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How do I obtain a "warranty deed"?

Detroit, MI |

I purchased a house on land contract. I paid the land contract amount in full, and was issued a "quit claim deed" showing $1.00 as the purchase price. I am responsible for the back taxes and need a "warranty deed" to show that I own the house free and clear. The land contract company purchased the house at a tax sale and I bought the house from them. What is a warranty deed and how to I get one?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. A warranty deed, somctimes called a grant deed, makes certain legal representations about land and the parties on title. Those "warranties" are more extensive than a quitclaim deed, which basically says "whatever rights I may have in this land I transfer to you." You will need a local real estate attorney to help you review your document, contact the land contract company, and help in other ways to get a warranty deed or its equivalent, such as a title insurance policy.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. Once your land contract is paid off, the seller should have the obligation to provide you with a warranty deed. A local attorney could help you with this. You would want to clear up the back taxes in any event. Show the taxing authority your quit claim deed and ask if that is sufficient for them to change ownership on their records.


  3. so long as the prior owner of the house had legal title to the house, the quit claim deed should be sufficient to transfer legal ownership of the house to you. A warranty deed, in of itself, will not assist you in proving legal ownership or establish that the house is free and clear of encumbrances. You should contact a title company and get either a title insurance policy or an abstract of title. The title insurance policy or abstract of title will tell you whether there are any problems with the title to your home..


  4. Your land contract will state whether your seller has an obligation to grant you a "Warranty Deed". If it is silent on this issue, the Quit Claim Deed will convey to you any interest the seller may have had in the property. Presumably you owe the property taxes. A Warranty Deed cannot be recorded unless the taxes are paid. You need good legal advice. Good luck.

    So there is no misunderstanding, this answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and you cannot presume that I am your lawyer or that my advice can be relied upon in any way other than for information only. You will not become my client unless and until you retain me.

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