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Quit Claim Deeds: The Fastest Way to Transfer Property Between Trusted Parties

Posted by Jane F. Bolin, Esq. | Sep 05, 2018 | 0 Comments

Let's examine the complete process from preparation to filing

Of the three major deed forms in real estate, the quit claim deed is the most precarious. Such a deed could mean everything or nothing depending on the validity of a seller's ownership claim. Quitclaim deeds do speed up the transfer process and may be what you need. Today we look at them under their best light and tell you everything you need to know.

The basics

A deed is a legal document that entitles one party to the ownership of real property. When a deed passes between two parties, the first (the grantor) transfers their ownership and interest to a second party (the grantee). A quitclaim deed sees the grantor freed from any possible litigation from the grantee should the former be revealed as having no interest in the property, after all.

Yes, a quitclaim deed may be a legal document, but there's no guarantee it will be worth the paper it's printed on if the grantor does not hold any interest in the property. As such, this kind of deed is most commonly utilized when the grantee is certain the grantor does indeed possess the property in question, making this a more common choice among members of the same family.

For those without such reassurances and typical business transactions, general/special warranty deeds are used. A major benefit of the quitclaim deed is that it can speed up the transfer process in some situations because a more complicated legal document containing guarantees of ownership and buyer protection isn't necessary.

Other situations where a quitclaim deed may be used is to correct an error in definition on a previous deed (such as name changes, removal of a spouse's name in the event of a divorce), when the property changes hands without being sold or is transferred to a Trust.

Quit claims deeds in Florida

When all parties are happy to use a quit claim deed, the process isn't complicated. The legal names of all grantor and grantee parties will be required and must be accurate in two ways. Firstly, no nicknames may appear, such as Jim in place of the legal James. Secondly, the name of the grantor must be the same as it was when they first gained title to the property.

Next, the property itself must be described accurately and fully. Some rules to consider for an accurate property description:

  • The property's street address.
  • The property's parcel number. This is also known as a parcel identification number or an assessor's parcel number. Each of these numbers identifies a property and can be found on your property tax notice.
  • An accurate copy of the property's existing legal description. When completing the quitclaim deed, ensure that the previous legal description is transcribed precisely.
  • Clearly defined metes and bounds and a lot and block description.
  • It is then necessary to have two witnesses who will be present when the grantor signs the deed. Furthermore, a notary public must also be present to witness not only the grantor signature but also that of the two witnesses.

Validation by deliverance

A deed must both be delivered to and accepted by the grantee to be validated. The deed must then be recorded.

Recording a deed means filing it with the Clerk of Court in the same county as the property. A fee must be paid which is known as the Florida Documentary Stamp. In all Florida counties except Miami-Dade, the tax rate imposed on documents subject to tax is 70 cents on each $100 or portion thereof of the total consideration (in Miami-Dade, the cost is 60 cents).

What can go wrong with a quit claim deed?

Other than the worthless transfer situation we detailed earlier, it's important to stress the accuracy of all details on the deed. Even so much as a foot's length in error in the property description could see a grantee believing they own land that isn't theirs.

The documentary stamp tax is subject to late fees like any other. Interest on late payments can vary from year to year. Penalties are typically 10 percent of the tax owed per late month up to a maximum of 50 percent. Grantors must also be aware that transferring a property doesn't transfer the mortgage.

We're here to help

The law can be a confusing and many-layered thing. Whenever you're dealing with any aspect of real estate, one step that never fails is having experienced professionals on your side. At PeytonBolin, we're dedicated to protecting the interests of individuals, businesses, and associations.

We work closely with both our clients and the community, handling many aspects of real estate law. To find out how we can assist you, call us at 833-609-5437 or complete our contact form for a free telephone consultation.

About the Author

Jane F. Bolin, Esq.

Founding Member, Managing Partner


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