3 Things That Will Make You Have a More Successful Transfer of Property with a Quitclaim Deed

Written by Jim McKinley

There are three types of real estate deeds used to convey property: the general warranty deed, the special warranty deed, and the quitclaim deed. Quitclaim deeds often are used when transferring property from one family member to another or when spouses handle the transfer of property when going through a divorce. Even though quitclaim deeds do not contain any warranty of title, families often rely on them to transfer property because they trust one another. If you are involved in transferring property with a quitclaim deed, the following information is for you.

  1. Only Use a Quitclaim Deed When Transferring Property from One Trusted Family Member to Another

 Because quitclaim deeds carry no warranties of title and simply are used to transfer the seller’s interest in a property to the buyer, you should only use this type of real estate deed if you are obtaining property from a trusted family member. In short, quitclaim deeds do not guarantee that the person who is selling you a building or property has any stake in it from the get-go. You will not be as protected by a quitclaim deed as you would be with a general warranty or special warranty deed.

Quitclaim deeds also are used to transfer ownership of a property that is not being sold, so no money has to be involved in the transaction. These situations occur when parents transfer property to adult children or between siblings. They also occur when a property owner gets married and adds his spouse to the title.

  1. Inform Yourself about the Property Ahead of Time

Quitclaim deeds carry no buyer protection, so you need to protect yourself by learning as much about the property being transferred to you as possible. You should research the property yourself or contact a local government agency that handles deeds and titles. A quitclaim deed can be just as effective as a warranty deed once you verify that the title is good. (Tip: Free from Broke offers some other tips for independently researching a house before making a purchase or a transfer of property.)


  1. Hire a Home Inspector to Get a Report about the Home’s Condition

Another way to learn as much as possible about the property being transferred to you is to hire a home inspector. Professional home inspectors serve buyers’ interests by carefully inspecting the home to determine whether it has any structural defects. They look for issues with homes that typically cannot be seen easily, such as mechanical systems issues, and health and safety concerns like the presence of mold. When it comes to protecting yourself in a property transfer completed with a quitclaim deed, you need to be sure that the house is soundly built; that’s also where the home inspector comes into the picture.

To hire a home inspector, you should ask questions upfront. You should especially  ask about the fees he charges to inspect homes. “Most home inspectors will charge a ‘base price’ – but then as they ask questions like how large the home is, what year it was built, age of the home, etc., their ‘base price’ gets much higher.” And, you should be sure that you are hiring a home inspector rather than hiring a home appraiser. Home appraisers look at the home to determine its worth, and they work with the financial institution that lent you the money to purchase the home.

Other questions to ask before hiring a home inspector include whether or not he is bonded and insured, whether he can provide you with a list of references, and what the inspection includes. You also want to be sure you get a complete inspection report when the home inspector finishes at the property so you have his findings in writing before going through with the quitclaim deed transfer.

You can have a successful transfer of property with a quitclaim deed if you deal only with a trusted family member, inform yourself about the property ahead of time, and hire a home inspector to get a report about the home’s condition.


Image via Pixabay by SCY

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