Quick Claim Deed Laws

A quit claim deed is just one type of real estate document you should understand before buying or selling a home.

There are two types of deeds used in real estate transactions. The first type is commonly called a "quick claim deed." Quick claim is a misnomer caused by both the similarity in words, and the fact that these deeds are a 'faster' way to transfer real property. The actual name of the deed is a quit claim deed. The other is a warranty deed, which is more common and carries stronger entitlement for final sales. There are, however, times when a quit claim deed is desirable. As long as the buyer understands the qualities, and limitations of a quit claim deed so they can insure that all of their needs are met, it is an excellent tool to facilitate sales.

Best Use

The best reason to use a quit claim deed is to release someone's claim on a property otherwise deeded to another principle. For instance, in the case of a divorce where one party has the controlling interest in a property for sale, a quit claim allows the other partner to relinquish their claim on the property so it can be sold. Quit claim deeds are used in tax sales or other lien sales. Buyers should be aware that the seller in those cases are only selling their interest in the property. In this case a quit claim deed bears investigation because the property could have leins on it that are still attached after the sale and the buyer would assume those leins.


Unlike a warranty deed, a quit claim does not give the buyer any assurance that someone else does not have an interest in the property. When purchasing a piece of real estate it is usually best to deal with someone who can supply a warranty deed that is unencumbered by leins and clear of any legal attachments.


Every state has laws regarding leins, deeds, and other real estate transactions, but generally speaking, quit claim deeds require that both the names of the grantor and the grantee (buyer and seller) appear on the deed. Also, a complete legal description of the property along with the address and the name of the county needs to appear on the deed. A quit claim deed must also state the sale price, even if it is a gift with a small dollar value. The quit claim deed needs to be notarized, and the grantor must sign the deed. Always check your state requirements for any real estate transaction. Some states require the grantee to sign the deed and some states also require witnesses. All states require the deed be filed in the county record office where the property is located.