A quitclaim deed is a legal document that passes property from one person or estate to another. Unlike other forms of property transfer, a quitclaim deed does not provide a guarantee that the title is clear.
Because a quitclaim deed does not provide any legal guarantee of a clean title, quitclaim deeds are common in property transfers between people who know one another. Situations where quitclaim deeds are used to transfer property are gifts between family members, divorce settlements and transferring property from an individual owner to that owner's business entity. In these cases, all parties involved are aware of the status of the property title.
Quitclaim deeds are not popular for property sales due to their lack of warranty. Someone who purchases a property with a quitclaim deed is responsible for any liens or legal claims on the property. Property purchases are more often made with a warranty deed, which does come with a legal guarantee of a clean title. A seller who uses a warranty deed attests that the property is not subject to any liens or claims, unlike one who uses a quitclaim deed. Property acquired through a quitclaim deed can be protected with property insurance, which insures the buyer against such claims.