A quitclaim is one way for a grantor to relinquish any prospective interest he has in real property. Quitclaims are very different from other types of deeds, as a grantor does not expressly convey interest in the property in question. In Texas, people almost never use quitclaims to transfer title to real property from seller to buyer.
A quitclaim is sometimes referred to as a "quick claim" or "quit claim deed." A quitclaim is very short -- usually only a page in length -- and commences with language in which the grantor, which is sometimes a seller, "quits" his or her interest in real property to a grantee, for a certain amount of consideration, or money. The most important thing to know about quitclaims is that they do not expressly convey interest in real property, such as a home or a parcel of land. A quitclaim is a way to relinquish oneself of interest in real property -- should the grantor have it.
Warranty deeds -- general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds -- are the preferred method of conveying real property in Texas. According to the Texas Property Code, if the word "grant" or "convey" appear in the deed, this assures the seller that the buyer has not conveyed the property to anyone else; there are no liens, taxes or other encumbrances on the property; and that the seller has the authority to convey the land. A general warranty deed is the desired way to transfer title in Texas; buyers have the assurance that the grantor will warrant and defend the purchaser's title for any defects that occur not only during the grantor's period of ownership, but from the beginning of time.
A quitclaim passes on a grantor's interest in real property to a grantee, should the grantor have interest; however, it does not establish a clear title. New homeowners seeking title insurance to protect them against title defects are unable to do so when a quitclaim is used to transfer title. Generally speaking, the property itself is not insurable for 25 years. In Texas, quitclaims may signal to the savvy buyer that a seller does not have a clear title to real property.
Although people almost never use quitclaim deeds in Texas when passing a title from buyer to seller, they do have very limited uses. For example, if real property is awarded to one spouse during a divorce, the other spouse may sign a quitclaim to relinquish her interest in the property. A quitclaim may also be used when there's a question if an heir has interest in real property.