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How to Sell Your Home Fast With a Quit Claim Deed

By The HomeGo Team On 2020-02-10

When it comes to real estate assets, quick and efficient property transfer is a game changer. One way to do this, whether resolving legal matters, navigating a time-sensitive relocation or grabbing a great opportunity, is with a quitclaim deed. Understanding how to unlock the potential of a quitclaim deed effectively can speed up the home-selling process while giving you peace of mind and legal clarity.

Understanding the Quitclaim Deed

Unless you’ve had experience with one, the term ‘quitclaim deed’ may not be one you are fully familiar with. Let’s define exactly what a quitclaim deed is and what it is used for.

A quitclaim deed is a legal document that transfers a seller’s interest in a property to a buyer. A property owner uses a quitclaim deed to transfer their complete interest in the property to the buyer, essentially giving up any of their ownership rights in the property. They are often used between family and friends because a certain amount of trust is required between the parties.

Key features and components of this transaction include:

  • The parties involved.
  • The property description.
  • Payment consideration, if this is applicable.
  • The granting clause.
  • Covenants regarding the property’s title.
  • Signatures and a notary acknowledgment.
  • Recording information.
  • The effective date.

Steps to Selling Your Home With a Quitclaim Deed

Here’s a high-level view of what you need to know about selling a property with a quitclaim deed:

  • Prepare the documents: Obtain all the necessary forms and complete them with accurate information.
  • Execute the quitclaim deed: Sign the deed in front of a notary public and record the deed with the county recorder’s office.

This type of deed may be used to gift property to a relative or spouse while avoiding some of the paperwork that’s associated with general or special warranty deeds.

You could purchase a home with this type of deed and later find out that the seller had no legal right to sell you the property. While this option clearly benefits the seller, some buyers find it less than ideal and prefer a more thorough, black-and-white agreement.

I Bought a Property With a Quitclaim. Can I Still Sell?

The good news is that, though it may not be an attractive option to many buyers, you can still sell the property normally. The title will still have been transferred to you.

The quitclaim deed affects ownership and the name on the deed, but it does not affect the name on the mortgage. That means you still may need to have the mortgage transferred into your name before you try to sell the house if it hasn’t been already.

A quitclaim deed doesn’t offer the same protections or guarantees as a standard or warranty deed. That said, in most cases, it’s still a legal way to buy or sell a house… but it’s best used between people you trust, such as family or friends. An attorney or legal professional can help you determine if this option makes sense for you.

Because of the lack of protection, it may be difficult to persuade a buyer to accept a quitclaim deed.

Considerations Before Using a Quitclaim Deed

Many people who receive property through a quitclaim deed wonder if — and how — they can sell it afterward. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a quitclaim deed to transfer property, there are a couple of considerations to take into account when selling the property later:

  • Title search and clearing liens: Before you execute a quitclaim deed, do a title search to identify existing liens, title defects or encumbrances on the property. If you find liens or other encumbrances, resolve those before you complete the quitclaim deed transfer.
  • Mortgage and tax obligations: Transferring a property via a quitclaim deed will not relieve the grantor of mortgage obligations unless this is pre-addressed with the lender. Both the grantor and grantee may also be liable for property taxes, capital gains taxes, transfer taxes and other tax consequences that relate to mortgage assumption or forgiveness.

We also suggest you speak with an attorney or legal professional to ensure you fully understand any potential risks before making any decisions.

Marketing Your Property With a Quitclaim Deed

If you are marketing a property with a quitclaim deed, you need to take the following into consideration:

  • Highlight the benefits for buyers: Emphasize that this is a straightforward way to transfer ownership rights without extensive legal procedures. Position the property as a potential investment opportunity thanks to its lower acquisition costs. Finally, point out the flexibility of this transaction for buyers looking for unique property acquisition situations like estate sales or distressed property purchases.
  • Leverage the quick sale potential: Use marketing materials that communicate the quick sale potential, using phrasing like ‘fast transfer’ or ‘immediate ownership.’ Target local real estate investors and online platforms for the right buyer personas.
  • Target investors or cash buyers: Promote your property by highlighting the benefits of cash transactions, showcasing the property’s investor-friendly features and leveraging networking opportunities.

Potential Risks and Limitations

A quitclaim deed is useful in transferring your property interests, but it does shave some risks and limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Unlike other types of deeds, because it doesn’t require the seller to prove that they actually have an interest in the property, a quitclaim deed does not include any protections for the buyer or recipient. Thus, a quitclaim deed does not guarantee that either the seller or the buyer actually owns the property.
  • Quitclaim deeds don’t account for other people’s claims on the property, such as liens or other encumbrances. In other words, this type of deed doesn’t offer any protection to the buyer regarding the legal ownership status of the property.
  • The property’s condition is not guaranteed, as the grantee assumes responsibility for any existing issues, which can include structural defects and code violations.

Given the lack of guarantees and protection offered by a quitclaim deed, it’s easy to see why not many buyers would agree to accept this type of deed. In most cases, a quitclaim deed is appropriate for situations when a property is transferred to:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • A spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse
  • A trust

Alternative Selling Options

It’s essential to choose the right selling option based on the property type, condition, the seller’s financial goals, timeline, market conditions and risk tolerance. Consult with a real estate professional or your financial advisor to ensure you make an informed decision. If a quitclaim deed isn’t the way you want to go, consider these alternative selling options:

  • Traditional sale: A traditional sale involves marketing the property, negotiating with potential buyers and completing the sale through a closing. It offers a broad market reach and established processes.
  • Seller financing arrangements: In this scenario, the seller acts as the lender, which benefits buyers who may not qualify for traditional financing or need more flexible terms. It attracts a wider pool of buyers and you can potentially sell your property at a higher price.
  • Real estate auctions: These auctions are done through a public bidding process and often result in a quick sale.

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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.