Should I use a Quitclaim Deed to transfer a New York Home to a Family Member?

When I’m retained by clients to convey real property, such as a one-family home to a family member, I’m often asked if I will be preparing a quitclaim deed.  I tell my clients that in the New York Metropolitan area, the type of deed customarily used to convey real property, whether to a third party in an arm’s length transaction or to a family member, is a “Bargain and Sale Deed with Covenants against Grantor’s Acts.”  Why then do I commonly hear clients refer to “Quitclaim Deeds”?

The New York State Real Property Law recognizes several types of deeds to be used to convey real property. A quitclaim deed is among the recognized forms.  Nevertheless, the customary practice among local attorneys in New York will determine the appropriate deed to be used.  While there is no case law or statute prohibiting the use of a quitclaim deed to convey a home in the New York Metropolitan area, its use would be unusual and could raise questions down the road.

Other states do use the term “Quitclaim Deed” to describe the deed typically used to convey real property, which may partially explain people’s familiarity with the term.  The term “Quitclaim Deed” is also much easier to remember than  “Bargain and Sale Deed with Covenants against Grantor’s Acts” which is quite a mouth-full.  To borrow a phrase from the late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil, who famously said “All politics is local,”  all real estate customs are local, especially the choice of a deed to use in conveying real property.


About George H. Dippel, Attorney at Law

George H. Dippel has been practicing law for over 30 years. He is a graduate of Cornell Law School and a former partner at the law firm of Rivkin Radler in their real estate/banking department. Mr. Dippel opened his own law offices in 1993 in Bayside, Queens, New York. Mr. Dippel has assisted thousands of clients throughout Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester with their wills, probate, trusts, real estate and business matters. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Dippel has taught real estate courses in Long Island University’s paralegal program. He is also a licensed real estate instructor and has taught real estate licensing courses in the New York Metropolitan area. Mr. Dippel is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and the Federal Eastern and Southern District Courts.
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