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Notary Bulletin

Notary Signing Agent Document FAQ: General Warranty Deeds

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Notary Signing Agents deal with a wide variety of different loan documents during assignments. Some documents require notarization; others have special instructions Signing Agents must follow. In this article, we answer common questions about General Warranty Deeds.

What is a General Warranty Deed? 

A General Warranty Deed is a type of deed that is used to convey real property in most U.S. states. A General Warranty Deed not only conveys all the grantors’ interests and title to a property, but also warrants that if the title is defective or has a “cloud” over it (such as a bankruptcy, tax lien, mortgage claim, or unknown easement), the grantee may hold the grantor liable.

What else does a General Warranty Deed do?

A General Warranty Deed also typically provides the following guarantees:

  • The title has no encumbrances other than those expressly stated in the deed.
  • If any title defects are subsequently found, the grantor agrees to correct those defects, within reason.
  • No other person or party has a superior claim to the property to the grantee.
  • The grantor has “seisin” (a term that means actual ownership of the property) and the legal right to convey that ownership. 
  • The grantor agrees that if in the future the title is challenged, the grantor will pay the expenses required to defend the title against challenge.

Does a General Warranty Deed require notarization?

Yes. In almost all cases, signatures on a General Warranty Deed require acknowledgment before a Notary Public or other officer authorized to perform acknowledgments. A few states allow a proof of execution by subscribing witness when the principal grantor is unable to personally appear before a Notary. Absence of an acknowledgment or proof may prevent a General Warranty Deed from being recorded in the land records and invalidate the deed.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor at the National Notary Association.



Add your comment

Angela Moore

25 Jan 2021

Do you have a attach a certificate to a Warranty Deed?

National Notary Association

02 Feb 2021

Hello. Yes, if there no Notary wording on the document, or if the Notary wording is insufficient for your state.

Beatrice O Ferrell

25 Jan 2021


Proforma Notary

26 Jan 2021

this article is very timely since a General Warranty Deed is included in my upcoming signing for the first time. I was able to glean the purpose of it from thoroughly reading the form. I was initially confused on why a packet had 2 Deeds. You truly never stop learning in this business.


27 Jan 2021

thank you for the information

Julio montes

28 Jan 2021

I need report at fraudelen paperwork notary were I do

Holly Miklasz

28 Jan 2021

Please let me understand why you keep sending me information about testing for renewal, when I have already gone to the class and passed the test. Please tell me why you are e-mailing me to let me know that my E&O insurance is expiring, when I signed up for this and paid for this before taking the test? When will I get all of my information from the Sec. of State. My commission is up on 03/17/2021. Thank you.

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2021

Hi Holly. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion. We've forwarded your concerns and question to our Customer Care team and asked a representative to contact you to help you with your issues.


03 Feb 2021

Thanks for the information.

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