Deeds are an important legal document used to convey rights to property from one person to another. When a buyer purchases a piece of property, the written document that serves to affirm the entire process of transferring rights of the property from the seller to the buyer is a deed.
There are several different types of deeds that are used to convey property rights from one person to another depending on the condition of the title and the requirements of a mortgage lender. When a lender creates a loan for the purchase of property, many times the lender wants to have assurances that the title to the property is free and clear of all past and future encumbrances. In order to achieve this, the seller creates a warranty deed that makes specific guarantees as to the condition of the title.
A warranty deed offers a buyer the highest degree of protection from encumbrances on a property title. The warranty deed guarantees that the seller legally owns the property and promises that there are no outstanding liens or other encumbrances pending against it. The warranty deed also guarantees that the title is free of any and all defects even before the seller took possession of the property.
What this means is that the seller is guaranteeing that there are no claims that can be made against the property title during the time that they owned the property as well as the time prior to their owning of the property. Under a warranty deed, if the title is found to be defective or have an encumbrance against it after the buyer purchases it, the seller may be held liable for any damages.
A warranty deed is an important part of the property buying process because it offers assurances to lenders that the title to the property is free and clear and has nothing clouding it. This dramatically reduces the exposure a lender faces when a large sum of money is lent to purchase a property. As this example from California describes, the warranty deed conveys an accurate description of the property that is being conveyed from the seller to the buyer and is notarized and recorded in a public records office to give notice that the property has officially transferred from one party to the other.
It is important to note that while a warranty deed provides certain remedies for a buyer should the title to the property have claims against it after it is purchased, these remedies are based on the solvency of the seller.
If the seller dies or files for bankruptcy, the guarantees made on the title have little or no value.
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