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What is a Warranty Deed?

Many people confuse the concept of a Warranty Deed with the concept of a sellers guarantee of the physical condition of the house. When we discuss Warranty Deeds, Warranty refers only to the condition of the Title. It is not related to the physical condition of the house. There is no language in a deed that covers the physical condition of the house. In Maryland, there are three types of Warranty Deeds.

Deeds without a Warranty

Deeds without a Warranty are also know as Quit Claim Deeds. Often people will say "Quick Claim Deed" by mistake. Deeds without Warranties are typically deeds from fiduciaries. For example Personal Representatives of an Estate, Bankruptcy Trustees, and Foreclosure Trustees. A Quit Claim deed contains no guarantees of title. If you are taking title from a deed without Warranties, it is particulary critical that you obtain Owners Title Insurance.

Special Warranty Deed

These deeds are by far the most common in Maryland. The seller gives a title Warranty that the title is good from the time that the seller has owned the property. The seller makes no representation of the quality of the title from before the seller owned the property. Given that there are no prior title guarantees, it is likewise critical that you obtain Owners Title Insurance.

General Warranty Deed

These deeds are rarely used in Maryland. This would be where the seller guarantees the title all the way back. Given the local customs, and terms of the local contracts, these type of deeds would not be used.

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