Quitclaim deeds are very easy and inexpensive to utilize to convey real estate.
Step one is to obtain a quitclaim form. Quit claim forms are usually one simple page. On the right side of every page of this this web site you can click to download a quit claim form. Some free forms are available on the internet, but the better written, better structured, and more reliable forms should be purchased. It is a very small price to convey one of your most valuable assets properly. Fortunately, they are very inexpensive, just a few dollars, and can be downloaded instantly.
Quitclaim forms include several components contained within the legal language for each section. The top section describes who the grantor and grantee are, the property location (common street address), and the county jurisdiction where the property is to be conveyed. The second section provides how much consideration is exchanged for the property interest. When conveying between family members or changing title vesting, this may be a nominal amount, perhaps $10.00. When a purchase is involved, from an unknown seller, it may be a large amount, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in some cases. Some amount of consideration is generally required for a contract of sale to be valid. It is worth noting that the county recording fees and county transfer taxes are usually calculated using the amount of consideration. The smaller the consideration, the less will be paid to the county. This section also usually contains how title should vest. Joint tenancy, community property, sole ownership, and tenants in common are examples of how title may vest. Another entire article has been written on title vesting on this web site, how to hold property title , if you are interesting in a more in-depth discussion of how to hold title. Below this section, the quitclaim generally shows the legal description. This is not the common address, or street address, listed in the first section. The legal description can usually be found on your deed from the prior purchase of the property, or the county offices for your county will make it available to you at no charge. It is a matter of public record and can often be obtained by phone, in person, or over the web. The next section usually contains legal language about the rights being conveyed. Last, there is a section for a witness to sign, signature of the grantor, and signature of a notary. The grantee, or recipient of the property, generally does not need to sign.
The next step after obtaining the right form is to of course to fill out the quitclaim form. The sections needing information are usually identified using underlined or blank areas to signify where to enter the needed information. It can be filled in using hand writing or typed in. Many forms available for purchase allow you to fill them out before downloading, online. The common or street address, and grantor and grantee are easily filled out. However, additional thought should be put into how much consideration, as discussed above, how title should vest, also discussed above, and filling in the correct legal description.
After filling out the quitclaim form, the form must be notarized and the grantor signature must generally be witnessed. This is easily accomplished. Banks generally have a notary available at no charge or for a small charge, so simply go to your bank to get the quit claim deed form notarized. Some people also have notaries at work. If you work for a law firm or your company has a legal department, it generally always has a notary employed. Mail box stores also have notaries who will notarize your signed quit claim form for around $10.
Once the quit claim form is filled out, signed, and notarized, you should record it at the local county recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. This is also easily done. You can go to the recorder’s office to record it for yourself. There is no expertise required. A small form will need to be filled out, and then you give it to a clerk to be recorded. There is a small recording fee, and in some counties, there will be transfer taxes. The recording fees and transfer taxes are generally based on the amount of consideration listed on your quitclaim deed. There is no requirement to record the deed for you to own the property, but it is in your best interest. Until your quit claim deed is recorded, it is not in the official records. If you lose your paper quit claim deed, evidence of your title will disappear with the paper deed if not recorded to memorialize the transaction. By recording, you also prevent another party from recording an interest prior to you doing so. Quitclaim deeds can be recorded electronically as well. Simply pay a small amount to most title companies and they will to record your deed electronically, remotely. Real estate lawyers sometimes can also file electronically. In most counties, you may also mail in your deed and fees for recording. They will mail the stamped recorded deed back to you once recorded. On such an important and valuable transaction, it is recommended you make a trip to the county, record it in person, and get your stamped copy immediately.
Some people may want to use a professional title company or real estate attorney to help advise you how to hold title, determine the correct amount of consideration, and list your legal description correctly if you do not feel comfortable, but it is not difficult to make these decisions yourself, at little cost.