A Pennsylvania property deed is a legal document that shows ownership of property. In Pennsylvania, the process of granting or transferring a deed involves a grantor, or seller, a grantee, or buyer, a notary, a Pennsylvania deed form, and a transfer tax form.
- Title 21, Chapter 1 covers all legal issues relating to transferring a property deed. Grantors and grantees can find the specifics of registration and recording requirements in T. 21 P.S., Ch. 1, Registration and Recording, Refs & Annos.
- A Realty Transfer Tax Statement of Value form is also required in addition to a Pennsylvania deed form to complete the transfer process.
- 21 P.S. § 351 provides all legal requirements for recording the transfer of a property deed.
A Pennsylvania general warranty deed provides the most protection to the buyer because it warrants that the property title is free of liens from both the seller and all previous owners.
If liens or encumbrances exist on the title, the buyer can choose to back out of the sale or require the current owner to rectify any issues.
A quitclaim deed is the simplest type of Pennsylvania deed form, but it also provides the least amount of protection to the buyer. It simply allows the seller to transfer the deed to the buyer without any guarantees.
A quitclaim deed is ideal when one family member might be transferring a house to another family member without exchanging funds. However, it is not ideal for traditional sales because it offers no warranty to the buyer.
A special warranty deed offers limited buyer protection. With a special warranty deed, the seller guarantees that the property is free of liens and all encumbrances only during the period they owned it.
Although this is still a warranty deed, the grantor makes no guarantees regarding the time period before he or she gained ownership. When the grantor limits their responsibility, they cannot be held liable if defects or liens are present from previous owners.
A deed of trust is an agreement between a borrower and lender that states a neutral third party will hold a property until the borrower pays off the loan for the property. The trustee is usually the title company.
This type of deed differs from a mortgage in that the bank does not own the property. If the buyer defaults on their mortgage, the title company, or trustee, can initiate foreclosure.
Here’s all you need to know about transferring a deed in the state of Pennsylvania.