What is a Quitclaim Deed in Washington?
A quitclaim deed in Washington state is used to transfer property from an existing 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 offer the lowest security among real estate deeds in Washington.
What is the Difference Between a Quitclaim Deed and a Warranty Deed in Washington?
The main difference between quitclaim deeds and warranty deeds in Washington is that quitclaim deeds provide less security to the new owner.
A warranty deed provides stronger assurances about the title’s validity and the Grantor’s legal ownership. On the other hand, a quitclaim deed transfers the Grantor’s interest without any guarantees about the title.
The choice between the two types of deeds depends on the type of real estate transaction and the level of trust between the parties involved.
How Do Quitclaim Deeds Work in Washington?
Laws surrounding quitclaim deeds in Washington State are found in Chapter 64 of the Washington State Legislature, titled Real Property and Conveyances.
Washington laws provide the sample language to be used in a quitclaim deed. It should include the phrase “conveys and quitclaims all interest in the property” to the Grantee.
Once the quitclaim deed is prepared, it must be filed with the county Office of the Recording Officer where the property is located.
Can You Prepare Your Own Quitclaim Deed in Washington?
You can prepare your own quitclaim deed in Washington state. A professional drafter is not legally required in Washington.
Washington Quitclaim Deed Requirements
For a quitclaim deed to be legally valid in Washington, it must follow certain state-specific rules.
Formatting requirements for quitclaim deeds in Washington include:
- 3-inch top margin on the first page.
- 1-inch margins should be on the bottoms and sides.
- Paper size should be letter (8.5 x 11) or legal (8.5 x 14).
- Font should be 8-point type or larger.
Content requirements for quitclaim deeds in Washington Include:
- Grantor’s name and address.
- Grantee’s name and address.
- The title “Quitclaim” should be below the 3-inch top margin.
- Include a brief property description. Longer property descriptions should be attached separately.
- Assessor’s Property Tax Parcel Number (separate from the legal description).
- Return name and address should be on the top left-hand.
- The property address.
- Consideration clause – the amount of money exchanged.
- Granting clause – a statement describing the transfer the parties have agreed to.
Who Signs a Quitclaim Deed in Washington?
For a quitclaim deed to be legally valid in Washington state, it must be signed by the Grantor. The Grantor’s signature must be authenticated by a notary.
How to File a Quitclaim Deed in Washington
Here’s how to file a quitclaim deed in Washington:
- Prepare the quitclaim deed with the information required.
- Ensure the Grantor signs the quitclaim deed, acknowledged by a notary.
- File the quitclaim deed, along with any other information requested at the Office of the Recording Officer in the county where the property is located.
How Much Does it Cost to File a Quitclaim Deed in Washington?
The basic recording fee for filing a quitclaim deed in Washington is $303 for the first page and $1 for each additional page.
What Taxes Are Owed on Quitclaim Deeds in Washington?
In Washington, the purchase of a property through a quitclaim deed triggers the following taxes:
- Real Estate Excise Tax (REET):
- 1.1% for sales up to $500,000.
- 1.28% for sales between $500,001 and $1,500,000.
- 2.75% for sales between $1,500,001 and $3,000,000.
- 3% for sales over $3,000,000.
- For timberland or agricultural land sales, it’s 1.28% of the selling price.
2. Local Real Estate Excise Tax (REET 1): All cities are allowed to levy a 0.25% tax on property sales.
3. Local Real Estate Excise Tax (REET 2): Cities and counties that are planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) may levy an additional 0.25% tax on property sales.
In Washington state, many transfers that are generally filed under quitclaim deeds are tax-exempt, including:
- Inheritance or devise
- Community property
- Dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership
- Legal separation, decree of invalidity
- Tenants in common and joint tenants
- Changes in identity or form – family corporations and partnerships
- Transfers where gain is not recognized under the Internal Revenue Code
- Clearing or exiting title, and additions to title
Federal tax rules may also apply to Washington quitclaim deeds.
How Long Does a Quitclaim Deed Take to be Recorded in Washington?
The length of time to record a quitclaim deed in Washington depends on the processes, procedures, and population of each county.
In King County, for instance, information on the documents recorded will be available in seven to ten business days.
What Happens After a Quitclaim Deed is Recorded in Washington?
Once a quitclaim deed is signed and notarized, it can be filed at the county. If no previous filings or issues exist, the transfer of the property ownership becomes official through a record created by the county Recording Officer.
How Long Are Quitclaim Deeds Valid For in Washington?
There is no expiration for quitclaim deeds in Washington state. However, the statute of limitations for breaching a written contract is 6 years.