Deeds are the most common, and important, documents there are in real estate. A written tool that publicly records and transfers land ownership, deeds show the world which person(s), company, or organization owns specific pieces of land.
Deeds can do more than just transfer ownership, however, and they often do. Easements, encumbrances, and modifications can be incorporated into deeds, changing the real estate significantly as it changes hands. If that weren’t concerning enough, several types of changes to deeds in Washington State will never show up on a title insurance report or be covered by a title insurance policy.
That’s why we’ve come up with two quick and easy solutions to protect buyers of real estate in Washington.
With our TIER service, we review all of the documents that have been publicly recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. Not only can we find potential deed restrictions, but we can also uncover other “title insurance exceptions,” such as tax liens and shared-road agreements.
Our TIER Plus service goes beyond title review to include legal due diligence research and legal opinions about the potential risks associated with buying the property. These can include zoning issues, building codes, permissible uses for the property, restrictions, and more.
These are the most common types of deeds:
Warranty Deeds In Washington
Warranty deeds are the only type of deed that has a guarantee or “warranty.” Sellers who provide warranty deeds are promising buyers that they own the property they’re selling, that they have the power to sell it, and that there won’t be any surprise claims filed at a future date.
Quitclaim Deeds In Washington
Quitclaim deeds are a quicker and easier way to transfer land ownership, but they’re also riskier for buyers. By providing quitclaim deeds, sellers are promising that they’ve “quit” their “claim” to the real estate to whoever is buying the property. But quitclaim deeds don’t tell buyers anything about other claims or burdens that might remain on the property.
Deeds Of Trust In Washington
Deeds of trust are similar to mortgages. A deed of trust is an agreement between a property owner (borrower) and a lender, with a neutral third party serving as the trustee until the borrower pays off the debt.