A Washington quitclaim deed is the simplest way to transfer property.
Unlike other property deeds, the quitclaim deed only transfers the interest the property owner (called a grantor on the property deed) has in the property without any promises about whether the grantor has good title to the property.
Because of the simplicity of this deed, a quitclaim deed is often used in Washington to transfer property between family members or to separate property parcels.
Read below to learn more about the legal requirements to effectively transfer property in Washington using a quitclaim deed.
Washington Quitclaim Deed Laws and Requirements
Under Washington law, a quitclaim deed must be in writing and signed by the grantor. The law requires acknowledgment of the signature and recording of the quitclaim deed. A filing fee and a transfer tax are due before the recording.
Washington laws governing deeds and property conveyances are in Title 64 of the Revised Code of Washington. The specific rules outlining the recording of deeds are in Chapter 65.08 of the Code.
A quitclaim deed should use the legal description of the property, which is different from the mailing address.
Washington Administrative Code § 332-130-040 contains guidelines for legal description requirements such as lot, block, subdivision or section, township, and range.
Before issuing title insurance, title companies use the legal description for title searches.
Section 64.04.020 of the Revised Code of Washington requires that a deed is in writing and signed by the grantor. A quitclaim deed does not need to be signed by the grantee.
The Revised Code of Washington § 64.04.020 requires acknowledgment of the grantor’s signature for the deed to be valid.
If certain public officials or a notary public witness the signature, it meets the requirement for acknowledgment per Revised Code of Washington § 64.08.010.
The Revised Code of Washington § 64.04.050 contains a sample quitclaim deed form. This form is not required, but a quitclaim deed should include the same substance.
The sample form language specifies the wording “conveys and quitclaims” of the property from the grantor to the grantee.
Real estate transfers are subject to a transfer tax in Washington per Chapter 458-61A of the Revised Code of Washington. The tax, known as the real estate excise tax (REET), has a graduated rate based on the sale price which is as follows:
- For sale prices of $500,000 or less, the tax rate is 1.10% of the sale price.
- For sale prices from $500,000.01 up to $1,500,000, the tax rate is 1.28%.
- For sale prices ranging from $1,500,000.01 up to $3,000,000, the tax rate is 2.75%.
- For sale prices more than $3,000,000.01, the tax rate is 3%.
There are exemptions to the transfer tax such as property transferred under a gift, inheritance, or settlement of a divorce decree according to Revised Code of Washington §§ 458-61A-200 through 458-61A-217.
Revised Code of Washington § 65.04.045 requires the document to be no larger than 8.5 inches by 14 inches in size, font size 8-point type or larger, and have a one-inch margin on all sides.
In addition, the first page of the document must contain the following:
- the title of the document to be recorded
- the grantor and grantee names
- an abbreviated legal description of the property
- the assessor’s property tax parcel or account number
If the first page of the document does not contain the above information, then a cover sheet containing the required information must be attached and recorded with the document per Revised Code of Washington § 65.04.047.
A quitclaim deed in Washington does not require witnesses.
Quitclaim deeds are filed with the Washington County Recorder or County Auditor in the county where the property is located.
Under Revised Code of Washington § 36.18.010, a quitclaim deed requires a filing fee when recording.
How to Write & File a Quitclaim Deed in Washington
Follow the steps below to write and file a quitclaim deed in Washington.
Step 1 – Obtain Quitclaim Deed Form
Download the Washington quitclaim deed form.
Step 2 – Prepare Cover Sheet
If necessary, prepare the cover sheet. The cover sheet has the property’s tax parcel number, legal description, and address. It also has the name of the seller (grantor) and the buyer (grantee).
Be sure to use the middle initial of all parties. It has the document title, such as Washington Quitclaim Deed, and space for reference numbers for any attached or related documents. At the top of the page, it has a space for the return address information.
Step 3 – Enter Preparer’s Details
In the upper left-hand corner of the Washington quitclaim deed form, enter the preparer’s information, including name and address.
Step 4 – Write ‘Return To’ Information
Underneath the preparer’s information, enter the return address information for the person who will receive the form after the Washington County Recorder or Auditor is done with it.
Step 5 – Note Consideration
Find the main paragraph and write in words the amount, if any, the grantee is paying for the property. Then, write the numerical representation of this amount.
Step 6 – Fill in Grantor’s Details
Write the full name of the grantor and the grantor’s street address, county, city, and state.
Step 7 – Enter Grantee’s Information
Write the grantee’s full name and address using the same order.
Step 8 – Note Property County
Record the property’s county. After this, write the full legal description for the property (i.e., Section, Township, Range, Quarter Section or Lot, Block, Subdivision).
Step 9 – Get Quitclaim Deed Notarized
The grantor will sign and print their name. This needs to be done in the presence of a notary public. The notary must notarize the document.
Step 10 – File Your Washington Quitclaim Deed
Turn the document over to the Washington County Recorder’s or Auditor’s Office in the property’s county. If the county has fees or additional forms required, file these with the document.
Sample Washington Quitclaim Deed
Below is an example of what a quitclaim deed in Washington looks like.