General Warranty Deed Form

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A general warranty deed form is a legal document that outlines the details of a real estate transaction. This warranty deed form will have space to add the parties and the property being transferred. The signed deed transfers the ownership of a property from a seller (called a grantor) to a buyer (called a grantee). Update this general warranty deed template to your case and download a complete PDF document in minutes.
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Special Warranty Deed
This deed allows the seller to convey the property with limited assurance.
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Paper titled "General Warranty Deed Form"; keys with a house; man and woman talking near the house

If you are purchasing or selling real estate, you might be in a situation where you need to draft a general warranty deed form. When transferring ownership of a property or land, securing a general warranty deed is a very common step for ensuring the safety of both the seller and the buyer. The document provides a high level of protection because it includes several important warranties and guarantees. 

Drafting a warranty deed template can be complicated. Therefore, many people choose to use a blank warranty deed form that is adaptable to the particular situation. This template includes the standard language and sections and can be used as is or edited for the unique needs of the transaction.  

What Is a Warranty Deed?

A general warranty deed form is a legal document that outlines the details of a real estate transaction. Thisl warranty deed form will have space to add the parties and the property being transferred. The signed deed transfers the ownership of a property from a seller (called a grantor) to a buyer (called a grantee). A properly executed general warranty deed form will provide certain guarantees, including that the property title is being transferred free of ownership claims, liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances. General warranty deed forms provide legal protection for the buyer and the seller when it is used to transfer property.

Parties of the General Warranty Deed

There are two primary parties to a general warranty deed example:

  1. The grantor: This party is the seller of the property and is transferring ownership to the buyer. The grantor provides the guarantees, including that he or she is the current legal owner of the property with the right to sell. The grantor can be an individual or an entity.

  2. The grantee: This party is the buyer who receives ownership of the property through the executed deed. The grantee can also be an individual or an entity.

Apart from the two primary parties, other parties may be indirectly involved in a warranty deed example. A notary public will be involved in the process as the parties must sign the deed in a notary’s presence. In many cases, the general warranty deed form is drafted by an attorney and often signed in the attorney’s office. An experienced real estate attorney in your area may be able to help with the specifics of your transaction and adjust your form to adhere to the laws of the state in which the property is located.

Key Terms

Several key terms are generally used in sample warranty deeds, including the following:

  • Consideration — This is the purchase price of the property, or it could be an estimate;

  • Covenants — These are specific guarantees that the seller is making to the buyer;

  • Covenant of seisin — This is a guarantee that the seller is the legal owner of the property and has the right to sell it;

  • Covenant of quiet enjoyment — This is a guarantee that there will be no ownership claim for the property by a third party;

  • Covenant against encumbrances — This is a guarantee that there are no liens or encumbrances (i.e., mortgages, unpaid taxes, or easements) on the property being transferred;

  • Covenant of further assurance — This is a guarantee that the seller will help to resolve any issues with the title that may arise;

  • Covenant of warranty forever — This is a guarantee that the seller will compensate the buyer if any claims against the title prove that the title is defective.

Other Types of Deeds

The general warranty deed is one of the most commonly used options for dealing with real estate transactions. The following warranty deed samples may be used under certain circumstances:

  • Special warranty deed — This is a type of warranty deed in which the grantor warrants only against problems that occurred during his or her ownership of the property;

  • Quitclaim deed — With a quitclaim deed, the grantor transfers ownership of a property without providing any warranties or guarantees about the quality of the title;

  • Deed of trust — With a deed of trust, a lender uses the title of a property as security for a loan, such as a mortgage for the purchase of the property; and

  • Real estate purchase agreement — A real estate purchase agreement is a document outlining the terms and conditions of a real estate transaction between a buyer and a seller. 

Does a General Warranty Deed Form Prove Ownership?

A deed form pdf provides a strong proof of ownership. It will even provide the new owner with the assurance that the title is free of claims and that the seller is transferring complete rights to possession of the property.

When Should I Use a Warranty Deed?

A printable blank property deed form will include the following elements that the parties need to complete and check carefully before signing:

  1. Names of the parties — The grantor and grantee must provide their legal names and addresses;

  2. Property description — The deed must clearly identify the property and distinguish it from other properties;

  3. Consideration — The template should include space to add the agreed price to be given in consideration of the property;

  4. Covenants — These are the specific guarantees that the seller is making to the buyer;

  5. Notary — The deed must be signed in the presence of a notary public, who will then sign and stamp the document;

  6. Recording information — This is the specific county office where the deed will be recorded for public record;

  7. Date — This is the date on which the deed is signed.

What Are the Consequences of Not Using a Warranty Deed?

