This is the next article in our series on the various types of real estate deeds in Oklahoma.  The last post delved into the nuances of an Oklahoma warranty deed.  This post focuses on an Oklahoma Special Warranty Deed.

If you are dealing with a real property matter or seeking counsel in the conveyance of a real estate, we are here to help.  Let Niroula Law assist you in navigating the intricacies of property law to ensure paperwork is handled correctly.  Contact us online or by telephone to get in touch with an OKC real estate law firm and to speak to a real estate lawyer.

What is an Oklahoma special warranty deed?

A deed is a legal document that officially transfers ownership interest of the property from the seller (grantor) to the buyer (grantee).  Unlike a title, which is a concept, a deed is a physical document solidifying the transfer of property interest.

As discussed in a previous post, a general warranty deed provides a comprehensive guarantee from the seller.  It assures the buyer that the seller rightfully owns the property, possesses the authority to transfer ownership, and that the title is unencumbered.  Moreover, the seller pledges to ensure a peaceful enjoyment of the land by the buyer and commits to defending the buyer’s title against any potential claims in the future.

A special warranty deed is slightly different.  The difference lies in the extent to which a seller guarantees the title against defects and liens.  In a special warranty deed, the seller pledges to ensure that the title is free from any lien imposed against them or due to actions they have taken that might cloud the title.  The seller warrants only that they haven’t done anything to impair the title during his ownership, without extending this warranty to cover any liens or clouds arising from previous owners.

What’s the difference between a warranty deed and a special warranty deed?

The difference between a warranty deed and a special warranty deed hinges on how far back the seller guarantees a good title.  In a general warranty deed, the seller pledges that there are no problems with the title for the entirety of the land’s ownership.

Conversely, in a special warranty deed, a seller guarantees that during their ownership of the land they haven’t done anything to cloud the title.  This assurance does not cover the liens and clouds that may have encumbered the land due to the actions of previous owners.

Through a special warranty deed, the seller only promises to defend the title against any future claims against the seller only, and not otherwise.  This is memorialized in the deed with language such as “by and through grantor, and not otherwise.”

What are the risks of a special warranty deed?

Firstly, the type of deed you select impacts the obligations of the seller (grantor) and the rights of the buyer (grantee) in the event of future title issues.  A special warranty deed affords fewer protections for buyers, who will be left alone to defend against any previous liens or claims.  It does not allow for the buyer to make a claim against the seller for encumbrances caused by previous owners – unless the seller was the person who created the defect.

Secondly, if the previous owners have outstanding obligations such as a mortgage or a lien, creditors retain the right to make a claim against the property.  This erodes the sense of security and assurance, as it introduces the potential for legal battles with third parties in the future.

Lastly, a conveyance done through a special warranty deed may encounter issues during the process of obtaining title insurance.  However, a buyer may be willing to accept the limited warranties if coupled with title insurance and a sound real estate purchase agreement.

OKC Real Estate Lawyer

Whether you are seeking legal help for property conveyance or have some real estate issue that needs to be resolved, we are here to assist.  Owning a property comes with many benefits.  But it can also expose you to claims by a third party, catching you off-guard.  Save valuable time and money by ensuring that real estate transactions are handled correctly.  Contact us online or by phone to get in touch with a real estate law firm and speak to an OKC real estate attorney.