Warranty Deed FAQ - United States


A Warranty Deed is a real estate document used when a property owner (grantor) transfers land to a buyer (grantee), and wishes to make a guarantee that the property is free and clear of any encumbrances, like a lien or mortgage.

Warranty Deeds are used in most real estate deed transfers as they offer more protection than a Quitclaim Deed.

Warranty Deed DefinitionsWarranty Deed Property InformationWarranty Deed Property TransfersWarranty Deed Signing and Recording
Warranty Deed Definitions
What is “title” in a Warranty Deed?

The title of a property is what gives the owner legal rights over it.

For example, if you hold the title to a piece of land, it means that you are the one who owns the property and that you have control over it.

What is the difference between a Warranty Deed and a Quitclaim Deed?

While a Warranty Deed guarantees that there are no other existing claims on the property, a Quitclaim Deed does not.

Both deeds transfer interest in a property from a grantor (property owner) to a grantee or buyer.

Quitclaim Deeds are often used between people who know each other well, such as family members, while Warranty Deeds are recommended for sales between unrelated parties as they offer purchasers more protection by providing a warranty that the property is free of any encumbrances.

Who should I list as the grantor in my Warranty Deed?

In a Warranty Deed, the grantor is the person who currently holds the title of the property and who will be transferring their interest to a grantee.

For example, if you own a property and are selling it to someone else, you are the grantor, and the person who purchases it is the grantee.

If there are multiple grantors on the title of the property that is being transferred, be sure to include them all as grantors in your Warranty Deed.

Who should I list as the grantee in my Warranty Deed?

In a Warranty Deed, the grantee is the person who the interest in a property is being transferred to.

For example, if you are buying a property from someone else, you are the grantee, and the person selling it is the grantor.

If you are buying the property with someone else, be sure to include the names of all grantees on your Warranty Deed.

Can you be a grantor and a grantee in a Warranty Deed?

Yes, it is possible for one person to be both a grantor and a grantee in a Warranty Deed.

For example, if you own a property on your own, and you wish to transfer half of that interest to your husband or wife, you would be listed as the grantor (because you are transferring interest in a property to someone), as well as the grantee along with your spouse (because you are retaining a portion of the interest in the property).

What are encumbrances in a Warranty Deed?

An encumbrance is a legal right to or interest in a title to a property. Examples include zoning ordinances, mortgages, liens, easements, charges, pending legal challenges, restrictive covenants, or unpaid taxes.

An encumbrance does not prevent the title of the property from being transferred, but the grantee must be aware that an encumbrance will continue to exist even after the title is transferred to them.

In a Warranty Deed, the grantor is guaranteeing that the title is free of encumbrances to the grantee (except for any listed in the document).

What is the consideration in a Warranty Deed?

In a Warranty Deed, consideration is the dollar amount the grantee will pay to the grantor in exchange for the interest in the property. For example, $25,000.00.

If the property is being given as a gift or transferred without consideration, you will still need to fill out the consideration amount on your Warranty Deed.

In these circumstances, the standard consideration is $10.00.

Should I use a special or a general Warranty Deed?

A general Warranty Deed gives basic warranties from the grantor to the grantee. The grantor warrants the title to be free and clear of any encumbrances (except any listed in the Warranty Deed). In a general Warranty Deed, the grantor may be held responsible for any encumbrances that were not included in the Warranty Deed.

You should only use a general Warranty Deed if you are certain that no one else will make a claim against the property.

A special Warranty Deed guarantees that the grantor has done nothing during the course of their ownership of the property that would affect the title negatively, but does not guarantee that no one else will make a claim against the property.

Special Warranty Deeds are recommended in situations where the grantor is not familiar with the history of the property.

Essentially, a special Warranty Deed offers the grantor more protection than a general Warranty Deed.

What are my liabilities as a grantor in a Warranty Deed?

