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What is a Deed Without a Warranty?

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When you purchase a piece of real estate, you are taking the deed to the property. The deed provided by the seller typically includes certain “warranties.” Under certain circumstances, however, a seller may offer a deed without warranty or a deed with “special” or limited warranties. Continue reading for a discussion of the legal impact of a deed without a warranty. Contact a Houston business and real estate attorney with additional questions or for help with a Texas real estate or business law matter.

Warranties in a General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed typically includes a few warranties concerning the land. The warranties are guarantees made by the seller to the buyer as part of the sale. The typical warranties in a general warranty deed in Texas include:

  • The seller has full title to the property
  • The seller has the right to convey the property
  • Title to the property is not encumbered by liens, easements, or other problems not listed in the deed

These warranties ensure that the buyer is actually getting the property they are paying for. If they discover that the seller fabricated their rights to convey the property or that something else is preventing the buyer from having full ownership, the buyer can rely on the warranties to get a refund of their purchase price.

Sellers may offer “special” or limited warranty deeds that include some but not all of the general warranties. The seller may not warrant that the title is free and clear of defects for all time, for example, instead warranting only that the title is good from the time that the seller acquired the property. In such a case, the seller would only be liable if they caused a problem to the title, and the buyer would have no remedy against the seller if they later discover a problem with the title that existed prior to when the seller acquired the property.

Deed Without Warranty

A deed without warranty is a deed that conveys title but with no warranty against any problems with the title. A buyer who later discovers the presence of easements or problems with the title cannot sue the seller. Deeds without a warranty offer no protection for buyers, but they may be useful in limited circumstances.

For example, the executor to an estate may provide a deed without warranty to heirs inheriting property in order to avoid liability should problems with the title arise. A deed without warranty may be utilized in the tax sale of a property, to transfer property to or from a revocable living trust, or to transfer the interest of one co-owner to the other co-owner. Talk to an experienced Texas real estate attorney about your real estate purchase or sale to learn whether a deed without warranty is appropriate in your situation.

If you need legal assistance with a Texas business law or real estate matter, contact the experienced and professional Texas business law attorney Leigh Meineke at the Houston offices of Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC by calling 832-706-0244.

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