Deeds are critical legal documents that transfer property from one to another in a real estate deal. There are different kinds of deeds to property, and they are often defined by the promises being conveyed by the seller in favor of the buyer. Warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, and special warranty deeds promise different things. Warranty deeds offer the most protection. They are pledges that someone owns a piece of property free and clear of an owner or seller. If you are concerned about a warranty deed or other aspects of a real estate deal, the experienced Ocala real estate lawyers of the Dean Law Firm can help you understand your legal options.Warranty Deed
Warranty deeds give buyers the most protection. They are commonly used in the sales of residential properties, and they are the type of deed that the most commonly used real estate contracts in Florida ask for. Generally, they’re used if a buyer is looking for financing for a mortgage or title insurance. They give buyers a great deal of protection and contain the date of a transaction, who is involved in the transaction, the nature of the property that is being transferred, and the buyers’ signatures. A warranty deed is supposed to be signed in front of a notary or witness. The grantor takes on the risk, since they become culpable for breaches that might have occurred beyond the scope of their knowledge or property ownership. The grantor is supposed to do whatever is necessary to make good your title to the property if you are a grantee.
Generally, title insurance is used to protect against potential liens and claims. The title insurance company conducts a complete title search and explores other breaches prior to property being transferred, but it may only do that when a warranty deed is provided.
A special warranty deed is typically not considered to be as strong as a general warranty deed. This type of deed only promises that title has been received and that no encumbrances were placed on the property while the grantor had ownership of it. There’s no protection against claims that may have existed before the grantor got title. They are more often used in commercial real estate than residential real estate.
The warranty deed needs to include an accurate description of what’s being conveyed and should be signed and witnessed in line with Florida law.Covenants in a Warranty Deed
In addition to conveying fee simple title to property, a warranty deed gives certain covenants of title. Covenants assert that a certain situation exists. Where a covenant turns out not to be true, a buyer can potentially get a judgment against the seller for damages suffered because of the covenant being untrue. Your attorney can help you understand your rights with regard to any covenant that is relevant to your real estate transaction.
One of the covenants of title is the covenant of seisin, which is a promise by a seller that the seller actually owns what’s being transferred and is the only party that owns and possesses it, except where a buyer is told of a tenant’s existence.
There is also a covenant of the right to convey. This is the seller’s assertion that the seller has a right to convey property. In other words, there aren’t any restrictions on the seller’s capacity to convey property to a buyer. Through this covenant, a seller promises others don’t have a right of first refusal to buy.
The covenant against encumbrances is a seller’s promise that it hasn’t failed to reveal encumbrances, and that there aren’t any invisible ones against the property at issue. Invisible encumbrances could be restrictions on how the property is used, or a lien or real estate taxes that haven’t been paid. Where a neighbor’s fence encroaches, for example, this could be a limitation on property.
The covenant of quiet enjoyment is a promise by a seller that a buyer’s possession, use, or enjoyment of a property will not be disquieted or disturbed due to a defect in the property’s title. For example, this type of covenant could state that a third party won’t claim against the buyer for use of the property.
The covenant of general warranty is a warranty that a seller will shield a buyer if title defects cause harm, and the seller will defend the buyer if others bring claims to title. The covenant is a warranty against any prior covenant being untrue. Certain covenants to a buyer are usually set forth in a paragraph over the seller’s signature line.Retain a Seasoned Real Estate Closing Lawyer in Ocala
If you are concerned about a warranty deed in Ocala, a skilled real estate attorney can help. Michael E. Dean and Timothy S. Dean of the Dean Law Firm have decades of experience between them. Call us at 352-387-8700 to set up a free consultation or contact us online.