A general warranty deed is a legal document that transfers real estate ownership from one party to another and guarantees that the transferor/seller holds a clear title, free from liens and all other encumbrances.
Out of all of the deed types, a general warranty deed provides the highest level of protection to the buyer. It guarantees there are no outstanding title issues and that, if there are, the buyer would be protected from personal liability. These guarantees don’t just apply to the current owner, but all previous owners of the property as well.
- The buyer will be purchasing the property (not receiving it as a gift).
- The buyer will need to obtain financing or title insurance.
- The buyer wants the highest level of protection against any title issues.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
A general warranty deed is a document used for finalizing the sale of residential or commercial property. Once it has been completed and recorded, the seller (grantor) will have officially transferred their ownership interest to the buyer (grantee).
While both general and special warranty deeds share many similarities, a general warranty deed covers a far greater time period with regard to its title assurances.
With a general warranty deed, the grantee (buyer) receives a contractual promise that the property is free of any issues, dating all the way back to the very first owner of the property.
With a special warranty deed, the buyer only receives affirmation that the title is free and clear of issues from the current seller (grantor). In other words, the deed does not provide assurances for any previous owners.
Both deed types provide significantly more protection for the buyer than a quitclaim deed, which provides no guarantees whatsoever.