Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Before accepting a deed to real estate in New York, it is best to consult a New York real estate attorney. For many people, real estate is the most valuable asset they own. Before investing in real estate, it is wise to ensure that you are receiving good and marketable title. That often begins with the type of deed you receive from the seller.

Warranty Deeds vs. Quit Claim Deeds

Several different types of deeds are used to transfer an interest in real estate. The most common deed used during a real estate transaction is a warranty deed. A warranty deed transfers title to real state with the promise that the title to the real estate is marketable. That grantor (person transferring title to real estate) agrees to defend the grantee (person receiving title to real estate) from any claims against the title made by third parties.

A quit claim deed is very different. A quit claim deed does not contain any warranties or guarantees regarding the title to the real estate. The grantor does not promise to defend the grantee against any claims that might arise regarding title to the real estate.

The quit claim deed transfers any interest that grantor may have in the property to the grantee. The interest may or may not be a full interest in the real estate. The quit claim deed states that if the grantor has an interest in the property, whatever that interest may be, the grantor gives that interest to the grantee.

Why Would Someone Use a Quit Claim Deed for New York Real Estate?

A quit claim deed is not typically used for transferring the title to real estate in a traditional real estate purchase. Quit claim deeds are mainly used to transfer title when a warranty or guarantee is not needed.

Examples of instances in which a quit claim deed may be used include, but are not limited to:

  • Spouses transferring real estate to each other after a divorce
  • Transferring title to real estate from the creator of a revocable living trust to the trust
  • Transfer of interest from one co-owner to another co-owner
  • Transfers of real estate from parents to children as a gift
  • Transferring an interest in real estate that might be held because of an error or a mistake in the chain of title
  • Adding a spouse to the title to real estate after marriage
  • Transferring title to real estate when a title search has not been completed

It can be risky to accept a quit claim deed. If there is a problem with the title to the real estate, liens against the title, or an interest that is not included in the quit claim deed, a grantee may need to file a lawsuit to determine who owns the real estate. A quit claim deed could result in a loss of the property or a significant financial investment in clearing the title.

Contact a New York Real Estate Attorney for Help Transferring Real Estate

If you have questions about real estate transactions in New York, contacting a real estate lawyer may be the best way to protect yourself and your investment.

A real estate attorney researches the chain of title to the property to determine whether the grantor holds fee simple, marketable title. If a quit claim deed is acceptable, a New York real estate attorney can prepare the deed and ensure that it is executed and recorded correctly. Contact us today.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.