Grantor vs Grantee: What’s the Difference?
Knowing the difference between grantor and grantee helps answer the question, “How has property ownership or debt changed?”
The answer to this question colors every decision made about ownership, transfer, and legal judgments about interest in a property. At its heart, the difference is that a grantor “gives” something while a grantee “receives” something. And this piece of information is instrumental in determining whether and how a particular document impacts equity in a property.
Grantors and grantees are known by various names depending on the instrument:
- Abstract of judgment
- Grantor: judgment creditor
- Grantee: judgment debtor
- Court order
- Grantor: plaintiff
- Grantee: defendant
NOTE: In certain counties, these roles may differ.
- Quitclaim deed
- Grantor: transferor
- Grantee: transferee (receiver)
In short, the grantor conveys property to the grantee through a deed. Either the grantor or grantee can require various modifications, restrictions, or covenants within that deed to spell out how the rights to the land can be further transferred, reclaimed, used.
General Warranty Deed
In this type of deed guarantees the grantor’s “good and marketable title” to a property and his right to sell said property with no restrictions. This goes on to include the entire line of the property’s ownership, not just the time that the grantor owned it.
Special Warranty Deed
This deed allows the grantor to limit the title warranty to anyone claiming by, under, from, or through the grantor but no one prior to the grantor. In other words, any defect in the title that existed prior to the grantor’s ownership is not the responsibility of the grantor. In this case, the grantee has less protection from title problems than with a general warranty deed.
This type of deed does not require the grantor to defend any title defects or claims from any time including the grantor’s time of ownership. It generally only holds that the grantor has not sold the property previously and that it is being conveyed to the grantee free of liens or encumbrances outside of those disclosed in the deed.
This deed makes no warranty of validity of the grantor’s title claim. It simply transfers to the grantee the exact same interest the grantor had. This means the property may be subject to other ownership interests or title claims.
This deed is used in those circumstances where a title defect is suspected or exists, such as uncertainty about heirs, adverse possession, divorce procedures, or any interest from another entity to the property.
In each circumstance either the grantor or grantee has most of the power. By knowing which is which, you can get yourself set on the side with the most potential for any type of deed.
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