As a grantor in a special Warranty Deed, you are only liable for claims that arose while you held the title to the property. You are not liable for any claims that arise after your interest in the property has been transferred to a grantee.

Under a general Warranty Deed, as a grantor, you are responsible for any claims that arise against the title to the land, regardless of whether they happen while you hold the title to the property or after you have transferred your interest.

Warranty Deed Property Information
Where can I get the legal description of my property?

To get a legal description of your property to use in your Warranty Deed, contact your County Recorder’s Office. You will need to provide them with your municipal address or tax parcel number.

What is the tax parcel or parcel identification number for my property?

Your tax parcel or parcel identification number is a 10-12 digit number that identifies your property’s ownership and assessed value for tax purposes. You can find it on your tax statement, revaluation notice, or personal property listing form.

How do I get information regarding prior grants of my property?

To find information about any prior grants of your property, contact the County Recorder’s Office.

Warranty Deed Property Transfers
Can I transfer property to a trust in a Warranty Deed?

Yes, you can use a Warranty Deed to transfer property to a trust.

To do so, you will need to know the name of the trust, when it was created, and the number and name(s) of the trustee(s).

Can I use a Warranty Deed to transfer rights of survivorship?

No. A right of survivorship is the right to receive the property of the deceased. In order to transfer rights of survivorship, you will need to create a Survivorship Deed.

Can I use a warranty deed to transfer property to someone as a gift?

Yes, you can use a Warranty Deed to transfer property to someone as a gift.

Keep in mind that even if you are giving the property to someone for free, you will still need to file your Warranty Deed with the County Recorder’s Office, and you will still need to include consideration in your document.

Typically, when property is being transferred as a gift, $10.00 is listed as the consideration.

Can I use a Warranty Deed to transfer property to a Limited Liability Corporation?

Yes, an LLC is treated the same as an ordinary corporation and can function as either a grantor or grantee in a Warranty Deed.

Can I use a Warranty Deed to transfer a portion of my property to someone else?

Yes, you can use a Warranty Deed to either transfer all or a portion of your interest in a property to someone else.

When doing so, you would list yourself as both a grantor and as a grantee. The person you are transferring property to will also be listed as a grantee.

Each grantee receives an equal share of interest in the property.

Can I use a Warranty Deed to transfer land owned by a deceased person?

No. If you are the personal representative of a deceased person, you cannot use a Warranty Deed to transfer their property to their heirs or beneficiaries.

Why don’t I have the option to create a special Warranty Deed?

Not all states recognize special Warranty Deeds. If you are unable to select a special Warranty Deed using LawDepot’s questionnaire, it means that only general Warranty Deeds are accepted in your state.

Warranty Deed Signing and Recording
Does my Warranty Deed need to be notarized in the same state the land is located in?

Many states recognize notarization of Warranty Deeds by notaries from other states, but it is recommended that you contact the County Clerk’s Office where the land is located to ensure that this is allowed in your jurisdiction.

Does the grantee need to sign the Warranty Deed?

It depends on your location. While most states do not require the grantee to sign a Warranty Deed, some do.

Where should I send my Warranty Deed after it has been recorded?

After your Warranty Deed has been recorded at the County Clerk’s Office, it can be sent to the grantee. However, any person or corporation can be designated as the recipient of the recorded Warranty Deed.

Does a Warranty Deed have to be notarized?

Yes, in order for a Warranty Deed to be valid, it must be signed and stamped by a notary public before it can be filed with the County Clerk’s Office.

Do I need to have witnesses when I sign a Warranty Deed?

It depends on your location. While many states do not require witnesses on a Warranty Deed, some states and counties do.

You can check with your local County Recorder’s Office to determine whether witnesses are necessary in your jurisdiction.

Why is there a large margin at the top of my Warranty Deed?

The County Recorder who will file the document requires a 2-3 inch margin at the top of the document so that they can affix a stamp, filing number, or some other form of information to help identify and record the deed. Do not write in this space.

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