Facts about the General Warranty Deed template

What is a Warranty Deed?

A warranty deed is type of real estate deed that provides buyers with guarantees. The deed transfers the property's title from seller to buyer. It guarantees that the seller fully owns the real estate in question, hasn’t sold it to anyone else and doesn't have any debts or claims on the property.

There are two types of warranty deeds: general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds. General warranty deeds offer the greatest amount of legal guarantees for buyers. The seller promises that the title is owned free and clear, with no liens, claims, mortgages, property taxes or other debts of any kind against it, including from past owners. If any problems show up later calling into question the title, the buyer can sue the seller. A general warranty deed is also called a full warranty deed or grant deed.

A special warranty deed only guarantees that there are no liens, mortgages or debts from the current seller. It doesn’t promise anything about previous owners. If the property has had several different owners, this presents a risk for buyers. Special warranty deeds are also called Limited warranty deeds.

What is a Warranty Deed used for?

A warranty deed is used when purchasing or selling real estate. Whether you’re planning on buying a house, a commercial building for your business or an investment real property, the transaction usually involves a warranty deed form. This document transfers the property’s title to the buyer and guarantees that the seller is legally authorized to make the sale.

Why should you use a Warranty Deed?

If you’re the seller, warranty deeds are essential for putting potential buyers at ease. After all, no one wants to pay money for real estate that may already be owned by someone else. By guaranteeing that you don’t have any outstanding debts on the property, such as property taxes or mortgage payments, you reassure buyers that they don’t have to worry about surprises after closing.

For these reasons, if you’re the buyer, you should always insist on receiving a warranty deed. This document gives you important legal guarantees. If a lender contacts you about owed mortgage payments or other debts, you can take the seller to court. Also, you will need a warranty deed to apply for any kind of property loan or property title insurance.

How to write a Warranty Deed?

The warranty deed is legal document with important guarantees, so it needs to be filled out carefully. Many of the blank areas are easy to understand, such as the buyer’s name, the seller’s name, contact details for both, and a legal description of the property. However, there are a few legal terms you may not be familiar with. Here’s what they mean:

  • Grantor:

    The person or business providing the property guarantee and transferring the real estate title to the buyer. The grantor is the seller, usually an individual, commercial business, or real estate agency.

  • Grantee:

    The buyer. Grantees benefit from the guarantees in the warranty deed. They receive the property title and have the right to sue if undisclosed liens appear.

  • Title:

    Ownership of the property. The title allows you to use, change or sell a piece of real estate. In the case of several partners that own a property, each one can only sell part of the title.

  • Lien:

    A collateral claim against the property. If the property owner is using the real estate as backing for a loan, it will have a lien. This means the bank can seize the property if the loan isn’t paid

  • Easement:

    The right for someone else to enter your property without your permission. If the property includes a lake access road, underground power line, or neighborhood park, it may have an easement.

  • Encumbrances:

    Any legal claims to a property. These can include mortgages, lawsuits against the property, taxes, city zoning laws, liens and other potential problems for buyers. Warranty deeds guarantee the property is free of these encumbrances.

  • Notary public:

    A person appointed by the state to authorize signatures. To be valid, the warranty deed needs to notarized. Some states also require witnesses. You can find a notary public at the county recorder’s office, city hall and many banks.

How to fill out a Warranty Deed with PDFSimpli in five steps

  • 1. Prepare:

    Before filling out a warranty deed, take the time for due diligence. Decide whether you want to use a limited warranty deed or a general warranty deed. In the case of a general warranty deed, make sure you know the full history of the property so you’re not responsible for any past debts or taxes.

  • 2. Select Software:

    Keeping careful records of the warranty deed is important for both buyer and seller. These days, saving legal forms in protected PDF format is a main way to keep these records safe. PDFSimpli allows you to create, fill out, save and protect warranty deeds with a password. You can also use a digital e-signature if you want to notarize the document online.

  • 3. Fill Out or Edit the Warranty Deed:

    To fill in the blank areas in the warranty deed template, select the Add Text Button in PDFSimpli. Click on the box you want to type in and enter text. You can change the size of text from the Add Text Menu. Most of the legal guarantees are provided for you, but if your lawyer recommends removing certain statements, you can use the Erase Tool to get rid of them.

  • 4. Review:

    It’s vital to carefully check each part of the form for accuracy. This includes your name and address, the buyer’s name and address, and information related to the property. Remember not to sign the document until it’s ready to be notarized.

  • 5. Save, Download, Print or Send for Signature:

    Click the Save Button when you’re ready to save the finished document. If you want to protect it with a password, select “Password Protect” from the Save Menu. Afterward, download the file to your computer if you need to send it by email or print it out to take to the county recorder’s office.

Warranty Deed frequently asked questions

Warranty deeds provide far more protections for buyers than quitclaim deeds. They guarantee that the property doesn’t have any debts, liens, or easements against it. Warranty deeds also promise that the current owner has the legal authority to sell the property in the first place.

A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, doesn’t provide any guarantees at all. They simply transfer the owner’s share in the property to another individual, and other people may still have a claim to the property. A quit claim deed is more common between people who trust each other significantly or when the property is simply given instead of sold. One example is when parents transfer a property to their children.

To take care of the financial details of real estate purchases, you need to use a contract of sale. A warranty deed isn’t used for recording information about payments or transfer of funds. It doesn’t usually even include the agreed-upon sale price. The warranty deed only relates to the transfer of title. It’s the last part of the transaction, after the terms of the contract of sale have been finalized and payment has already been made.

General warranty deeds are preferred by buyers because they offer more legal protections related to the purchase. Buyers want to know they fully own the property they’re investing in, with no surprises or legal problems down the road. However, if the property had other owners before you, and you’re not sure whether they had liens or debts, a limited warranty deed protects your interests as the seller.