Warranty Deed Florida: Types, Requirements & How to Get Them

Warranty deed Florida

When you sell or buy a house, you transfer ownership through a legal document known as a “deed.” Some Florida land deeds protect the grantor (seller) and the grantee (buyer). For these warranty deeds, Florida offers several different types. Land deed examples include the general warranty deed, which is the most protective, to the quit claim deed, which offers virtually no protections.

What is a warranty deed in Florida?

So, what is a warranty deed? Well, purchasing a house means you get a house deed to prove your ownership. In general terms, the legal term is a “warranty deed,“ which transfers ownership of real estate from a grantor (the seller) to the grantee (the buyer).

The deed conveys a property from one person to another. If you purchase a new house and become the owner, you have to have the deed.

In real estate transactions, a warranty deed provides the full range of protections to the buyer and seller. All deeds do not come equally, however. While exact deed types vary from state to state, the Florida statutes offer several different types of warranties.

Types of deeds in Florida

There are several different types of deeds in real estate. Whenever you purchase a home, you’ll need a home deed to make your ownership official. In addition to the general warranty deed mentioned above, other types of deeds in Florida include:

  • Statutory warranty deed
  • Special warranty deed
  • Fee simple deed
  • Bargain and sale deed
  • Quitclaim deed
  • Enhanced life estate deed
  • Land deed
  • Special purpose deed
  • Grant deed
  • Guardian deed

What is a statutory warranty deed in Florida?

Some homeowners may speak in terms of a general warranty deed vs warranty deed. A warranty deed is a broader category that includes a “general warranty deed” along with a “special warranty deed.” You may also see a ”general warranty deed” referenced as a “full covenant and warranty deed.”A Florida general warranty deed provides the full range of protection to the buyer of a real property. In the event of a title dispute such as mediation in real estate disputes or a lis pendens Florida action, the current owner would have to cover the new owner’s costs.

This is the most protective deed, and guarantees include:

  • Covenant of seisin: Seller is the sole owner of the property
  • Covenant of the right to convey: The seller has the legal right to convey the property
  • Covenant against encumbrances: Seller guarantees that there are no undisclosed restrictions or encumbrances, like liens, judgments, or others
  • Covenant of quiet enjoyment: Seller guarantees that no title defects will affect the buyer
  • Covenant of general warranty: Seller guarantees that they will protect the buyer from any negative effects caused by title defects

The statutory warranty deed (aka the general warranty deed) is the most common conveyance in Florida. The majority of real estate transactions that include a general warranty deed also include title insurance.

Both buyer and seller purchase title insurance: a title insurance company will search public records to discover any potential title issues. This title search ensures that the seller does have a valid title to the property. If they do not, the insurance reimburses the buyer for any financial losses.

To learn more about the warranty deed form, look at the sample language provided by the Florida statutes here.

What is a special warranty deed in Florida?

Another type of deed is the Florida special warranty deed. Unlike the general warranty deed, the special warranty deed Florida provides only has a limited warranty of title against third-party claimants. The legal protections include:

  • The seller holds legal title to the property
  • The property was not encumbered while the seller owned it

The current owner does not ensure that no encumbrances existed before their ownership. This type of warranty deed is usually only used in the sale and transfer of commercial properties or transactions for subdivisions or condos.

What is a fee simple deed in Florida?

A Florida fee simple deed provides no warranties, guarantees, or covenants from the grantor to the grantee. Rather, the buyer only receives title to the property in question. Because of this limited protection, the fee simple deed is used much less. Nonetheless, the fee simple deed is still transferable, inheritable, and of indefinite duration.

What is a bargain and sale deed in Florida?

The next kind of deed is the Florida bargain and sale deed. In this case, the seller guarantees that they have legal title to the property. However, the grantor cannot prove that the property is completely free of liens.

Under Florida real estate law, the new owner would have no legal protection from an issue due to an undiscovered defect. This title is most typically used in real estate foreclosures or tax sales where the seller does not have access to a complete ownership history of the property.

What is a quitclaim deed in Florida?

A Florida quitclaim deed is most similar to the fee simple deed. However, a seller conveying real estate by quitclaim deed provides no warranties or guarantees. This means that the seller doesn’t even warrant that they legally own the property – the seller does not maintain any ownership or fee simple interest.

The quitclaim deed Florida does still have some uses, though. For example, the quitclaim deed can be used to clear the title or eliminate past defects. Most quitclaim deed forms do have similar elements to warranty deed forms. This includes a “prepared by” statement, personal or identifying details of the grantor and grantee, and a notary’s signature.

Most quitclaim deeds are used to execute real estate transactions between parties who ready have some type of relationship.

What is an enhanced life estate deed in Florida?

The next type of deed is the Florida enhanced life estate deed, also known as the Lady Bird Deed. Upon the death of the property owner, the Lady Bird Deed transfers property to a designated beneficiary.

In this case, the current owner continues to use and control the property during their lifetime. At their death, the property automatically transfers to the identified party. This type of deed requires:

  • A grantor
  • Description of the enhanced life estate reserving the current owner’s power to control during their lifetime
  • Identification of a remainder – to whom the property will transfer after the owner’s death
  • A legal description of the property
  • Any homestead provision allowing the owner to maintain rights to partial property ownership in the event of bankruptcy

What is a land deed in Florida?

