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The Nuts and Bolts of Property Transfers and Deeds in Rhode Island

There are many circumstances where a Rhode Island property owner may wish to transfer ownership and title of their property to another individual or organization. The most common reason for a conveyance is when one party sells real estate to another party. However, transfers may also be made in the course of a larger business transaction, or as a result of a divorce or other legal settlement. Transferring the title of real estate is not as simple as accepting payment and signing a contract, as a deed must be executed and recorded for a property transfer to be valid.

In Rhode Island, several types of deeds are used to transfer real estate. The most common type of deed used in a real estate purchase transaction is a general warranty deed. The term warranty in this type of deed is used because the deed is warrantied by the grantor (or a title company) to be valid and marketable. Because of this, the grantor must foot the expense of defending a claim against the deed by a third party after it has been executed and recorded. A valid general warranty deed usually contains the following information: The amount of consideration (purchase price), the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee, a legal description of the property, and a notarized signature of the parties.

Deeds known as special or limited warranty deeds are also used to transfer properties. These deeds only hold the grantor responsible for title defects that originated during the time that the grantor owned the property. While this type of deed does not offer as much protection to the grantee, it may be desirable for certain transactions where the grantor is handling investment properties and only wishes to prove she has acted in good faith while owning the property, but is unwilling or unable to warranty the validity and marketability of the title throughout the full chain of title.

Another type of deed used in Rhode Island to transfer property is the quitclaim deed. The quitclaim deed only transfers the grantor’s title interest in a property without any warranty as to the validity of the title. With a quitclaim deed, the grantee could quite literally be receiving no interest in a piece of property even when the deed is executed perfectly. Quitclaim deeds are often used in divorce or other settlements, as well as to consolidate property interests in a single person or organization, and to transfer certain speculative investment property interests.

The Importance of Legal Counsel When Purchasing Real Estate in Rhode Island

When buying or selling property in Rhode Island, a valid deed is essential to ensure that the purchaser is obtaining full title to the property. Because the stakes are so high in these types of transactions, purchasers and sellers should obtain the counsel of an experienced Rhode Island real estate attorney to assist in preparing purchase contracts and deeds. The qualified real estate lawyers at Bilodeau Capalbo can assist you in determining the correct type of deed that should be used to protect your interests and the intention of a real estate transaction, and we can prepare or review the final documents to ensure that everything is valid and enforceable pursuant to the agreement. Call our offices at 401-300-4055 to enlist the help of a dedicated Rhode Island real estate attorney at Bilodeau Capalbo today.

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