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Statutory Warranty Deed

A Statutory Warranty Deed is the most common deed used to transfer real estate in Washington. It provides the highest amount of protection to the buyer of the property because it warrants that the new owner will own the property clear of any mortgages, encumbrances, liens, except any that may be specifically identified in the deed.

If you are planning to transfer property via a Statutory Warranty Deed, you should do so under the guidance of an experienced real estate lawyer.

Real Estate Attorney for Statutory Warranty Deeds in Washington

Joyce Schwensen is an experienced real estate attorney who can assist you with the preparation of Statutory Warranty Deeds. She is a diligent attorney who will explain to you the use of a Statutory Warranty Deed and help your transaction go smoothly. Her goal is to make sure you are well informed and protected, and that you get what you are entitled to.

Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 or submit your information in the online form. Joyce Schwensen assists clients in communities throughout Washington State, including Seattle Bellevue, Everett, King County and Snohomish County. 


Overview of Statutory Warranty Deed in Washington


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What is a Statutory Warranty Deed?

When receiving property, you need to know that you are getting a good title. When you are conveying title, you need to know that you are not making warranties that you cannot support. In a Statutory Warranty Deed, the grantor makes certain warranties to the grantee, that include:

  • That the grantor has full ownership of the property.
  • That the grantor has the legal right to transfer the property.
  • That the grantor’s ownership in the property is unencumbered by liens or other claims.
  • That the grantee will have the sole use and possession of the property.
  • That the grantor will defend the title of the grantee against any claims at the grantor’s cost.
  • That the obligation to defend the title will be binding on the grantor’s heirs. 

This type of deed allocates significant risks to the grantor. To mitigate against the risk of unknown title issues, title insurance is often used in transactions involving a Statutory Warranty Deed. By purchasing title insurance, some of the risk is shifted to the title insurance company instead of the grantor. Because Statutory Warranty Deeds place a considerable amount of risk on the grantor, they are typically used only sales transactions, and not for transactions that do not involve paying a price or other exchange of value for the property.


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Statutory Warranty Deed vs. Other Deeds

The primary purpose of a Warranty Deed is to provide the grantee with an absolutely clear title to the property. There are other forms of deeds, but they provide less assurance to the grantee that they are receiving clear title to the property. They also allocate less risk to the grantor associated with title problems

One other form of deed is the Bargain and Sale Deed. This deed is not as comprehensive as a Statutory Warranty Deed because its warranties are limited. Warranties that are included in a Bargain and Sale Deed are: 

  • That the grantor’s ownership of the property is not impaired by any claims caused by or allowed by the grantor. Note that this does not warrant against title defects that do not arise through the grantor.
  • That neither the grantor nor anyone claiming through the grantor will interfere with the grantee’s use and possession of the property. Note that this does not warrant against interference with use and possession of the property by third parties not affiliated with the grantor.

Another form of deed is the Special Warranty Deed, which is in many ways similar to the Bargain and Sale Deed. These deeds are typically used when the grantor is a trustee, personal representative, or other person in a fiduciary relationship with the owner of the beneficial interest in the property. Like Bargain and Sale Deeds, Special Warranty Deeds do not warrant against title defects that do not arise through the grantors or people affiliated with the grantor. But unlike Bargain and Sale Deeds, Special Warranty Deeds do not automatically include warranties that arise under statutes.

Another deed that is used during property transfer is a Quit Claim Deed. This deed provides no warranty of title and is often clear a person’s interest in the title, or for transfers between family members or divorced couples. Instances where a Quit Claim Deed may be appropriate include:

  • Voluntarily relinquishing interest in real property.
  • Giving property to family members or others.
  • Transferring property to a family business, trust, or similar entity.
  • Clearing a “cloud” from title.

All property transfers, under any form of deed, may create tax liabilities. For example, in Washington State, most property conveyances incur an excise tax ranging from 1.53% to 1.79% of the value of the property conveyed. Also, conveyances as gifts may trigger gift or estate taxes. It is wise to confer with legal and tax professionals before making any conveyance of real property.


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Additional Resources

Revised Code of Washington Warranty Deed- Follow this link to read sections 64.04.030 through 64.04.050 of the Revised Code of Washington, pertaining to deed forms. 

Warranty Deed- Visit Investopedia to learn more about Warranty Deeds. The site gives general information (not specific to Washington State) about deeds and title warranties.


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Real Estate Lawyer for Statutory Warranty Deeds in Washington

If you are going into a transaction that involves a Statutory Warranty Deed, or you own property that you believe has a title defect, you should contact the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen. Joyce Schwensen is experienced with title issues in Washington, and she will assist you in understanding your position and addressing any concerns you have.

Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 or submit your information in the online contact form. Joyce Schwensen serves clients in communities across Washington that includes Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, King County and Snohomish County.


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