A Florida land deed is simply a general term for a property deed. Rather than refer to a specific type of deed under law, a “land deed” is just a colloquial term encompassing all of these other deed types.

What is a special purpose deed in Florida?

A Florida special purpose deed may be classified as a quitclaim deed, special warranty deed, or general warranty deed. The classification depends on the special purpose of the deed. This type of deed is used to execute real estate deals in specific cases.

These include:

Administrator’s deed: When a person dies without a will (i.e., intestate), an administrator approved by a court will use an administrator’s deed to convey the title to the grantee.

Executor’s deed: As compared with the former, this type of deed is used when the landowner dies with a will (i.e., testate). The testator’s designated executor will convey the property through an executor’s deed.

Sheriff’s deed: When a property owner loses their home due to a judgment lien (i.e., the home is being used to satisfy a debt), the property is sold at auction to the highest bidder. In most states, a sheriff facilitates the auction and then transfers the deed to the bidder, who receives whatever title the former owner held.

Tax deed: Like with the sheriff’s deed, a homeowner may also lose their home due to overdue taxes. When the real estate is sold for past-due taxes, it is conveyed by tax deed.

Deed in lieu of foreclosure: Most homeowners finance their home through a mortgage. When they fall through on their payments, the bank can come after the home. To prevent foreclosure proceedings, the bank will take the deed in place of foreclosure. This closes out the loan and cleans the title.

Gift deed: In most cases, title to real property has to be conveyed for valuable consideration. When the title is given for no consideration at all (i.e., for free), it is conveyed by a gift deed.

What is a grant deed in Florida?

The Florida grant deed conveys title to the house or property while also conveying that title has not already been issued to a third party. The grant deed provides covenants of title, which shows that title is clear.

What is a guardian deed in Florida?

A Florida guardian’s deed is in some ways similar to a special purpose deed. A guardian deed is used by someone who represents the current homeowner in a fiduciary capacity. This means that the guardian must serve the best interests of the current homeowner. When those interests include selling the property, the guardian deed allows the fiduciary to convey the real estate to a new owner.

Other deeds conveyed by someone in a fiduciary capacity include a trustee deed and a personal representative deed.

Florida deed requirements for recording and validity

To be valid, Florida warranty deed requirements are several. These include:

  • Deed provided in writing: The Florida deed must be completed in writing on the appropriate deed form. This could include a warranty deed form, special warranty deed form, or quitclaim deed form.
  • Signed by transferor or their agent: For all warranties, the competent legal authority must sign the deed. In most cases, this means that the current owner of the real property signs the deed. But in the special circumstances where the owner has a designated agent, guardian, or some other legal representative or agent, that party must sign on the owner’s behalf.
  • Signed by at least two witnesses: To be a valid recordable and transferable will, at least two witnesses must also witness the current homeowner’s signature. These witnesses must also sign the deed.
  • Includes parcel identification number: When selling a property, the current owner will have the property appraised. In some cases, the buyer may as well. In either case, the property appraiser will provide a property appraiser’s parcel identification number. This is a legal identification of the property serving as a unique identifier.

It’s important to note that these above requirements ensure the validity of the deed. To record the deed (i.e., to register your ownership with the state of Florida), you must also:

  • Include a “prepared by” section: This section must provide the name and address of the “natural person” (i.e., not a corporation) who prepared the deed.
  • Identify the current and the new owners: The deed must provide both the name and mailing address of the current and new owners.
  • Include the signature of the grantor and witnesses: This is the same provision as for a deed’s validity.
  • Have proper notarization: A notary must formalize the deed and provide their contact information.

Where to get a warranty deed

For how to obtain a warranty deed, the warranty deed form is usually provided by the closing attorney. Both parties will sign the deed along with their witnesses and the notary. Then, the title company that you used for the title search and title insurance will record the deed. If you do not use a closing agent or title company, you can obtain draft forms of warranty deed forms here.

Need help with a Florida warranty deed?

When conveying real property, a Florida real estate attorney can provide the proper forms and ensure that your interests are protected. Depending on the type of warranty, all, some, or none of the covenants of title may be provided. At the Cueto Law Group, our Florida real estate lawyers have the experience in Florida real estate law that you’re looking for.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


How much does a warranty deed cost?

The exact price of a Florida warranty deed depends on charges levied by the county in which the property is located. Most counties will charge a tax calculated as a percentage of the property’s value. If you work with an attorney, they will likely charge $200 to $600 or more.

Statutory warranty deed vs special warranty deed: what’s the difference?

The main difference between a warranty deed and a special warranty deed is that the former provides all covenants of title. This means that the current owner takes full responsibility for any potential defects in the title or ownership, such as undiscovered easements on the property.

What does deed type “wd” mean?

Each county provides various codes for the different warranty deed types. For example, deed type “wd” means warranty deed. If you see this code on a given deed, that means that the current owner provides all warranties and covenants of title, such as quiet enjoyment and the right to convey.

What is the best type of deed to get?

While this depends on your purposes, in general, the warranty deed is the best type to obtain. This is because as a new owner, you will be completely protected against any defects, including chain of title issues and undiscovered encumbrances. But to clear title, a quitclaim deed may work also.

Cueto Law Group P.L.