Colorado Real Estate Law: Types of Deeds
Real estate deeds and their differences
Last week I discussed the difference between a deed and deed of trust. To refresh, a deed of
trust secures payment of a borrower's debt, in a similar fashion as a mortgage does. On the other
hand, a deed is a legal instrument that transfers ownership of real estate. This week I will discuss
the types of deeds that are commonly utilized in Colorado.
In their book Colorado Real Estate Practice, Willis Carpenter and Holly Hoxeng describe the ﬁve
types of deeds deﬁned and in use in Colorado. These deeds are as follows:
1. General warranty deed
2. Special warranty deed
3. Bargain and sale deed
4. Quitclaim deed
5. Conﬁrmation deed
The difference between these types of deeds is in the degree of protection or guarantee that the
grantor promises or warrants to the grantee.
General Warranty Deed
Under a general warranty deed, the grantor guarantees the title to the real property against any
defects existing before the grantor acquired title as well as during the time of the grantor’s
ownership. It’s often stated that the grantor guarantees title for “all of time”. This is the greatest
form of protection that can be provided by a deed.
Special Warranty Deed
Unlike a general warranty deed, under a special warranty deed the grantor guarantees and
warrants title only against defects arising during the time the grantor owned the real property.
With a quitclaim deed, the grantor guarantees nothing, and the deed only conveys whatever
interest the grantor has any the property, if any interest at all.
Bargain and Sale Deed
A bargain and sale deed conveys the real property as well as any after-acquired title thereto, but
contains no guaranties or warranties of title.
In a few limited situations (death, foreclosure), title passes by statute to designated grantees
(heirs, successful bidders, redeeming parties), and a deed is required by statute to evidence the
transfer of title on the public record.
Buyers and sellers should consult with a Denver real estate attorney to determine which form of
deed would be the best for their particular situation.