Quitclaim Deed  (aka Quit Claim Deed)

Quitclaim Deed (also "Quit Claim Deed"): a legal instrument used to release one person's right, title or interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty of title.

Often used in divorce settlements, between family members to transfer property easily and quickly without need for in depth title search/warranty that the deed isn't encumbered by any other person or entity.

Quickest easiest way to transfer property.

Quitclaim Deed downloadable State-specific forms click here:

Quitclaim Deeds have existed as far back as 1755! Just as they were way back then, today they remain VERY SIMPLE 1-2 page forms.

Why use a Quit Claim Deed? Because sometimes people have a need to transfer property easily, without hassle. Need to convey (transfer) your interest in a property to someone else? The process is simple and the cost is very minimal.

How to easily use a Quitclaim Deed to transfer property:

#1)  Fill out the state/county appropriate Quit Claim Deed form

Generally only the Grantor (person/entity transferring the property) needs to sign. The Grantee (recipient of the property) generally doesn't need to sign. IF you intend to record the deed legally, it must be recorded IN the county where the property is located. There is no legal requirement to record a Deed, it is up to each party if they need/want it to be legally, formally recorded. Parties can choose to hold the Deed but not submit it to the county as an official record. IF parties choose to officially record the document, the recording party will need to pay doc stamps (tax, see below for cost).

#2)  Record the Deed in the county where the property is located (optional)

Most counties now offer online recording of deeds. This is convenient and can often be done quickly, easily and entirely online instead of having to wait in line downtown at the recorders office. Property located in Miami-Dade County? We've used e-Docs Solutions and couldn't be happier. They are quick, make it super easy, and excellent with communication and email. Miami-Dade County offers a vendor list of approved companies that can record deeds online. However, most only work with lenders and closing companies, not individuals. We found e-Doc Solutions (above link) to be the only online solution for individuals.

Not in Miami-Dade County? Easy!  Look up the county where the property is located. They ALL have an official government website. Do a search for filing a deed on that site for instructions, or call them directly. They will most likely have certain instructions for you to follow. If you don't want to go there and wait in line, MAKE SURE TO ASK THEM FOR AN ONLINE OPTION!!!  Most every county now has the ability to do this. And if they don't, they will most likely help you figure out the exact amount you'll owe and need to mail to them for recording.

#3) pay costs to prepare and/or record the quit claim deed (OPTIONAL)

There would only be two costs associated with a Quitclaim Deed. 1) preparation/form and 2) recording/tax. Since most people fill out their own deeds or their attorney handles it as part of a divorce settlement, the cost for preparation is minimal to none.  

The main cost associated with this type of deed is optional one, IF you choose to make the document official. To record the transfer of property officially, you will need to pay tax (doc stamps) to the governing county where the property is located and possibly a small filing fee.

If property is located IN Miami-Dade county, use the below calculator to figure out your doc stamps/fees to include while recording your Quit Claim Deed.

#4) specific requirements if recording officially...

Quit Claim Deed

  • Must be an original document.
  • Should only be property located within Miami-Dade County (or applicable county).
  • Address of both parties (Grantor & Grantee).
  • Must be signed by Grantor (seller).
  • Two witnesses to the signature.
  • Notarized and properly acknowledged.
  • Must have a prepared by statement: Prepared by:Individual name & address.
  • Documentary Stamps at the rate of .60 cents for each $100 of consideration or fractional part thereof ($6.00 per $1,000).
  • Surtax is required on transfers of interest in any real property other than a single-family residence, at the rate of .45 cents for each $100 of consideration or fractional part thereof (or $4.50 per $1,000).
  • Folio number is not required but is encouraged.

    ***Most of the rest of Florida is the same, except Doc Stamps are charged at a current rate of .70 center for each $100...

Miami-Dade Clerk of the Courts Quitclaim Deed Requirements [click here]

Drawbacks of using a Quit Claim Deed?

Keep in mind it's NOT a Warranty Deed. A Warranty Deed means research has been done to ensure no one else owns or can lay claim to the property.

If there is a possibility that, for some reason someone else you are unaware of, could lay claim to the property in part or in full... it is wise to get a title search done and/or use a Warranty Deed instead of a Quitclaim Deed. In the case of a quit claim deed, there is no guarantee the title is clear and unencumbered.

Example: a couple buy a house and are given a Warranty Deed at closing, which is the result of a Title Search that has proven no others can lay claim to ownership of this property. Ten years later this couple files for divorce and one party decides to sign over the house to the other in their settlement. No transactions involving the sale of the property have been done within those ten years, so ownership remained the same. The title remains the same. In these cases, Quit Claim Deeds are the preferred method to transfer the property. Easy, cheap, quick. It's the most common way to transfer property in a divorce situation or to transfer property from one family member to another.

One main drawback to consider with this type of deed: it does not release the owner/grantor from any monetary liability. Is there still a loan/mortgage on the property? Are there any liens?  If yes, each party will need to address each loan/mortgage/lien individually to determine which party is obligated, and address those individually.

Simply using a quit claim deed to transfer over property as a way to get out from under any debt owed, won't work!