What is a Florida Warranty Deed?
A warranty deed in Florida is used to transfer ownership of real estate with full warranty of title. In the warranty deed, the current owner guarantees that they have good and valid title to the property.
If the new owner finds that there is an issue with the title, then the person who signed the warranty deed could be held liable for compensating the new owner for the title issue.
- A warranty deed is a legal documents that transfesr ownership of real estate from the current owner to the new owner.
- In a warranty deed, the current owner guarantees to the new owner that there are no legal issues with the title.
- A warranty deed is almost always used in a traditional, third-party real estate transaction.
Understanding a Warranty Deed in Florida
A warranty deed includes five covenants, or warranties of title:
- Covenant of seisin (seller warrants that they are the sole owner of the property)
- Covenant of the right to convey (seller warrants that he has the legal right to convey the property)
- Covenant against encumbrances (seller warrants that there are no undisclosed restrictions or encumbrances against the property, such as liens, judgments, or other limitations)
- Covenant of quiet enjoyment (seller warrants that the buyer will not be affected by a defect in title)
- Covenant of general warranty (seller warrants that the seller will protect buyer from any harm caused by title defects)
When Are Warranty Deeds Used in Florida
In Florida, a warranty deed is the most common type of deed used between a buyer and seller of real estate. A warranty deed places substantial risk on the seller of property. Therefore, a seller is not generally willing to execute a warranty deed unless compensated monetarily by the buyer.
As a result of the warranty deed, a buyer will most likely have a claim against the seller of real estate if the buyer later encounters any legal issue with the title of the property.
For example, suppose a seller sells the property to a buyer with a warranty deed. Later on, the buyer discovers that another person had a valid claim against the title to the property before the buyer acquired it. Now, this other person has sued the buyer to recover the property. In this example, the buyer has a claim against the seller for the amount of their financial loss due to the other person’s claim.
Title Insurance with Warranty Deeds
In almost all buyer-seller transactions involving warranty deeds in Florida, both the buyer and the seller will purchase title insurance. The title insurance will conduct a title search and ensure that the seller has good and valid title to the property. Then, if the buyer discovers that there is actually an issue with the legal title, the buyer can look to the title insurance provider to reimburse them for the financial loss.
In this way, the title insurance is in a sense making the warranties provided by the warranty deed less important. The buyer is most likely going to make a claim against the insurer, not the seller, for most title defects.
Warranty Deed Rules and Requirements
The requirements for a warranty deed in Florida are listed in section 695.26 of Florida law. The statute says states the deed must include:
- The name and address of the individual who prepared the deed.
- The name name and address of the current owner (also called the grantor)
- The name and address of the new owner (also called the grantee)
- Original signature of the grantor (note: the grantee does not need to sign the deed)
- Two witness signatures
- A valid legal description
- Full notarization
Warranty Deed Form
With the sale of real estate, often the closing agent or title company will supply a form warranty deed for the seller to sign. Then the title company will cause the warranty deed to be recorded.
Section 689.02 of the Florida statutes actually provides sample language to use in a warranty deed. This form language is as follows:
“This indenture, made this _______ day of _______ A.D. , between _______, of the County of _______ in the State of _______, party of the first part, and _______, of the County of _______, in the State of _______, party of the second part, witnesseth: That the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of _______ dollars, to her or him in hand paid by the said party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, has granted, bargained and sold to the said party of the second part, her or his heirs and assigns forever, the following described land, to wit: _______
And the said party of the first part does hereby fully warrant the title to said land, and will defend the same against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever.”
The language used in the sample warranty deed form is somewhat archaic. Many attorneys in Florida will use more modern language when drafting a warranty deed.
Cost of Warranty Deed in Florida
There are two parts to the cost of a warranty deed in Florida: the recording costs and the preparation cost.
The recording cost is the same whether or not an attorney prepares the warranty deed. This is the fee charged by the county where the deed is recorded. The amount of the fee is based on the amount of the mortgage of the property or the sale price.
The preparation cost is charged by the attorney preparing the deed. If you do not use an attorney to prepare the warranty deed, this part is free. An experienced attorney will charge between $250 and $600 for the preparation of the warranty deed in most cases.
Warranty Deed FAQs
Here are answers to common questions asked about Florida warranty deeds:
Is a warranty deed the same thing as a regular deed?
A warranty deed is different than a regular quitclaim deed. Unlike a quitclaim deed, a warranty deed includes five warranties of title. If a buyer discovers an issue with the title to the property, the buyer may have a legal claim against the seller of the property, or the title insurance company.
How do you file a warranty deed in Florida?
Once signed, a warranty deed is filed, or recorded, in the official records of the county as where the property is located. The deed is taken to the county records office, which will scan and stamp the deed. The office then will return the original to the buyer of the property.
Does Florida require witnesses for a warranty deed?
Yes, Florida requires a warranty deed to be witnessed by two people pursuant to section 689.01 of the Florida statutes. Only the grantor (current owner) needs to sign the warranty deed.