A quitclaim deed, sometimes referred to as a transfer of deed, is used when a property owner wants to transfer ownership and all rights to a property to another individual. The person giving up ownership, the grantor, signs away all legal rights to the person receiving the property, the grantee. Quitclaim deeds are often used in a divorce when one spouse needs to transfer the entire property to the other spouse. A quitclaim deed has no effect on the mortgage on the property and in no way guarantees that the house is free of liens. There is no legal requirement to exchange money with a quitclaim deed. The terms of the arrangement are entirely left to the grantor and grantee.
Remove your name from the mortgage. Before transferring your interest in a property, you need to make sure that you are not financially responsible for any loans on the property. Contact your lender and have the home refinanced so that only the grantee is responsible for the mortgage.
Contact an attorney to prepare the quitclaim deed. You can also purchase forms online using a reputable service like Legalzoom. Documents purchased online will be very simplified. If your situation involves any special circumstances, hire a real estate attorney to handle the transfer of the property.
Specify the name of the grantor and grantee and a property description. The property description should include the parcel number, the address and a brief description of the property. Specify the size of the lot, the square footage of the home and any other distinguishing characteristics.
Include documentation for any consideration paid. This includes monetary funds exchanged or any other exchange of valuable goods. If you are not exchanging any money, make a note of the arrangement made by the two parties.
Sign the documents. Only the grantor is legally required to sign the quitclaim deed. It is in both parties' best interest if the document is signed by both the grantor and the grantee. This will help to resolve any potential disputes that may arise.
Record the documents. You are not required to have the documents on file with your county or state, but it does make the document more official and will be easier to defend in court if the need should arise.
A quitclaim deed in no way guarantees that the property is free of debt or even belongs to the grantor. You could be given a quitclaim deed to the the Golden Gate Bridge even though the grantor obviously doesn't own it. Work with a real estate attorney if you are at all unsure about the ownership of the property.
- Think Glink: Quitclaim Deed
- US Legal: Definitions: Quitclaim Deed
- HG.org. "Contracts 101—Warranty vs Quitclaim Deeds." Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- Realtor.com. "When Do You Need to Get a Quitclaim Deed?' Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- DivorceNet. "Interspousal Transfers Versus Quit Claim Deeds." Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- California State Board of Equalization. "Property Ownership and Deed Recording," Page 7. Accessed Aug. 13, 2020.
- A quitclaim deed in no way guarantees that the property is free of debt or even belongs to the grantor. You could be given a quitclaim deed to the the Golden Gate Bridge even though the grantor obviously doesn't own it. Work with a real estate attorney if you are at all unsure about the ownership of the property.
Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.