What is a Grant Deed?
A Grant Deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of real property from the Grantor (seller) to the Grantee (buyer). Grant Deeds are often used in real estate transactions.
Grant deeds are commonly used in most types of transfers because Grant Deeds “free and clear” the title to the property – meaning that there are no liens or encumbrances on the property at the time of transfer.
How Can I Get One?
First, you will need to find a title company and an independent attorney/notary.
Although some people choose to represent themselves, it is highly recommended that you have a third party present to ensure that your Grant Deed is properly filled out and signed.
The Grantor (seller) will need to complete the Grant Deed form, which can typically be found at the office of the title company or through an independent attorney.
Next, you’ll need to gather some information before finalizing the Grant Deed:
- Grantor (seller’s) contact information, including name, address, and phone number.
- Grantee (buyer’s) contact information, including name, address, and phone number.
- Property address
- Legal description of the property
The Grant Deed will need to be notarized by the Grantor (seller) before they sign it. The Grant Deed will also need to be recorded with the county in which the property is located within 30 days of signing.
What are the Pros and Cons of Grant Deeds?
- Grant deeds provide clear title by removing all liens or encumbrances on the property.
- Grant deeds do not require a third-party loan and thus avoid all costs and fees associated with such loans, including appraisal fees, title insurance premiums, recording/attorney’s fees, etc.
- Grant deeds eliminate the possibility of a seller requiring that a buyer use a specific lending institution.
- Grant deeds are usually less expensive to prepare and record than other types of property transfers.
- Grant deeds can be time-consuming to complete without legal assistance on both the Grantor (seller) and Grantee’s (buyer’s) part.
- Grant deeds can result in higher interest rates for buyers because lenders often require Grant Deeds as a condition of approving the loan.
Limitations of a Grant Deed
A Grant Deed only transfers rights to the property that the Grantor (seller) currently has.
The Grantor’s (seller’s) interest in a Grant Deed is limited to an “estate in fee simple absolute,” which means that they cannot convey any further interests in the property nor can they encumber or pass on any future interests inherent in the Grantor’s (seller’s) interest.
Other Types of Deed
The grant deed is the most straightforward type of deed used. There are also other variations of a deed, including Grant Deed with Conditions, Grant Deeds w/ Covenant, and Quitclaim deed.
Grant Deed with Conditions
A Grant Deed with Conditions is used in situations where Grantor (seller) wants to transfer property but retains some rights or control over it. Grantees (buyers) must meet the conditions stated in the Grant Deed before ownership of the property can be transferred.
For example, Grantor (seller) may want Grantee (buyer) to remove Grantor’s ex-spouse’s name from the title of the property within a certain timeframe.
If Grantee (buyer) fails to meet this condition, Grantor (seller) can reclaim ownership of the property rather than transfer it.
Grant Deeds with Covenant
A Grant Deed with Covenant is similar to Grant Deeds with Conditions, but Grantee (buyer) must agree to the conditions.
The Grantor (seller) may want Grantee (buyer) to use the property as a primary residence within a certain timeframe or to pay Grantor’s ex-spouse alimony until Grantor dies.
These covenants are enforceable by Grantor (seller) even after Grantee (buyer) takes ownership of the property.
A quitclaim deed does not guarantee clear title and does not provide any warranty for the Grantor’s (seller’s) interest in the property.
The grantee is assuming all risks, including the risk that Grantor has outstanding liens on the property. The grantee cannot require Grantor to provide any documentation in the sale of the Grantor’s interest.
Tips to Ensure Completeness of Grant Deed
There are two main parts to a Grant Deed for real estate – the legal description and Grantee(buyer) and Grantor (seller) signatures.
It’s important that this information is included on the Grant Deed form or you may run into problems when attempting to transfer the property.
The Bottom Line
A Grant Deed can be a good option for transferring property between family members or friends.
To ensure completeness, it’s recommended that you seek legal assistance when preparing Grant Deeds.
The Grantor (seller) should retain the original Grant Deed and related documents to provide proof of ownership if necessary in the future.
About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.
True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.