Guide to Quit Claim Deed in Maryland
Most sales of goods or services simply require a receipt—or not even that. However, if you are selling land, to make the sale legal you are required to write out and record a deed with your county recorder. This is because land is assessed with taxes, and your county recorder needs a record of every land transfer to know who to charge taxes to. One kind of deed, which is used only in very specific circumstances, is called a quit claim deed. You may have heard of this kind of deed if you are transferring property to or from a family member. This guide will explain what a quit claim deed is and why you might need a quit claim deed in Maryland.
What is a Quit Claim Deed?
A deed is simply a document that transfers property from one person to another. A quit claim deed in Maryland is very different from other types of deeds, because it does not make any warranties or guarantees about the property. This doesn't just mean the property is being sold “as-is,” including any title problems (though it means that, too). It also means that you don't even have a guarantee that the person giving up the property even owns it in the first place.
That's right—a quit claim deed in Maryland only transfers however much ownership the person does have in the property. Because of this, quit claim deeds are generally only used when a piece of property is transferred between two close relatives, and even then usually when the transaction is a gift rather than a sale.
Who Uses Quit Claim Deeds?
Quit claim deeds, because they offer no legal warranties about the property, are generally only used by people with kinship ties. Here are a few examples when a quit claim deed Maryland would be used:
ñ A parent wants to transfer title to a property to their child, but does not want to be legally liable for any problems with the property once the child, or future owners, are on the property.
ñ Divorcing spouses decide that their house will be owned by just one person.
ñ A person transfers a piece of property to a corporation they own.
Should I Get a Lawyer?
The jargon surrounding quit claim deeds may make you think you need a lawyer. However, a quit claim deed in Maryland is usually quite easy to write and file, and most of the time, a lawyer would just be overkill or what is usually a simple process.
If you are considering, for any reason, using a quit claim deed with someone who is not a close relative through blood or marriage, you may want to consult a lawyer. Often, other types of deeds may be more suitable for your situation and can offer you more legal protection.
Recording Your Deed
There is no exact time limit, but you should record your quit claim deed in Maryland with the county recorder's office as soon as possible after signing the document in the presence of a notary.