If I Am Buying or Selling Property in New York, Do I Use a Quit Claim or Warranty Deed?
When transferring ownership of real estate in New York, there are a few different types of deeds: quit claim deeds, warranty deeds, and bargain and sale deeds with covenants. While each type of deeds is used to convey property, they are different in terms of the level of protection they provide to the new owner.
A quit claim deed, sometimes referred to as a “quick claim” or “quitclaim” deed, is used to transfer ownership of a property without providing any guarantees or warranties about the property’s condition or title. Essentially, a quit claim deed is a way for the current owner to give up any claim on the property without making any promises about what the new owner can expect.
On the other hand, a warranty deed is a more formal document that guarantees the new owner certain rights and protections. With a warranty deed, the current owner makes certain promises about the property’s condition and title. For example, the current owner may promise that there are no outstanding liens or mortgages on the property and that the property is free and clear of any encumbrances. If any issues with the property’s title or condition surface later on, the current owner is liable for addressing them. Warranty deeds are more commonly used in upstate New York.
A bargain and sale deed with covenants is more commonly used in downstate New York and conveys whatever interest the grantor holds in the property at the time of execution, with the promise that the grantor “has not done or suffered anything whereby the said premises have been encumbered in any way whatever” (NY Real Prop. Law Section 258 (Statutory Form C)).
While a quit claim deed is a simpler and faster way to transfer ownership, it provides the least protection to the new owner. A warranty deed or bargain and sale deed with covenants, on the other hand, both offer a new owner more protection and assurance that they are getting a clear and valid title to the property.
When it comes to buying or selling a property in New York, it is important to understand the difference between quit claim, bargain and sale with covenant and warranty deeds and to make sure that the appropriate type of deed is used. If you have any questions or concerns about the transfer of property ownership in New York, it is best to consult with a real estate lawyer
How Can a Real Estate Attorney Help?
A real estate attorney can help with a quit claim deed, bargain and sale deed with covenants, or warranty deed in several ways. Some of the ways a lawyer can assist include:
- Reviewing and Explaining the Deed: A lawyer can review the quit claim, bargain and sale deed with covenant or warranty deed and explain the terms and conditions to you, so you understand exactly what you are signing and what it means for your rights and obligations as a property owner.
- Drafting and Preparing the Deed: A lawyer can draft and prepare the quit claim, bargain and sale deed with covenant or warranty deed on your behalf, ensuring that all necessary information and transfer documents are included and all the documents are legally valid.
- Reviewing Title and Conducting a Title Search: A lawyer can review the title to the property and conduct a title search to ensure there are no issues or encumbrances that could affect your ownership of the property.
- Reviewing and Negotiating Any Additional Agreements: A lawyer can review and negotiate any additional agreements related to the transfer of ownership, such as purchase or sale agreements, and make sure that they are legally sound and protect your interests.
A lawyer can help you with a quit claim, bargain and sale deed with covenants, or warranty deed by guiding you through the legal process, reviewing and preparing the necessary documents, making sure that your rights and interests are protected, and representing you in case of disputes.
What If I Choose the Wrong Deed Type?
Many things can go on in a real estate transaction if the wrong deed type is chosen:
- Title Issues: One common problem that can arise with a deed transfer is that the current owner may not have a clear and valid title to the property. This can lead to issues down the line, such as disputes over ownership or the discovery of outstanding liens or mortgages on the property. In these cases, the new owner may have difficulty obtaining financing or selling the property in the future, and the previous owner may be liable for any issues with the title.
- Undisclosed Encumbrances: Another issue that can arise with a deed transfer is that the current owner may not disclose any encumbrances, such as easements or outstanding debts, on the property. This can lead to unexpected legal or financial obligations for the new owner.
- Misrepresentation: In some cases, the current owner may misrepresent the condition of the property in a warranty deed. For example, they may claim that the property is in good condition and free of any defects, when in reality there are issues such as a leaky roof or foundation problems. In these cases, the new owner may be able to take legal action against the previous owner for misrepresentation.
- Failure to deliver possession: In some cases, the current owner may fail to deliver possession of the property to the new owner after the transfer of ownership. This can lead to legal disputes and financial losses for the new owner.
- Unforeseen zoning or other legal restrictions: It’s possible that the property has some zoning restrictions that were not known by the current owner and not disclosed to the new one. It could be that the property can’t be used for the intended purpose, and the new owner would have to face legal actions to change the zoning laws or even financial losses.
These are just a few examples of problems that can arise with deed transfers in New York State. These issues can be avoided by working with a qualified real estate lawyer, who can help you understand the terms and conditions of the deed, review the title, and conduct a title search. They can also advise you on any potential issues and help you navigate any disputes that may arise.
Not all lawyers have the same level of experience or expertise in real estate law. Look for a lawyer who has significant experience in real estate law and has dealt with quit claim, bargain and sale deeds with covenants or warranty deeds specifically. Call the Law Office of Gina Pellettieri PLLC today at (631) 320-1493 for a free case evaluation!