In their most basic form, a quitclaim deed is a conveyance wherein the grantor conveys to the grantee, only the interest the grantor has in the property, if any. To put it in another way, the taker under a quitclaim instrument only takes such title as the grantor had in the property at the time of the conveyance. In contrast, a warranty deed purports to transfer a specific interest in the property.
To understand why the differences between warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds matter, we must first have some basic knowledge regarding a bona fide purchaser. A bona fide purchaser is a buyer of real property who, in good faith, pays valuable consideration without actual, constructive, or inquiry notice of an adverse claim. This is important, as being classified as a bona fide purchaser provides greater levels of protection under the Texas recording statute against unrecorded claims.
Texas Property Code Section 13.001 provides:
- A conveyance of real property or an interest in real property or a mortgage or deed of trust is void as to a creditor or to a subsequent purchaser for a valuable consideration without notice unless the instrument has been acknowledged, sworn to, or proved and filed for record as required by law. (emphasis added)
- The unrecorded instrument is binding on a party to the instrument, on the party’s heirs, and on a subsequent purchaser who does not pay a valuable consideration or who has notice of the instrument.
Pursuant to the statute, the purchaser under a quitclaim deed takes the property being conveyed with notice of any, and all prior unrecorded conveyances.  Therefore, under Texas law, a purchaser in a quitclaim conveyance cannot be a bona fide purchaser and cannot claim protections provided by Texas Prop. Code Sec. 13.001. Accordingly, any title dependent on a quitclaim as a link in the chain of title cannot be marketable title, since it might at any time be defeated by some unknown claimant.
However, it is important to note that under Texas law even if a deed uses the language “quitclaim”, it will not be classified as a quitclaim if the granting language of the deed as a whole reasonably implies a purpose to affect a transfer of particular rights in the land. i.e. – all of the minerals in a particular tract of land. In Bryan v. Thomas, the Supreme Court of Texas held “that the grantee in a deed which purports to convey all of the grantor’s undivided interest in a particular tract of land, if otherwise entitled, will be accorded the protection of a bona fide purchaser.’’  This means that special care must always be taken to determine if the language in a deed is conveying only the interest the grantor has in the property, or a specific interest purported to be held by the Grantor.
Quitclaim conveyances can be troublesome to subsequent purchasers of property, as the grantees under such conveyances take the property with notice of all potentially unrecorded prior conveyances, no matter how remote. This produces a cloud over any chain of title that is dependent on a quitclaim. Landman and title examiners should always be cautious of conveyances purporting to be quitclaims, and take special care to determine what interests are actually being conveyed by the instrument.
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 Woodward v. Ortiz, 237 S.W.2d 286, 291-92 (Tex. 1951).
 365 S.W.2d 628, 630 (Tex. 1963)