Special Warranty Deed

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A special warranty deed, also known as a limited warranty deed, is a vital document in real estate transactions, serving as a written agreement that doesn't merely transfer property ownership but also affirms the seller's legal authority to sell. Edit this special warranty deed template on Lawrina and get a prepared legal document in PDF in minutes.
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General Warranty Deed Form
This legal document helps parties transfer ownership of property or land to a new owner.
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Paper titled "Special Warranty Deed"; man and woman shaking hands near the empty house

A special warranty deed, also known as a limited warranty deed, is a vital document in real estate transactions, serving as a written agreement that doesn't merely transfer property ownership but also affirms the seller's legal authority to sell. It's pivotal in securing rights, titles, and interests, ensuring that the property was not encumbered during the seller’s ownership.

When To Use Special Warranty Deed

Employing special warranty deed forms is essential when conveying property with limited assurances. This can be in a context where the property's complete history is not within the seller's knowledge capacity — such as when an entity acquires the property for a short duration or if it's managed by a fiduciary or executor. The limited warranty deed serves as a legal contract that the property wasn't burdened with encumbrances during the seller's tenure, and the title is clear for the stated period. 

Parties of the Special Warranty Deed

  • Grantor — This refers to the individual or entity selling or transferring a property to another party. The grantor has the onus of making specific guarantees about the property during their period of ownership. This fulfills their obligation as part of the special warranty deed, assuring that there were no encumbrances on the property while they owned it. Any exceptions to this are usually listed explicitly in the deed document.

  • Grantee — This party is the recipient of the property being transferred or sold. They are the beneficiaries of the limited warranties provided by the grantor in the limited warranty deed. It is their responsibility to understand these warranties and satisfy their requirements to accept the property. Given the nature of the deed, the grantee takes ownership with confidence of the property's title for the time it was under the grantor's ownership.

Key Terms

  • Consideration: This is a legal term referring to the value given in return for the seller's promise. Consideration can be money or anything of value as agreed upon between parties.
  • Covenants: These are warranties or promises made by the grantor, typically including not having encumbered the property during their ownership.
  • Legal Description of Property: As opposed to the physical address, this refers to the legal identifiers of the property that are recognized by the law and unique to the property.
  • Grantor and Grantee: Detailed information about the seller (grantor) and the buyer (grantee) is necessary. This includes full names and current addresses.
  • Execution: The process of signing the deed is known as execution. The deed must be signed by the grantor and normally includes a notary acknowledgment.

How to Write a Special Warranty Deed

A well-prepared limited warranty deed effectively protects the interest of the parties involved, ensuring smooth real estate transactions. Therefore, having an example of a special warranty deed on hand can prove incredibly beneficial. It serves as a reference, helping to understand the intricate workings of the deed. This can assist in comprehending the common language and layout used, ensuring every important detail is correctly captured. 

Here's a stepwise guide on how to craft a special warranty deed form:

  1. Identify the Parties: Clearly define the grantor and the grantee with their full legal names and addresses. This clarity eliminates any confusion regarding who is selling and who is buying the property.

  2. Describe the Consideration: State the value offered by the grantee in exchange for the property. This value, also known as "consideration," can be monetary or any other thing of value agreed upon by both parties.

  3. Provide a Legal Description of Property: Include a comprehensive legal description of the property. This differs from the simple physical address and usually involves lot numbers, block numbers, tract numbers, and other legal identifiers.

  4. State the Covenants: Write down the promises or guarantees made by the grantor. These should affirm that there were no encumbrances or disputes related to the property during their ownership, except for any explicitly mentioned in the deed.

  5. Execution: The grantor must sign the special warranty deed in the presence of a notary public. The notary public ascertains the authenticity of the signatures and stamps the document to finalize it.

Remember, each state has unique laws and requirements for executing a special warranty deed. Hence, it is advisable to consult with a real estate attorney or use the free special warranty deed form example to ensure the deed is legally sound and compliant with your local regulations.

Also, using a special warranty deed template can be a valuable resource that ensures all essential elements are included. Templates provide a clear structure, urging the parties involved to carefully consider and document each necessary detail like parties' identification, consideration, property description, and covenants. A comprehensive special warranty deed example can provide guidance, ensuring these crucial aspects are adequately addressed.

Finally, a pragmatic approach would be to refer to a limited warranty deed sample to understand its tone, structure, context, and legal jargon. This can provide a clear idea of what to expect from a professionally written deed. This document safeguards the interests of both the grantor and the grantee, ensuring an adequate property transfer experience. 

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