The most common deeds used to transfer Missouri real estate are a general warranty deed, special warranty deed or quit claim deed, which many mistakenly call a quick claim deed. Just to be clear, there is no such thing as a quick claim deed. The real estate deeds share the purpose of changing the status of title, but differ in the covenants and promises, or warranties, they provide. For simplification in the information below, a seller will be referred to as a grantor, a buyer will be referred to as a grantee.
General Warranty Deed
In a Missouri general warranty deed, the grantor is stating to the grantee: (1) This is my property and I control possession; (2) I have the right to transfer the property and possession to you; and (3) The title is free from any defects, claims or debts for as far back as the title can be traced. In addition, the grantor is promising, or providing a warranty, that if anyone challenges the grantee rights to the property relating to (1), (2) or (3), the grantor will protect the grantee’s quiet enjoyment of the property.
Special Warranty Deed
A Missouri special warranty deed is similar to a general warranty deed except with respect to the condition of title (3). In a special warranty deed, the grantor is stating that the title is free from any defects, claims or debts only for the time that I owned the property; I don’t know and I’m not protecting the grantee from anything relating to the title that occurred before I owned the property.