If you need to transfer Florida real estate to a limited liability company, trust, family member, or another individual, a quitclaim deed (also known as a quit claim deed) can help accomplish this. This method of transferring title is generally quicker and easier than other options, but you must first ensure that this is the best route for your individualized needs.
What is a Quitclaim Deed?
A Florida quitclaim deed is a legal document transferring title (i.e., ownership) from one person or entity to another. The person transferring the title of the property is called the grantor, and the one receiving it is known as the grantee. Grantors cannot usually transfer more than they have with a quitclaim deed. This may sound obvious, but in the context of real estate law in Florida, there is very little that is simple.
A quitclaim deed transfers title to Florida real estate without giving any guarantee as to the quality of the grantor’s title. In other words, a quitclaim deed gives whatever interest that the grantor has in the property to the grantee, but does not warrant that the grantor has any interest. With this deed type, if it turns out that the grantor does not have full interest in the property or clear title to the property, the grantee will not be able to seek legal recourse against the grantor.
Quitclaim deeds are often used between family members or in other situations where the grantee is assured of the grantor’s ownership, such as when a person transfers a property to their own company or to a trust.
A quitclaim deed is not always the most appropriate type of deed for what an individual is seeking to accomplish. There are other deed types that may be better for meeting the objectives of the parties involved in a title transfer. It is best to speak to a qualified Florida licensed real estate attorney to determine what deed type best fits your needs.
When Should You Use a Warranty Deed Instead?
In a standard purchase and sale transaction where the grantor and grantee do not know each other and fair market value is being exchanged, a warranty deed should be used. To transfer property using a warranty deed, you, the grantor, must have a clear and marketable title. This means that there can be no clouds on the title, such as liens or encumbrances.
If clear title does not exist or in the event that you do not know of (or do not wish to warrant) the marketability of the title, it may be best to use a quitclaim deed to transfer the title to your Florida real estate (assuming that the grantee is also willing to accept this type of deed).
What are the Florida Requirements for a Quitclaim Deed?
Florida law requires a specific procedure for preparing and recording quitclaim deeds, including, but not limited, to:
- Correctly identifying the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee;
- Providing a full legal description of the property;
- Signing the deed in front of two witnesses and a notary;
- Including the marital status of the grantor; and
- Recording the deed with the county recorder’s office.
The deed must be properly recorded. Take your time with the filing and ensure everything is completed appropriately. The county recorder’s office will likely take your document without reviewing it for legality first. An inaccurate quitclaim could lead to many complications down the road.
Florida law also has other nuances regarding deeds, including specific laws on how homestead property (i.e., your primary residence) may be transferred. To avoid making mistakes that will cause title issues to arise, a quitclaim deed is best prepared with the assistance of an experience Florida real estate attorney.
What Happens After the Quitclaim Deed is Filed?
Once the quitclaim deed is recorded, it becomes part of the public record. You may also be required to pay a filing fee or costs associated with properties that have an outstanding mortgage. If there is money being exchanged for the deed, documentary stamp taxes will also have to be paid.
What Type of Deed Best Fits Your Needs?
When you execute a quitclaim deed, you are effectively transferring the title to the person you choose as grantee; thus, the real property no longer belongs to you. It’s generally a good idea to only participate in this type of legal process with someone you know and trust.The real estate attorneys at Farshchian Law have extensive experience preparing deeds of all types, including quitclaim deeds and Lady Bird deeds. We will first give you a free consultation to determine which type of deed best fits your needs. We will also thoroughly explain the process and give you a fee quote. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (305) 901-5628 or (239) 935-8599, or email us at Info@JfRealEstateLaw.com.