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Maine Deed Forms – Quit Claim, Warranty, and Special Warranty

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The Maine deeds are used to convey real property located in Maine from one person or entity to another. The person who is selling or conveying the land is called the grantor and the person who is acquiring or purchasing the land is called a grantee. Deeds must have the name of the grantor and grantee as well as consideration paid for the property. In addition, a legal description of the property is required. A notary or an officer of the court, such as an attorney or court clerk, must sign an acknowledgment before the deed may be filed with the registry of deeds. In addition, before title passes, it is important that a title search is completed. This is where you go back over the different transfers of the property over a number of years and you ascertain whether there are any other interests in the property which someone could claim.

LawsChapter 711-A (Real Estate Transfers)

Real Estate Transfer Tax (§ 4641) – Required to be recorded with any type of deed either Online or with the Printable Form.

Recording – The deed must be recorded in the Registry of Deeds in the County where the property is located.

Signing – Title 33, § 203 – A Notary Public or officer of the court is required to acknowledge all deeds.

Deed Types

General Warranty – This type of deed provides a warranty for from the grantor to the grantee that there are no undisclosed interests in the property and if there were, grantor would defend the grantee against them.

Quit Claim (without Covenant) – This type of deed provides no warranty. The buyer is purchasing whatever interest the grantor has in the property which could range from a full interest to no interest.

Special Warranty (Quit Claim with Covenant) – This type of deed is used when the grantor only wants to guarantee that which occurred while he or she held the property – not what happened before. It is a limited warranty.

Maine Property Search

In order to understand what is being purchased, a buyer engages in a title search to ascertain if there are any undisclosed transfers of interests in the property. These undisclosed interests could be undischarged mortgages or a granting of an easement or some other grant of interest. In Maine, each county has a registry of deeds. You can either go in person or search on the website. Below is how you would begin the process of a title search:

Step 1 – First go to the Maine Registers of Deeds Association site where you will find a link to each county.

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Step 2 – Click on the county in which the property you are purchasing is located. For purposes of this, we will use “Penobscot County”.

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Step 3 –  You will be brought to the county site where you click on “Search Registry Records”.

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Step 4 – You will need the name of the person who is selling you the property. You want to search for his or her name under “grantee” records because you want to start by going back to the transfer made when the grantor bought the property. Once you enter the name of the grantor, you can also add in the name of the town to narrow it down. Then click “search records” and you will be brought to a list which shows the records.

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Step 5 – Click on the record representing your property and you will have the option of printing out the document. You will then also know the previous grantor, so you can do the same process with the previous grantor.


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