Real Estate Deeds
Grant Deeds are the most commonly used type of deed in California. They contain guarantees that title hasn't already been transferred to someone else or have any encumbrances (liens, easements, or other legal claims) except as specified in the deed. Common examples are adding someone to title (like a spouse or child) or transferring the title to someone else (as part of a sale or gift).
Quitclaim Deeds are used to relinquish
one's claim (or theoretical claim) to land. Unlike a grant deed, quitclaim deeds make no promises about the title being valid. Quitclaims are often used when someone has a theoretical claim; by giving up their potential claim, the property owner doesn't need to worry about a claim being made later. Since California is a community property state (property acquired during the marriage by either spouse is presumed to be owned by each spouse equally), the Interspousal Transfer Quitclaim Deed is a common example of this type of deed - it's used to remove a spouse's potential claim (e.g., an inherited property, or one purchased with inherited funds).
Deeds of Trust are the most commonly used instruments for financing real estate purchases in California. The trust deed transfers title to land to a trustee, who holds it as security for a loan. When the loan is paid off, title is transferred back to the borrower (see Deed of Reconveyance below). The trustee has no powers unless the borrower defaults on the loan or violates one of the other promises in the trust deed; then the trustee can sell the property and pay the lender back from the proceeds.
Deeds of Reconveyance transfer real estate from a lender to a buyer when a loan secured by the property is paid off. Simply put, this deed is recorded to remove the lien from title.
Subordination Agreements move a right or claim to a lower position. An example would be moving a private loan to second lien position so that the owner can obtain a first-mortgage loan to improve the property.