The California quitclaim deed is a document that one person, the grantor, uses to transfer property to another person, the grantee. Unlike the warranty deed, this type of deed doesn’t provide any guarantee that the title doesn’t have any liens or encumbrances.
On the other hand, the quitclaim deed is often used because of its simplicity. The quitclaim deed is the fastest way of transferring property to another person compared to other types of deeds.
Taking its advantages and flaws into account, the parties have mostly been using the quitclaim deed for transferring the property from a trusted party or a family member or for changing the details on the property title.
Quitclaim Deed Important Laws & Requirements in California
Laws & Requirements
Statutes: Chapter 2. Transfer of Real Property
Signing: The grantor should sign the quitclaim deed before the notary public. (§ 1189)
Recording: The County Recorder’s Office is the body authorized to keep a record of all the issued quitclaim deeds.
Recording fees: $10 for the first page and $3 for every additional page. (§ 27361)
Preliminary Change of Ownership Report - This form must be submitted to the Recorder’s Office along with the quitclaim deed.
When to Use a Quitclaim Deed in California
The California quitclaim deed is mostly used for its simplicity. However, the lack of buyer protection and warranties doesn't make it suitable for sales transfers.
Here are the cases in which you should use the quitclaim deed to transfer the property.
#1. Title Modifications
You should use the quitclaim deed to modify the title if there is any error in the title or if you need to update any information contained in the title.
#2. Property Transfer
The simple form of the quitclaim deed makes the property transfer easier than when using the warranty transfer. However, be aware that the grantor of the quitclaim deed doesn’t provide any warranty for the title and that property transfers, in that case, should be done only between trustworthy parties and family members.
#3. Living Trust Transfer
The grantor can issue the quitclaim deed to simply transfer their property from their personal assets to their living trust. Considering the nature of such a transfer, there is no need for any guarantees, and the quitclaim deed will perfectly do the work.
How to Create a Quitclaim Deed in California
#1. Fill Out The Form
The general quitclaim form should include the names, mailing addresses, ID numbers, and marital statuses of the grantor and grantee. If some of the parties are legal entities, the form should include their registered names, mailing addresses, statuses, and registration numbers.
#2. Add the “Note Consideration”
The note consideration provides information on what the grantee owes to the grantor for transferring the property. The transfer can be done with or without consideration (as a gift).
The consideration can be the transfer of money, providing the service, or any other counter value.
#3. Write the Legal Description
The legal description specifies the exact location and boundaries of the property. It helps the parties determine what the exact object of the transfer is.
The legal description of the property must be precise, and for that, it is best to refer to the property title or the previous deed to get the exact legal description of the property.
#4. Sign & Get it Notarized
After the document is drafted, the grantor should sign it in front of the notary public or other relevant body authorized to take the acknowledgments.
#5. File the Quitclaim Deed
Finally, the document should be filed for registration with the relevant body.
Where to File a Quitclaim Deed in California
The parties should record the general quitclaim form in a local County Recorder’s Office, according to the location of the property.