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How do you know you’re the owner of real property? Your proof is a

warranty deed.

A warranty deed is a written legal document that transfers legal and equitable title of real property from one person or entity to another. Three common deeds in Texas are General Warranty, Special Warranty, and Quitclaim.

In real estate, a warranty is the promise of the seller to the buyer that he/she really owns the property. This is called “Warranty of Title.” In the same vein, the buyer expects that the seller promises no other liens or claims to use the property being sold to him. This is called “Warranty Against Liens and other Encumbrances.” 

General Warranty Deed

In this type of deed, a buyer is given more protection from defects and issues. The seller guarantees the buyer that he/she has the full title to the property and the buyer is assured that their title is free and clear from encumbrances. This means that the seller will defend and protect buyer against right claims of third parties to the property (warranty of title) and no liens or encumbrances in the property (warranty against liens and other encumbrances) exists except on the items listed in the deed. 

A general warranty deed generally contains the clause that follows:

“Grantor does hereby bind Grantor, Grantor’s heirs, executors, and administrators to WARRANT AND FOREVER DEFEND all and singular the Property, subject to the matters set forth in this General Warranty Deed, unto the said Grantee, his heirs, and assigns, against every person whomsoever, lawfully claiming or to claim the same, or any part thereof.”

Special Warranty Deed

On the other hand, a special warranty deed provides buyer limited warranties to the defects arising only during the seller’s period of ownership. In this type of deed, the seller does not guarantee that their title is free and clear of any defects before the seller acquired the title or ownership of the property.

A special warranty deed generally contains this similar clause:

“Grantor does hereby bind Grantor and Grantor’s heirs and legal representatives to WARRANT AND FOREVER DEFEND all and singular the Property, subject to the matters set forth in this Special Warranty Deed, unto Grantee and Grantee’s heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof, by, through or under Grantor, but not otherwise.”

Quit Claim Deed

Quite contrary to general warranty deed and special warranty deed, a quit claim deed does not establish title of the seller in the property. When a buyer receives a property under a quit claim deed, such transaction did not transfer any title of the property to the buyer. However, it can be noted that the deed only transfers whatever present interest a seller has to the property. Simply stated, this type of deed does not provide protection to the buyer because there are no warranties.  

Most common uses of quit claim deed are the following:

  • Gift from a family member to another. This entails a trust between the parties.

  • Divorce decree. This happens when one spouse divests the other party’s interest in the property.

  • Adverse possession. An adverse possessor takes the property as their own. 

When engaging in a real estate transaction in Texas, it’s essential to carefully consider the type of deed being used and the level of protection it provides. To inquire about your particular situation, contact 832.205.8144 or schedule to speak with one of our attorneys at


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