Warranty Deed Vs. Deed of Trust

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Casey Serin

Warranty deeds and deeds of trust are two separate concepts in the transfer, mortgaging and ownership of real property, such as land, houses or buildings.

Warranty Deed

A warranty deed is the seller’s certification that the title to the real property is free of anything that would keep the sale from being completed and would prevent anyone or entity from coming back at a later time to claim ownership.

Types of Warranty Deeds

There are two major types of warranty deeds: general and special. A general warranty deed, the most common warranty deed, is the best protection for a buyer because this warranty deed protects the buyer from any and all future claims. A special warranty deed only protects the buyer from claims arising from the seller or any representative of the seller.

Deed of Trust

A deed of trust is used in some states to ensure that you will repay your mortgage loan. When you obtain the mortgage to buy your property, your lender will receive a deed of trust. This deed effectively transfers the title of your property to the lender until the loan is paid. A deed of trust also gives the lender the right to sell your property if you stop paying for it.

Deed Requirements

In order to be enforceable, a deed should be in writing, should name the parties to the deed, provide the property’s legal description and should name specifically the legal right that is being conveyed through the deed. A deed must also include consideration, which is something of value to be exchanged, such as money and property. Finally, the deed must be signed by the grantor, or the person giving the ownership, and witnessed by two people.


Depending on the state, a sale of property that involves a mortgage used to purchase the property would include both a warranty deed and a deed of trust, the warranty for the buyer and the deed of trust for the lender.


  • “Barron’s Dictionary of Banking Terms”; Thomas P. Fitch, 2000
  • “Florida Real Estate Associate Sales Course”; Gold Coast School of Real Estate, 2009

About the Author

Chris Amisano began writing professionally in 2005, and his freelance work has appeared in "PennyCents Magazine," "The ACUTA Journal" and "Career Focus Magazine." Amisano holds an Associate of Science in aviation management from Everglades University and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Memphis. He is pursuing his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in human resources management at Bellevue University.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Casey Serin