My firm took on a case recently that highlighted the importance of reading real estate conveyances. A deed is a document used to transfer ownership of real estate from one entity to another. There are several types of deeds in Missouri (I’ve talked about beneficiary deeds ad nauseum previously). For our purposes, let’s focus on general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds.
General warranty deeds transfer property and contain the most warranties and guarantees under Missouri law. Specifically, when someone transfers property to you via a general warranty deed they are guaranteeing that they own the property, there are no claims or encumbrances against the property, and they agree to indemnify you against any claims by creditors against the property
A special warranty deed, on the other hand, does not convey all titles and covenants in real estate. Instead, it conveys only those rights which the transferor has in the land — thus, the transferee only get that which the transferor has.
Given the costs of real estate, and the widespread aggravation that can come with defects on property, it’s imperative to review your real estate contracts and to review the legal warranties listed. Any mistake or error could be costly.