A California grant deed transfers ownership from a grantor to a grantee with assurances that the grantor has not otherwise encumbered the property. These warranties do not extend beyond the grantor; prior owners may have damaged the property title with liens, easements, or other encumbrances.
In California, the grant deed is generally used in lieu of warranty deeds (both special and general). A warranty deed in another state will include language that obligates the grantor to defend the title should unexpected defects (third parties claiming ownership, mechanic’s liens, etc.) come to light after deed execution. In California, title insurance usually covers title defense, rendering warranty deeds unnecessary.
- Statutes: Chapter 2. Transfer of Real Property
- Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (§ 480): To be filed with every recorded deed.
- Formatting: § 27361.5, § 27361.6 & § 27361.7
- Signing Requirements (Cal. Civ. Code § 1189): Notary Public
- Where to record (§ 1169): County Recorder’s Office
- Recording fees (§ 27361): Less than $10 for the first page; $3 for each page thereafter.