May 26, 2015

Real Estate Basics: Warranty vs. Quitclaim Deeds

By Philip M. Hastings

New Hampshire conveyancing law and practice is fairly typical in most respects. The form of deed that should be used when transferring real estate, however, can be confusing, especially to those used to doing business in other states. Here, the most often used form of deed is the warranty deed, which gives grantees the most extensive assurances of title. A conveyance by warranty deed includes an implied promise that the grantor has lawful title to and the right to convey the property, the property is free from encumbrances (except as otherwise stated in the deed), and the grantor warrants and will defend the grantee’s title against all claims. Most buyers should insist on receiving a warranty deed.

An alternative type of deed is the quitclaim deed, which grants limited assurances of title. The quitclaim deed generally corresponds with the warranty deed, except that the grantor’s promise to defend the grantee’s title is limited to claims arising during the time of the grantor’s ownership. In other words, a quitclaim deed does not provide the purchaser with any protection against the title claims of third parties not claiming by and through the grantor.

Another important thing to note is that warranty and quitclaim deeds are not the only forms of deeds used. We also have fiduciary deeds, foreclosure deeds, release deeds and other variations. Counsel should be relied upon to explain when it may be appropriate to use these various forms. If you have any questions about the form of deed in New Hampshire, contact the knowledgeable and experienced team at Granite State Title Services.