In California real estate transactions, a quitclaim deed is a legal document used to transfer ownership interest in a property from one party (the grantor) to another (the grantee). Here’s how it typically works within the context of an escrow:

1. Initiation: The process usually starts when the parties involved in the transaction, such as the buyer and seller, agree to use a quitclaim deed to transfer ownership of the property. This agreement is often part of the overall purchase and sale agreement negotiated between the parties.

2. Escrow Instructions: Once the parties have agreed to use a quitclaim deed, the terms of the transfer are outlined in the escrow instructions. These instructions detail the conditions that must be met for the deed to be executed and recorded, including any specific requirements related to the transfer of title.

3. Preparation of Deed: The escrow officer or a title company typically prepares the quitclaim deed based on the information provided in the escrow instructions. The deed will include the legal description of the property being transferred, the names of the grantor(s) and grantee(s), and any relevant terms or conditions of the transfer.

4. Execution: Both the grantor and grantee must sign the quitclaim deed in the presence of a notary public to make it legally valid. The deed may also require additional signatures, such as those of witnesses or spouses, depending on the specific circumstances of the transaction.

5. Recording: Once the quitclaim deed is signed, it is typically submitted to the county recorder’s office for recording. Recording the deed provides public notice of the change in ownership and establishes the grantee’s legal ownership rights to the property.

6. Completion of Escrow: The transfer of ownership is considered complete once the quitclaim deed has been recorded and any other conditions of the escrow instructions have been satisfied. At this point, the escrow officer disburses funds according to the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, and the transaction is finalized.

It’s important to note that a quitclaim deed transfers whatever interest the grantor has in the property at the time of the transfer, but it does not guarantee that the grantor actually has legal ownership or clear title to the property. For this reason, quitclaim deeds are often used in situations where the parties have an existing relationship or where the grantee is willing to accept the risk associated with any potential title issues.