Warranty deeds offer several advantages for both property buyers and sellers in Florida.
A warranty deed is a legal document that provides significant protection related to the ownership and title of real property.
Thereby instilling a greater level of trust and confidence between parties involved in a real estate transaction.
In reality, it is the assurances given by warranty deeds that allows Florida’s real estate industry to flourish and flow so smoothly.
This article explores various questions surrounding warranty deeds while examining their benefits over other forms of transfer deeds.
What is a warranty deed in Florida?
A warranty deed in Florida is a type of legal transfer document that provides certain guarantees from the grantor (i.e. the seller of the real estate property) to the grantee (i.e. the buyer of the real estate property).
These guarantees assure a buyer that the property is free from any encumbrances, claims or defects in the title. Essentially, a warranty deed assures Florida real estate buyers that the seller has clear ownership of the property and holds a legitimate right to sell the property.
Additionally, the seller/grantor promises to defend the title against any claims that might arise and affect the buyer’s rights to the property in the future.
In Florida, a warranty deed usually includes several covenants or assurances.
The most common of these covenants are the covenant of seisin (which refers to the rightful title of a property being vested in the seller), the covenant of quiet enjoyment (which refers to the buyer’s right to peacefully enjoy the subject real property) and the covenant against encumbrances (which refers to the absence of undisclosed liens etc.).
What is the difference between a quit claim deed and a warranty deed in Florida?
The main difference between a warranty deed in Florida and a quitclaim deed is the amount of protection received by the buyer/grantee.
While a quitclaim deed also transfers ownership to a grantee, there are several limitations including the transfer of only whatever interest of claim the seller/grantor has in the property and without any assurances regarding other owners or encumbrances.
With a quitclaim deed, the buyer takes on the responsibility and risk should any claims arise.
Conversely, a warranty deed in Florida provides far more protections to the buyer and assures them that they are receiving the property free and clear from undisclosed encumbrances.
Further, warranty deeds also assure a buyer that the grantor will defend against title claims in the future, if necessary.
How do I get a copy of my warranty deed in Florida?
Obtaining a copy of a warranty deed in Florida is a relatively simple task.
The first step would be to identify the county in which the subject property is located.
Thereafter, a visit to that county’s Clerk of Circuit Court website will produce all public records, such as property deeds, associated with the property.
If one is unable to access the county’s online tools, they may visit the county clerk’s office in person to request a copy of the warranty deed.
While public records are usually available for download free of charge, each county may charge a fee to obtain copies in person.
Also, the process to request such documents varies from county to county, so it is advisable to contact the county prior to making an in-person visit.
Alternatively, and perhaps more effectively, you may contact your legal professional to assist with obtaining this information on your behalf.
How does title insurance work with warranty deeds in Florida?
In Florida, title insurance works together with warranty deeds to provide additional protection to buyers of real property.
In addition to the assurances being made by the seller/grantor to the buyer/grantee in a real estate transaction, a title insurance policy will help to further protect the buyer against unknown and unforeseen title issues or claims.
For example, if a prior undisclosed title claim arises against the property subsequent to the purchase of the property, a title insurance policy provides financial protection to a buyer (and lender, as the case may be) to cover legal expenses for defending against such claim and other potential losses.
Typically, a buyer/grantee is protected up to the cost of the property while a lender is protected up to the amount of the loan by a title insurance policy.
In Florida, obtaining title insurance is customary and done as standard procedure in most real estate transactions.
This reinforces the buyer’s confidence in the state of the property’s title even more so than when accompanied by a warranty deed alone.
What is the best type of deed to get?
The “best type” of deed to get in Florida truly depends on the unique circumstances of the transaction.
Typically, unrelated parties prefer the protection of a warranty deed to ensure that the buyer is both satisfied and protected.
However, as we’ve discussed in prior articles, a quitclaim deed may be more conducive to transfers between family members, in situations of divorce or transferring between owner and owner’s business entity.
However, the effect of any transfer deed can be expansive, so no deed should be drafted, signed or recorded without first consulting a professional who may be able to advise based on the unique facts at hand.
What is proof of ownership of a property in Florida?
Proof of ownership of real property in Florida is usually in the form of a transfer deed that records the county in which the subject property is located.
This deed document provides the identity of the current legal owner(s) and is part of the official public records of the county.
These deeds may be in the form of a warranty deed, quitclaim deed or any other appropriate deed granting ownership in the grantee.
The chain of title or history of records related to the subject property should be able to provide evidence of ownership rights, especially when coupled with a title insurance policy.
Warranty Deed Florida Conclusions
Warranty deeds have proven to be essential to the real estate industry in Florida.
They allow for real estate transactions to occur with ease, transparency, and security.
By reinforcing a seller’s assurances of a clean title and a seamless transfer, warranty deeds guarantee that buyers/grantees can purchase real estate in Florida with confidence and sellers can convey their real property with integrity.
Whether you’re a buyer seeking peace of mind or a seller aiming for a trustworthy transaction, it is important to consult with your legal professional to ensure that your warranty deed accomplishes your objectives.
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