Clients often ask about the different kinds of deeds.
This is a quick reference for some common deeds in Ohio.
General Warranty Deed–The seller guarantees (or “warrants”, hence the name) that he or she holds
clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to the buyer, subject to any listed exceptions.
The guarantee is not limited to the time the grantor owned the property– it extends back to
the property’s origins.
Survivorship Warranty Deed– Provide the same warranties as a General Warranty Deed but also assists
in transferring title to property upon death of one person to another person without the need
for probate proceedings. (For example, from a husband to his wife, or between business partners).
Special Warranty Deed– The seller warrants or guarantees the title only against defects arising during
the period of ownership. The seller makes no warranty against defects existing before the time
of his or her ownership.
Quit Claim Deed– The owner of a piece of real property transfers his or her interest to a recipient.
The owner terminates (quits) his right and claim to the property, thereby allowing claim to transfer
to the recipient. This offers no warranty to the status of the title. Because of this lack of warranty,
this deed’s most common uses are among family members transferring real property.
Fiduciary Deed– When a person is working solely for the interest of a third party (the third party
may be deceased or living but is unable to transfer the property himself). It is signed by the fiduciary
instead of the owner of the property. Unless the fiduciary is explicitly permitted to sell the
property by a decedant’s will, this type of deed generally requires court approval before it can be
used, after which point it operates in the same manner as a Warranty Deed.
Sheriff’s Deed– A deed issued to the buyer of property that was sold under court order to pay off a
debt at a sheriff’s sale. Most commonly seen in foreclosures of a mortgage.
Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit– The property owner(s) can execute this affidavit providing
the name(s) of one or more beneficiaries who will acquire title to the property upon the death of
the owner. If the named beneficiary does not survive the owners, then contingent beneficiaries may
be named, none of which require probate intervention in order to take title.
Fee Simple and Fee Simple Absolute have the same meaning and describe a type of ownership, rather
than a type of deed. It is the greatest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property,
one in which the owner is entitled to use, occupy, benefit from, encumber, or dispose of the
property as he sees fit, and which can be transferred by deed, left by will, or inherited. The rights
associated with fee simple ownership are limited by governmental powers of taxation, zoning, and
eminent domain, among others, and can also be subject to rights that have been voluntarily granted.