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Understanding the most common deeds in Tennessee

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Real Estate Law |

Most people don’t give much thought to deeds. To the extent they do, they often think a deed is the same thing as a title. A title is a legal concept of ownership, while a deed is a document that codifies that ownership and is necessary to transfer ownership when a property is sold or otherwise transferred.

In fact, there are multiple types of deeds. Let’s look at the more common ones you’re likely to encounter here in Tennessee.

General warranty deed

This type of deed guarantees that there are no liens on a property and that a seller has the right to transfer ownership. It also guarantees that if a lien or other issue is discovered later, the seller is responsible for resolving it.

Special warranty deed

This type of deed guarantees that there are no current liens on a property. However, it doesn’t protect a buyer if a problem that predates the seller is discovered. Special warranty deeds are often used when foreclosure and other bank-owned properties are sold.

Quit claim deed

These deeds are typically used only when property is transferred among family members or others who know and trust each other.  A quit claim deed transfers the current owner’s rights and interests in the property to another person. However, it also transfers any liens or other encumbrances on the property. Therefore, it’s always wise to make sure there aren’t any unless you’re prepared to have responsibility for them.

As you can see, these deeds (and others) offer different levels of protection for the buyer or recipient of a property. That’s why it’s important to know what kind of deed comes with a property you’re preparing to buy or even one that you’re inheriting or being gifted. It can help to have experienced legal guidance when you’re involved in any kind of real estate transaction to help protect your rights and avoid unnecessary costs and legal issues in the future.