Delaware Quit Claim Deed Form
Delaware Quit Claim Deed is a legal form that represents an arrangement for a party known as the Grantor to transfer all of their interest in a property to a party known as the Grantee. It is designed for use only in situations where the Grantee does not require proof that there are no other claimants to the property. It should also be kept in mind that along with not establishing any title, this document does not prove that the property is free of debt or liens. Considering that this type of Deed is relatively more straightforward and less expensive to complete than a Warranty Deed, it offers substantial benefits to those who utilize it.
Laws (§ 121 to § 135): Delaware Code, Title 25: “Property,” Chapter 1: “Deeds,” Subchapter II: “Form, Acknowledgment and Proof of Deeds and Other Legal Instruments”
Wording (§ 121(b)): The words “grant and convey” should not be used as these words are reserved for use in other types of Deeds. Usage of them may result in the Deed being deemed unusable. Instead, the arrangement should be described as a “Quit Claim.”
Grantee’s Address (§ 133): State law specifies that the Grantee’s address must be written on the Quit Claim Deed.
Signing requirements (§ 122): The state law provision entitled, “Acknowledgment and proof of deeds,” establishes the requirement for the Quit Claim Deed to be acknowledged. The numerous options for who may conduct the acknowledgment / how it may be conducted are listed as follows:
- In the Superior Court,
- Before any state judge,
- By a Notary Public,
- Before two (2) justices of the peace for the same county,
- Before the Mayor of the City of Wilmington, or
- Proved in the Court by one (1) or more of the subscribing witnesses.
How to file a Quit Claim Deed in Delaware (§ 9605): In order for a Quit Claim Deed to be filed in Delaware, it must be brought to the Recorder’s office of the county in which the property is found. That is, it should be recorded in Kent County, New Castle County, or Sussex County. Each county may have specific requirements for filing the form, so due diligence should be taken to uphold these requirements. Moreover, the fee each county demands for filing may differ, so it is advised to come prepared to make such a payment.
A noteworthy state law provision that must be kept in mind when it comes time to filing the Deed is § 153: Priority of deed concerning lands or tenements. This provisions states:
“A deed concerning lands or tenements shall have priority from the time that it is recorded in the proper office without respect to the time that it was signed, sealed and delivered.”
Delaware is one (1) of only three (3) states in the country that has what is termed a “race statute” or “race to the courthouse” statute. Most other states have either a “race-notice” or “notice” statute. Essentially, a race statute means that whichever valid Quit Claim Deed is recorded first will prevail over all other recordings.
In layman’s terms, the order in which a Deed is filed matters. The law will only look to which Deed was recorded first, not which Deed was executed first. For instance, if two (2) Deeds exist from the same Grantor but different Grantees, the Deed which is filed first will take precedence—even if the other one was executed first.
Prior to filing the Deed, however, an additional form must first be filed, as explained directly below.