A bargain and sale deed requires special language to ensure that the deed qualifies as a bargain and sale deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Washington counties.
A Washington bargain and sale deed form transfers Washington real estate from the current owner (grantor) to a new owner (grantee) with a warranty of title that is limited to the time period that the grantor owned the property. The grantor is not responsible for any title issues that arose before the grantor acquired the property.
A Washington bargain and sale deed form is specifically authorized by RCW 64.04.040. Under that statute, a grantor who signs as bargain and sale deed makes these guarantees:
If it turns out that any of these guarantees are incorrect—and if the problem relates to the period when the grantor owned the property—the grantee may sue the grantor for breaching the implied warranty contained in the bargain and sale deed.
The term bargain and sale deed relates specifically to the warranty of title that the deed provides. A bargain and sale deed form includes a warranty of title that is implied by statute, meaning that the deed contains the statutory warranties even if the deed does not have specific language reciting those warranties. This warranty distinguishes a bargain and sale deed from a statutory warranty deed, which provides a greater warranty, and a quit claim deed, which provides no warranty of title.
Other states have deeds that include a warranty of title that is limited to the period when the grantor owned the property. Some states may refer to this deed as a grant deed, covenant deed, or limited warranty deed. Most states, however, use the term special warranty deed.
Special warranty deeds are also used in Washington. As in other states, a Washington special warranty deed provides a warranty of title that is limited to the period when the grantor owned the property. This raises a question: Since both bargain and sale deeds and special warranty deeds provide a warranty that is limited to the period when the grantor owned the property, what is the difference between the two deed forms? There are two primary differences:
When trying to decide whether to use a bargain and sale deed versus a special warranty deed, these two factors often support the bargain and sale deed. All else being equal, it is usually better to have a deed form that is recognized by statute and includes statutorily-defined warranties. For these reasons, bargain and sale deeds tend to be more popular in Washington. Special warranty deeds are often reserved for limited uses, like deeds from personal representatives or other fiduciaries.
Because a Washington bargain and sale deed form is authorized by statute, it is important that each deed meet the statute’s specific requirements. The deed must also meet the requirements that apply to other Washington deed forms, including a valid legal description, statement of consideration, and a description of the manner in which co-owners will hold title, font size and page format requirements, and signature and notarization requirements.
Washington law has specific requirements for deeds. These requirements differ from the requirements of other states. Using a deed form from another state—or, perhaps worse, a generic fill-in-the-blank form that was not designed for use in Washington—can invalidate the deed or create title problems that remain hidden for years. Each deed prepared by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Washington law and to be eligible for recording in all Washington counties.