Quitclaim Deeds of property

8 Nov

MetroBoston Publication Date October 07, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

When you buy a home in most of Massachusetts you receive at the closing table what is often called a “Quitclaim Deed.” That’s because the deed comes imprinted with the words “Quitclaim Covenants” in it.

But what does it mean?

Quitclaim Covenants are analogous to a limited warranty made by the seller to the buyer about the quality of title or ownership to the property being transferred.

By using the common phrase “I convey to you [my condo or home] located at . . . with Quitclaim Covenants” – or words to that effect, the seller guarantees that at the time the deed is passed across the table the property is free from liens and encumbrances placed on it by the seller.

Mortgages, property taxes, water and sewer charges, and condo fees are liens on a property until they are paid.

So if a mortgage was granted by the seller and a release of that lien was not recorded on or before the time of sale, the seller remains responsible to obtain it even after the property is sold.

That’s important because in Massachusetts the age old rule of “Buyer Beware” is still alive. Once the deed is accepted by a buyer, the buyer’s ability to sue the seller later becomes more limited and difficult. © 2012 George Warshaw.

George Warshaw is a real estate attorney and author. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts, and estate plans. George welcomes new clients and questions at metro@warshawlaw.com.



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