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Grantor vs Grantee: What’s the Difference?


Grantor and granteeKnowing 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.

Grantor/Grantee Examples

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.

Grant 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.

Quitclaim 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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I received a letter stating that Bank of America has released its security interest and mortgage lien on the property I mortgaged from them. I looked for the deed online and all it shows is a release assignment Bank of America being the grantee and I the grantor but if I am receiving the home shouldn't I be the grantee?
Posted @ Monday, December 30, 2013 8:24 PM by Angie
I came across this article above. I wanted to let you know that you have the grantor and the grantee switched. The grantor is the debtor or the defendant and the grantee is the creditor or the plaintiff. 
Posted @ Monday, May 19, 2014 7:31 PM by PATTI HOOKS
If I signed a Quit Claim deed to add my husband to a property does this mean I no longer own the property?
Posted @ Thursday, October 16, 2014 12:23 AM by Tiffany
My brother and sister are co-owner of a house my brother want to terminate his rights of the property with a quitclaim deed what must he do.
Posted @ Saturday, November 01, 2014 1:08 PM by Ronnie Hawkins
If a trustee asigns a new trustee over land at death but gives a beneficiary what rights does the new trustee have over the beneficiary regarding land?? And what rights does the beneficiary have??
Posted @ Saturday, February 07, 2015 1:58 PM by Bryan fox
In California on a abstract of judgment the grantee is the creditor and the grantor is the debtor.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2015 4:51 PM by PATTI HOOKS
Unfortunately we are unable to give legal advice on our blog; however, we can refer you to our sister website,, where you can search for an attorney to answer your questions and help with your situation. We hope this helps.  
Thank you for your readership, Team
Posted @ Friday, February 27, 2015 11:48 AM by Kara Rhoads
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