A bargain and sale deed legally conveys a piece of property without any warrantees regarding title or other covenants.
- Selling real estate in circumstances where you cannot guarantee a clean title
- Conveying real property through an estate.
A deed is the legal instrument that proves ownership in a piece of property. Deeds must be recorded in the public land records to create a ledger of past and present ownership. There are several types of deeds, and deciding which deed is appropriate for you to convey your property depends upon the facts and circumstances of the exchange.
A bargain and sale deed is used to convey a piece of property when the existing owner cannot make any guarantees to the new owner that the title is valid. Bona fide purchasers who pay for real property in good faith typically expect to receive good title, and for the most part that is the case. However, public records of property transactions sometimes span hundreds of years, and sometimes the chain of title for a piece of property is broken as a result of an error that occurred far in the past. The property title continues to be transferred from owner to owner without anyone knowing that each of these transfers is invalid because of past error. Because this is a risk to many real estate transactions, sellers may choose to convey property through a bargain and sale deed, which does not require them to swear that the chain of title was never broken.
If a holder of a bargain and sale deed discovers that the chain of title had been broken, and in fact she does not legally own the property she believed she had purchased, she typically has no legal right to a refund of the purchase price of the property. If you are involved in a real estate transaction where the seller is offering a bargain and sale deed, it is best to consult with a title insurance company and an attorney before completing the sale.