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Why Quitclaim Deeds Are a Risky Choice for Real Estate in Maryland

Real estate transactions involve a myriad of complex legal and financial considerations, and the choice of the right type of deed is crucial. One deed that is often used in Maryland but can be fraught with risks is the quitclaim deed. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why quitclaim deeds are often a bad idea and explore the potential pitfalls associated with them.


What is a Quitclaim Deed?


A quitclaim deed is a legal document used to transfer ownership interest in a property from one party to another. Unlike a warranty deed or grant deed, a quitclaim deed offers no guarantee or warranty regarding the status of the title. Instead, it simply transfers whatever interest the grantor has, if any, to the grantee.


Why Quitclaim Deeds Are a Bad Idea


No Guarantee of Ownership:


The most significant disadvantage of a quitclaim deed is that it offers no guarantee of ownership or the condition of the title. This means that the grantee takes on all the risk. The grantor could be transferring nothing, partial ownership, or even a property encumbered by liens or other issues. In essence, the grantee is left in the dark regarding the true value and status of the property.


Lack of Protection:


With a quitclaim deed, the grantee has no legal recourse if it turns out that the property’s title is clouded or if there are hidden encumbrances or disputes. In contrast, a warranty deed provides some level of protection and compensation if title issues arise.


Risk of Fraud:


Quitclaim deeds are often used in less formal situations, such as family transfers or between parties with pre-existing relationships. This lack of formality can make quitclaim deeds susceptible to fraudulent or coercive transfers. In such cases, individuals may be pressured into signing away their ownership interest without fully understanding the consequences.


Impact on Financing:


Many lenders are hesitant to accept a quitclaim deed as a means of transferring ownership in a real estate transaction. If you’re buying property in Maryland or planning to finance it, using a quitclaim deed could complicate your ability to secure a mortgage or affect the terms of your loan.


Potential for Legal Disputes:


Because quitclaim deeds are vague and don’t provide any warranties or guarantees, they can lead to legal disputes and property boundary issues. If the grantor doesn’t actually own the property, it can result in costly and time-consuming litigation.




In real estate, the type of deed you choose can have significant implications for your ownership rights and financial security. Quitclaim deeds may seem like a simple way to transfer property, but they come with substantial risks. It’s generally advisable to opt for more secure forms of deeds, such as warranty deeds or grant deeds, which provide some level of protection and assurance to the grantee. Always consult with a qualified real estate attorney or professional before entering into any property transfer to ensure you make the best choice for your unique situation and avoid the potential pitfalls of quitclaim deeds.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss property title transfers, including which deed you should file in the state of Maryland, contact Maryland real estate attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959 or


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