When you buy or sell real estate in Florida, it’s important to think about the kind of deed that will transfer the real estate. There are many kinds of deeds in Florida. Here are a few of them:
- Statutory Warranty Deed. If you are the buyer, you generally want the seller to sign a statutory warranty deed because it means the seller makes various warranties to you. If the title fails, then you could sue the seller for breach of warranty. This is the type of deed that is usually prepared by lawyers and title insurance agents for closings in Florida. It is the type of deed specified in the form contracts issued by the Florida Realtors and The Florida Bar. But, there is no law that says it must be used.
- Special Warranty Deed. On the other hand, if you are the seller, you can limit your warranties by signing a special warranty deed instead of a statutory warranty deed.
- Fee Simple Deed. Even better, if you are the seller, you could sign a fee simple deed because it contains no warranties at all, but it still purports to convey fee simple title.
- Trustee’s Deed. If you are a trustee, personal representative or guardian, then you want to sign a special type of deed for that capacity, which is similar to a fee simple deed and gives no warranties because it would obligate the trust, estate or guardianship beyond the term of your office.
- Quit Claim Deed. If you are not sure whether you really own the property, then you want to sign a quit claim deed. (Non-lawyers sometimes mistakenly call this a “quick” claim deed, but the correct name is quit claim deed.) Doing this means you quit claim your interest to the grantee, meaning that you only convey to the grantee whatever interest you have in the property. If you have no interest in the property, then you are conveying nothing.
The key is to specify the type of deed in the contract for sale, and to have your attorney read both the contract and the deed before you sign them. And it’s imperative that a title search and title insurance be obtained from a licensed title insurance company before you sign a deed.