A statutory warranty deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of real property from the seller (called the grantor) to the buyer (called the grantee). This type of deed guarantees that the grantor holds full and clear title to the property and will compensate the buyer should any claims emerge against the title in the future. It is used for many sales of real property.
A statutory warranty deed vs. a general warranty deed
A statutory warranty deed and a general warranty deed make the same guarantee: that the grantor holds full and clear legal title to the property and is conveying that to the grantee. If a claim ever arises against the property in the future, the grantor will have to compensate the grantee.
A statutory warranty deed is different from a warranty deed because it is a shorter form made available through your state's statutes and it may not outright list the promise that the title is guaranteed to be clear. Instead, because it is a statutory form, this guarantee is implied and is still legally enforceable. The two forms accomplish the same thing.
A statutory warranty deed vs. other types of deeds
A quitclaim deed conveys only what rights the grantor owns, and makes no promises that there are no other claims against the property, unlike a statutory warranty deed that does guarantee the title. A specialty warranty deed (as opposed to a general warranty deed) guarantees only that there were no claims made against the title while the grantor owned the property. It does not guarantee that there were no claims before the grantor took ownership and, as such, the grantor is only held responsible for claims tied to the grantor's period of ownership.
How to create a statutory warranty deed
A statutory warranty deed is one of the most common deeds used in a sale of real property. It is executed after the contract of sale, title search and other closing documents have been prepared and payment has been provided. To use the form, follow these steps:
- Obtain the statutory warranty form from your state's statutes or website, or engage an online service provider to assist you.
- Fill in the name and address of the grantor in the spaces provided.
- Fill in the name and address of the grantee in the spaces provided.
- Fill in the legal description of the property (which you can find on the previous deed).
- The grantor must sign and date the deed. In most states, the grantee does not need to sign the form.
- Your state may require that the grantor's signature be notarized. If so, the grantor should sign in front of a notary.
- File the deed with the county registrar's office.
Once the deed is filed, the transfer has legally occurred and the grantee becomes the owner of the real property. This is the final step in the legal transfer of title to a piece of real property.
A statutory warranty deed is a short-form deed that includes the promises of a long-form general warranty deed. It guarantees the grantor holds and is transferring full and legal title to the property. Using either a statutory or general warranty deed provides the most protection to the buyer of the property.