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 clouded 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
- 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; under $3 for each page thereafter.
- Megan’s Law (CIV § 2079.10a): This disclosure provides information on accessing the database and information on registered sex offenders in the area.
- Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (CIV § 1103(-1103.4)): Owners wishing to sell a property located in an area at risk for hazards or natural disasters must provide this document to potential buyers.
- Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (§ 480): To be filed with every recorded deed.
- Property Disclosure Statement (CIV § 1102 et. seq.): A detailed account of a residential property’s features and defects must be compiled by the property owner and furnished to potential buyers.
- Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures and Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice (CIV § 1101.4 and HSC § 13260(-13263) + 17926): This notice confirms a property’s compliance with water-conserving plumbing and carbon monoxide detector state laws.
- Water Heater and Smoke Detector Statement of Compliance (HSC § 19211 and HSC § 13113.8): This statement confirms to buyers of a residential property that the home complies with state laws regarding water heaters and smoke detectors.