Quit Claim Deeds Do Not Transfer Real Property

Question: My brother and I bought an investment home in San Tan Valley three years ago. Two months ago, my brother gave me a quit claim deed in exchange for $50,000, and my brother moved to Oregon. After reading your recent column on special warranty deeds and general warranty deeds to transfer a home, I am confused. Does my brother still own one-half of the San Tan Valley home because he only gave me a quit claim deed?

Answer: Probably not. A quit claim deed is not a conveyance deed, but simply one party agreeing to “quit” any “claim” to the home or other real property to another party. For example, 340 million Americans could sign quit claim deeds to your San Tan Valley home, which would legally mean nothing except that those 340 million Americans have confirmed that they have no legal interest in your San Tan Valley home. Quit claim deeds can be conveyances, however, if a person already has an ownership interest in a home. In other words, you should now have 100% ownership of the home. You should, however, get a title insurance policy now so that there are no title issues in the future when you sell your home. A title insurance company may require warranties of title and acknowledgments before issuing the title insurance policy.

Note: As a general rule, however, title companies will not insure a sale of real property done with a quit claim deed.

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