A quitclaim deed is a quick and easy way to transfer your interest in a property to another party
Whether you're selling a piece of property to another person or looking to transfer it within your family, you'll need to make the process legal in the eyes of Florida's state government before the new owner can take possession. The process is relatively straightforward, but you have a couple of options when transferring the title of a residential property.
The most common form is a warranty deed, which many buyers will insist upon because it guarantees no liens or other title issues against the property exist. Warranty deed documents are complex, but they provide the assurances many buyers will assist upon before finalizing a real estate deal.
The other property transfer option is a quitclaim deed, a more straightforward document that doesn't provide the same assurances on ownership. These deeds are advantageous because of their simplicity, as they don't require as much information to complete.
Both formats are recognized under Florida law, and the one you choose will often depend on your individual situation. When transferring a property to a family member without a cash exchange, a quitclaim deed is often all that's necessary.
Here's a look at everything you should know about quitclaim deeds in Florida and how you can get the assistance you need when writing one.
- Quitclaim deeds are a great way to transfer property to a family member
- They don't provide any guarantees on ownership
- The documents are simple
- Getting legal assistance through the process is recommended
What quitclaim deeds provide
Quitclaim deeds offer two primary benefits you'll want to consider when contemplating them for your property title transfer.
First, these deeds are incredibly simple documents. Your lawyer will only need the property's address along with the grantor's name, address, and contact information when writing up the transfer deed. The grantee's name, address, and contact information are necessary, too. You'll also have to answer a question or two on the property's current mortgage and provide your marital status.
Next, these documents are legally binding. Once your lawyer files the documentation with your county officials, the title will shift and the new owner will take possession. You can complete the process in just a few days with minimal expense, making them worth considering in specific situations.
It's worth noting that these documents are efficient for internal transfers because these circumstances come with less risk for the grantee. For example, if a father is transferring his property to a child, using a quitclaim deed can save some expense and is virtually risk-free because the child knows the father is the valid owner of the property.
Other situations where a quitclaim deed is useful include when transferring a property to:
- A former spouse
- A living trust
- Your business
- Someone you're adding to an existing deed
You can also use a quitclaim deed when changing the nature of marital property or removing someone who no longer wishes to be associated with a property.
In short, quitclaim deeds aren't foolproof, but they remain a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to transfer a property's title from one individual to another.
Where quitclaim deeds are lacking
Despite their benefits, there are a few drawbacks to consider when going with a quitclaim deed. Of course, it's all dependent on the situation at hand.
For starters, quitclaim deeds don't offer any proof the grantor actually owns the property. While this isn't an issue when transferring a residential property to a family member or trust, it could cause issues when buying a home from a stranger because someone who doesn't even own the land could try to complete a sale.
The result is a situation where the new owner doesn't have any guarantees of a property free from tax liens or title claims from other parties. If you find yourself in this situation, there will be a challenge to your ownership in the future, and you won't have any proof that you're the rightful owner. For that reason, it isn't a recommended method when selling a home for cash.
Commercial lenders won't accept quitclaim deeds if you're seeking financing, either. These institutions will usually want to see a warranty deed before backing a loan on the property because they'll require assurance that you'll become the true owner.
If you're buying a residential or commercial property from someone you don't know, a warranty deed is probably the best choice for your situation.
Get help writing a quitclaim deed
Once you determine a quitclaim deed is helpful for your property transfer, you can begin the document-writing process. Some homeowners will use a template and fill in their information, but it's incredibly affordable to have a lawyer do it for you, and doing so will eliminate potential mistakes.
Despite the simplicity of the documents, the laws that govern them are complicated. Seeking legal assistance is always recommended to avoid future problems.
Once your attorney prepares the documents, you'll have to put a signature on them. You can sign these papers remotely or in person at the lawyer's office.
The legal team will then file the record in your home county and pay the taxes for you. You're responsible for repaying the tax money to the law firm. You'll receive a copy of the recorded deed, as well.
This process couldn't be more straightforward for you and the grantee, which is why it's highly recommended for situations where the valid owner of the property isn't in question.
Find a quitclaim lawyer
You'll want to locate a lawyer with real estate experience to handle your quitclaim deed because this ensures you have an agent who can process the document quickly and easily. Real estate attorneys deal with hundreds of these records annually, guaranteeing they can get everything filled out and filed for you within days.
PeytonBolin offers real estate legal services in the Fort Lauderdale area. Our team can quickly and efficiently draft a quitclaim deed for your property, so you don't have to wait long to finalize the transfer of your residence. Contact PeytonBolin today to learn more about the legal services our firm provides.