fair to say that these are the “standard” deeds in Maryland and D.C. are special warranty deeds. What makes special warranty deeds special is that they provide just the right level of protection between quitclaim and general warranty deeds.

A special warranty deed warrants that seller himself owns the property and that he himself has done nothing to interfere with the title. Practically speaking Title Officers love them. And legally speaking this means that the grantor claims that they owned the property, and that the grantee does have remedies against the grantor if they conveyed bad title.

But Why Don’t You Like General Warranty Deeds?

Because they prove too much. A general warranty deed not only does the grantor warrant that they have done nothing to screw up the title, but they also warrant that all previous owners before them have also not done anything to screw up the title. This is problematic because it’s practically impossible to know what previous owner’s of the property may have done. They could have done something that was hard to discover. In reality, the grantor can’t know. If I was a grantor I’d actually fee more uncomfortable conveying by general warranty deed than by quitclaim deed. For that reason, special warranty deeds are where it’s at.

Who Should I Contact If I Need a Quitclaim Deed In Maryland or D.C.?

Although I said I don’t like drafting quitclaim deeds, I never said that I wouldn’t. Everybody has a price! If I can’t convince you to go with another option I will happily do what I am paid to do. Do not hesitate to contact us for all of your deed drafting needs!

Brian
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Brian

Real Estate Attorney at The Pendergraft Firm LLC
Brian Pendergraft is a general real estate attorney.Click here to schedule a consultation.
Brian
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