There can be serious consequences for not using a general warranty deed form. Without a properly executed deed, the buyer may not have the same protections. The buyer could face uncertainty about his or her ownership of the property and difficulties proving ownership if the need arises. Other consequences could be potential legal disputes. The buyer could even face difficulties in future sales. With the help of a general warranty deed form, the buyer can prevent many potential problems.

How To Write a General Warranty Deed

Whether you are using a customizable warranty deed pdf or writing your deed from scratch, the required information is the same. Use the following basic steps to fill in a general warranty deed form. 

1. Supply the Preparer’s Information

Lawrina’s completed warranty deed sample includes a “Prepared By” heading. This is to identify the person who is getting the deed ready for signing. The grantor or the grantor’s legal representative usually prepares the document.

2. Define Future Recipients

The blank warranty deed form will also include a section labeled “After Recording, Return To.” This space is for adding the contact information for where to deliver the official document after it has been issued and recorded.

3. Supply the Requested Information

To complete a printable warranty deed, you must provide information specific to your transaction, including the names and contact information for the parties involved. Also add a detailed description of the property, including the parcel description and lot number and the physical address.

4. Require Grantor Signature

On the general warranty deed template is designated space for the signatures of the grantor and the grantee. The grantor will sign on the appropriate signature line, print his or her name on the line below, and add an address with city, state, and ZIP code. If there is a second grantor, he or she will fill in the same information in the space provided. The grantee then signs on the appropriately labeled signature line, prints his or her legal name on the line below, and adds his or her address.

Depending on the jurisdiction and local laws, witnesses may be required for the deed to be valid (e.g., in the state of Vermont). In that case, the example of general warranty deeds will have an option to add witnesses as needed, usually under a heading labeled “In Witness Whereof.” There will be space for two witnesses to sign and print their names and provide their addresses. Finally, a notary public will confirm the identities of all those signing. After the other parties have signed, the notary will notarize the general warranty deed form at the bottom of the last page by adding his or her signature and notary seal. 

How To Record a General Warranty Deed

Upon completing and executing the form for general warranty deed by state law, it must be recorded in the appropriate government office. Typically, this will be the local records office in the county in which the property is located. The records office is usually in the county courthouse or, in larger cities, in a separate office. These offices are sometimes called the County Recorder’s Office, Land Registry Office, or Register of Deeds.

The clerk will stamp the general warranty deed form with the date and the page number where the document will be kept in the county files. In most cases, there will be a fee to record the deed, which can vary by location.

When To Use a General Warranty Deed Form

There are a few cases for which a general warranty deed form is recommended. However, other special warranty deed forms may be more suitable in some situations.

Common Use Cases

The following are the most common use cases for a general warranty deed form: 

  • When a person is selling or buying property, and the seller wants to provide strong guarantees, or the buyer wants a high level of protection against title issues;
  • When a person is transferring family property to another family member or is transferring property to a trust;
  • When a person owns a business and would like to buy or sell real estate; or
  • When a lender requires a buyer to use a general warranty deed form as part of a mortgage transaction.

When Not To Use a General Warranty Deed Form

A general warranty deed may not be needed under some circumstances, and a different type of deed might be more appropriate, such as: 

  • When a seller is unsure about the complete history of the property’s ownership;
  • When the grantor is uncertain about the extent of his or her interest in the property (e.g., a disputed inheritance);
  • When the property has known liens or encumbrances; or
  • When the property is being transferred as a gift.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a warranty deed and a quitclaim deed?

Quitclaim deeds state only the interest that the grantor (the individual transferring the property) holds in the property, and do not guarantee that the property is free of other interests. The warranty deed guarantees the title to the property is free from liens, debts, and other interests that may exist in the future. Quitclaim deeds are generally used to transfer real estate between known parties, such as spouses or family members, where the extra layer of protection offered by warranty deeds may not be necessary. As an example, if a property owner has divorced, they might use a quitclaim deed to add the name of their new spouse (if applicable) to the title of the said premises.

What is the difference between a warranty deed and a deed of trust?

The warranty deed simply guarantees that the title of a property is free from any interests held by others at the time of its sale. By adding a trustee to the transaction, a deed of trust ensures neutrality between a borrower and lender. A trustee is usually a legal entity separate from the borrower or lender. Someone uses a deed of trust when a lender loans money to a borrower for the borrower to purchase a property. In contrast, a deed of the trust transfers ownership of the property to a neutral trustee until the borrower fully repays the loan.

Is a notary public required to witness the signing of a warranty deed?

Concerned parties must sign a warranty deed in the presence of a notary public to be legal. Once notarized, someone must file the document with the city or county office that records property documents. It is important to note that all previously billed property taxes must be paid in full before taking this step.

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