Are you looking to become a real estate agent in Arizona? If so, it'll be helpful to understand the different types of deeds you may come across. Not sure where to find them? Here's a quick guide to the most commonly used deeds in Arizona so you can head into real estate transactions with confidence.
1. Primary Deeds
Primary deeds are the most common type of deeds you’ll come across in your career as a real estate agent. They include:
General Warranty Deeds
A general warranty deed guarantees a property has no liens against it and the seller holds full ownership, giving them the legal right to transfer it. Warranty deeds also protect the buyer from title disputes, even ones dating back to previous owners. If there’s ever an issue with the title, the seller agrees to resolve it and cover any financial losses the buyer may incur as a result of the property claim.
Special Warranty Deeds
Unlike a general warranty deed, a special warranty deed doesn't cover title claims over the property’s entire history. It only guarantees against title issues that occurred when the seller owned the home.
Bargain and Sale Deed
A bargain and sale deed makes no warranty that the title of a property is clear. It only implies that the seller holds the title and can legally convey it to the buyer. This puts more risk on the buyer and makes them liable for any liens or title issues.
Bargain and sale deeds are most commonly used in foreclosure auctions and tax sales, but may also be appropriate if you’re transferring property to a trust or a family member.
A quitclaim deed transfers whatever interest the grantor has in the property but doesn’t guarantee they actually own it. Since quitclaim deeds don’t offer much protection to the grantee, they’re usually only used to clear up clouds on the title or transfer property between family members and divorcing spouses.
2. Arizona Deeds
Next, Arizona deeds include beneficiary deeds and disclaimer deeds.
A beneficiary deed allows property holders to transfer ownership to an heir after they die without going through a third party. This means the heir can take possession of the property immediately and avoid the lengthy probate process.
In Arizona, real estate you purchase while married is usually community property and divided evenly upon divorce. However, you can own real estate separately from your spouse by getting them to sign a disclaimer deed, which waives their interest in the property.
3. Judicial Deeds
Judicial deeds are issued by court orders. They’re similar to quitclaim deeds because they usually don’t come with warranties that protect the buyer. Some examples of judicial deeds used in Arizona include:
A guardian’s deed allows a court-appointed guardian to sell real estate for a minor or legally incompetent individual.
An executor’s deed is used by the executor of a deceased person’s estate to transfer property to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Administrator’s deeds are similar to executor’s deeds. They’re used to convey property to a deceased person’s next-of-kin when there is no will.
Sheriff’s deeds convey property to the highest bidders at sheriff’s auctions, where properties are sold to satisfy judgments against their owners.
A referee’s deed is similar to a sheriff’s deed and conveys property to the winner of a foreclosure auction.
Tax deeds, also known as treasurer’s deeds, are used in tax foreclosure sales to transfer the title to the new owner.
4. Special Purpose Deeds
Lastly, although special purpose deeds like master deeds and deeds in trust are only used in very specific circumstances, they’re still important to know about as a real estate agent.
Master deeds are typically utilized by condominium developers to divide the complex into individual units and common areas. They're filed with the local registry of deeds before any units are sold and may include covenants.
Deeds in Trust
Deeds in trust are used to convey property to a trustee who holds the title for a beneficiary. In some cases, the person who set up the trust may also act as the trustee. Deeds in trust can include warranties depending on the situation.
Get Your Arizona Real Estate License!
As you can tell, many deeds types are used in Arizona, which can make it hard to keep them all straight. However, this guide can serve as an ongoing reference you can keep bookmarked.
Want to learn more? Our online pre-licensing courses cover everything you need to know ahead of your Arizona real estate exam and break it all down into easily digestible chunks. Enroll in our state-approved online classes today to begin your journey to your new career in real estate!