Four Major Deeds in Texas
February 5, 2014 | By Vela Wood
As discussed in my previous blog, deeds are extremely important in any Texas real estate transaction. There are four major deeds in Texas: general warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, no warranty deeds and quitclaims.
General Warranty Deed
A general warranty deed is the most inclusive deed, containing both express and implied warranties. This is the preferred deed for buyers because it expressly warrants the entire chain of title and requires that the grantor defend against title defects, even if the defects existed prior to the grantor’s ownership. However, some grantors may not feel comfortable making such broad warranties, particularly for title defects that may have existed prior to their ownership.
Special Warranty Deed
A special warranty deed is the answer for a grantor who does not feel comfortable granting a general warranty deed. A special warranty deed is more limited than a general warranty deed, and it only warrants that title is free and clear from other claims during the time period of the grantor’s ownership. It does not offer any protection for claims arising prior to the grantor’s ownership.
Deed Without Warranty
The next major deed in Texas is a deed without warranty (or warranties). This type of deed is pretty self-explanatory—it is a conveyance of real property without any warranties. This type of deed is not advised because it could purport to transfer the entire interest when it actually doesn’t. Grantees should only accept this type of deed as a last resort. However, this deed is commonly used to clear up past title problems and can nevertheless be effective in transferring ownership.
The last major deed in Texas technically isn’t a deed. A quitclaim doesn’t actually convey anything. It is more of a release—the signer is in effect releasing or relinquishing any claim of title to the transferee. However, the grantor may not even have an interest in the property, so title companies typically give little to no credence to most quitclaims.
There are a variety of deeds that are recognized in Texas, but the four most common deeds seen are general warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, no warranty deeds and quitclaims. If you need a deed drafted or have any questions regarding these deeds or any other real property conveyance tools, please contact your attorney or us at (214) 821-2300.