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Understanding the Most Common Real Estate Deeds in Colorado

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Posted by Colorado Real Estate Staff on August 31, 2017

Historically, when real property changed ownership, the seller brought the buyer a handful of dirt from the land to symbolize that the title was transferred. Now, instead of dirt, legal documents called deeds are used to convey the title of real property from one person or entity to another.

Colorado recognizes several different types of deeds, which are used depending on what rights the seller can convey and the warranties that are included in the deed. This blog will explain the basic elements of a deed, as well as five common real estate deeds in Colorado.

What is a deed?

A deed is a legal document that allows an owner of property to transfer their right of ownership to another person. Most commonly used to transfer real estate property, a deed officially acknowledges the new owner's possession of that property. 

Under Colorado statute C.R.S. 38-30-113, a deed must contain, at a minimum, these seven elements to be considered valid:

1) Written instrument.
Colorado requires that a deed must be in writing to be effective.

2) Parties designated.
To be valid, the deed must specifically name the person or entity conveying the interest in the property (the grantor). The grantor must be the name of the person who received the property (the grantee) on the previous deed.

3) Consideration.
Although it is not necessary for money to change hands for property to be conveyed from one party to another, the deed must state the consideration, or value, given for the real estate.

4) Statement of conveyance.
There are not specific words that must be included, but a deed must in some way state the intent to transfer title.

5) Property description. 
The property must be described using the same legal description as is found in prior deeds.

6) Signature of the grantor.
The grantor (or grantors if there are more than one) must sign the deed for it to be considered valid.

7) Delivery of grantor and acceptance by grantee.
In Colorado, delivery and acceptance is assumed when a deed is acknowledged and recorded. 

5 Common Types of Deeds

Many people make the BIG mistake of going online and downloading free deeds and then fill them out without the help of an attorney. For your reference, these deeds listed below are five commonly used types of deeds in Colorado.


1) Warranty Deed

A warranty deed gives the grantee the most protections under the law, because it guarantees the warranty of title and against encumbrances.


2) Special Warranty Deeds

A special warranty deed is more limited than the general warranty deed, in that it guarantees against any defects to the title that arose during the time the grantor owned the property, as opposed to any title defects for the property’s entire history.


3) Bargain and Sale Deeds

A bargain and sale deed conveys property without any warranty and is generally used in the sale of court-seized properties.


4) Quitclaim Deeds

Quitclaim deeds convey only the grantor’s interest, if any, in the real estate and comes with no guarantee of the type or extent of the grantor’s interest. 


5) Beneficiary Deeds

Beneficiary deeds are used to convey property upon the death of the owner and must be recorded prior to the grantor’s death.

Choosing the right legal document is an essential part of the legal process that can have serious implications if done incorrectly. For that reason, it is always best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to avoid problems and unforeseen expenses. 

Contact me today to schedule a free consultation. 

Topics: Real Estate in Colorado, Real Estate Deeds

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