Iowa Quitclaim Deed Article

Last Updated: February 28, 2024 by Rukshani Lye

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What is a Quitclaim Deed in Iowa? 

In Iowa, a quitclaim deed is used to transfer property from an owner (“Grantor”) to a new owner (“Grantee”), without any promises or guarantees about the property’s title.  Quitclaim deeds are a quick way to transfer property but they offer the lowest security among real estate deeds in Iowa.

The most common use of quitclaim deeds is between parties with high levels of trust, such as family members or close friends.

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What is the Difference Between a Quitclaim Deed and a Warranty Deed in Iowa?

The main difference between quitclaim deeds and warranty deeds in Iowa is that a quitclaim deed provides less security to the Grantee. 

A warranty deed provides legal protection to the new owner because it confirms that the Grantor owns the property and has the right to make a transfer.

Warranty deeds are mostly used for real estate transactions in Iowa. Quitclaim deeds, on the other hand, are used for transfers between family and friends.

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How Do Quitclaim Deeds Work in Iowa?

Laws surrounding quitclaim deeds are found in Chapter 558 of the Iowa Code, titled Conveyances.

Iowa laws provide the sample language to be used in a quitclaim deed. It must state that the Grantor intends to “quitclaim” the property to the Grantee.

The term “conveys” is not used in an Iowa quitclaim deed as it implies warranty.

Once prepared, the quitclaim deed must be filed at the Recorder’s Office in the county where the property is located.

Can You Prepare Your Own Quitclaim Deed in Iowa?

You can prepare your own quitclaim deed in Iowa. A professional drafter is not legally required. 

The name, address, and phone number of the individual who drafted the deed, however, must be mentioned under “Prepared by.”

Iowa Quitclaim Deed Requirements

For the quitclaim deed to be legally valid in Iowa, it must follow certain state-specific rules.

Formatting Requirements

Formatting requirements for quitclaim deeds in Iowa include:

  1. Paper: 20lb weight; clear white colored only. 
  2. Font size: preprinted text is minimum eight points and maximum twenty characters/spaces per inch; regular text is a minimum ten points; no more than sixteen characters and spaces per inch.
  3. Text color: signatures must be black or blue; texts must be a dark color reproducible.
  4. Margins: leave 3 inches on top of the first page for official use; all remaining margins should be minimum 0.75 inches. 
  5. No binding allowed; stapling is allowed (deed only, attachments should be separate).

First Page Requirements

The following content is required on the first page of an  Iowa quitclaim deed:

  1. The Grantor’s name and address.
  2. The Grantee’s name and address.
  3. The preparer’s name, address, and phone number. 
  4. Taxpayer’s name and mailing address.
  5. Return name and address.
  6. The title “Quitclaim.”
  7. Property’s legal description.
    • A complete description must include information such as the township, range, lot, block, addition, city, or section details.
    • A legal description prepared by a licensed surveyor (including maps and other drawings) must have an index legend.
    • A surveyor-prepared description must have a blank rectangular space (measuring 3.75” by 2.5”) at the top of the page for the county recorder’s use.
  8. Parcel identification number (if available).

      If there isn’t enough space on the first page for all required information, include the reference to the page where the information is found.

      Content Requirements 

      Remaining content requirements for quitclaim deeds in Iowa include: 

      1. Property address.
      2. Granting clause – a statement describing the transfer the parties have agreed to.
      3. Consideration clause – the value or the amount of money exchanged.

      Who Signs a Quitclaim Deed in Iowa?

      For a quitclaim deed to be legally valid in Iowa, it must be signed by the Grantor. 

      If the Grantor is married and the property is identified as a homestead, both spouses must sign the quitclaim deed. Alternatively, a spousal waiver of homestead rights can be signed and attached.

      A notary public must acknowledge the Grantor’s signature.

      How to File a Quitclaim Deed in Iowa 

      Here’s how to file a quitclaim deed in Iowa: 

      1. Prepare the quitclaim deed with the required information.
      2. Declaration of Value.
        1. Iowa law requires that a “Declaration of Value” (DOV) statement reflecting the full consideration paid to be submitted to the county Recorder at the time of recording the quitclaim deed.
        2. Many transfers generally filed under quitclaim deeds are exempt from requiring to file the DOV, including:
          • Deeds with a consideration of $500 or less.
          • Correcting a prior deed.
          • Transfers between family members.
          • Deeds between former spouses after divorce. 
          • Deeds involving property distributions to heirs or devisees. 
        3. If the transfer is exempt from the DOV requirement, however, the basis of the exemption must be mentioned clearly on the deed.
        4. A full list of exempt transfers can be found on the Iowa Revenue Department website. 
      3. Groundwater Hazard Statement.
        1. A Groundwater Hazard Statement must be submitted to the county recorder if the quitclaim deed qualifies to file a Declaration of Value.
        2. The Grantor must also provide a copy of the statement to the Grantee.
      4. If the transfer is based on a real estate transaction, an Iowa Property Disclosure Statement may be required.   
      5. Once the quitclaim deed is executed, ensure that the Grantor’s signature is acknowledged before a notary public.
      6. Finally, file the quitclaim deed at the Office of the Recorder in the county where the property is located. 

          How Much Does it Cost to File a Quitclaim Deed in Iowa?

          In Iowa, the minimum charges for filing a quitclaim deed are as follows:

          • Base fee for the first page: $7.
          • Each additional page: $5.
          • Auditor’s transfer fee: $5.

          What Taxes Are Owed on Quitclaim Deeds in Iowa?

          In Iowa, the transfer of property using a quitclaim deed triggers real estate transfer tax levied as follows:

          1. All transfers of real estate over $500 will be taxed at $0.80 per $500.
          2. The tax is calculated based on the consideration (sale price) for the real property.
          3. Many transfers that are generally filed under quitclaim deeds are exempt from real estate transfer tax, including:
            • Deeds with no consideration or for $500 or less.
            • Deeds confirming, correcting, modifying, or supplementing prior deeds.
            • Transfers between family members (spouses, parents, children).
            • Deeds between former spouses as per divorce decrees.
            • Deeds distributing assets to heirs.

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            How Long Does a Quitclaim Deed Take to be Recorded in Iowa?

            The time it takes to record a quitclaim deed in Iowa varies based on the county. Deeds submitted in person at the county office or electronically through Iowa’s Land Records and the Electronic Services System will be processed by the next business day.

            What Happens After a Quitclaim Deed is Recorded in Iowa?

            When a quitclaim deed is submitted at the county Recorder’s Office, it is first checked to ensure the necessary information is correct. The Office then indexes the deed, scans it, and adds it to the county’s electronic land record archive.

            Iowa has implemented a statewide electronic e-recording system, The quitclaim deed can be submitted online through a portal available on the county website.

            How Long Are Quitclaim Deeds Valid For in Iowa? 

            There is no expiration for quitclaim deeds in Iowa. However, the statute of limitations to recover an Iowa property by legally challenging the ownership, known as “quieting title,” is 10 years.