Sanclemente and Associates
 
 

Sanclemente & Associates
2500 Wrangle Hill Road, Suite 129, Bear, Delaware  19701-3841
Telephone: (302) 832-5600    Fax: (302) 832-5601

Q: Why do I need an attorney to perform my closing?

A: In Delaware, state laws require that an attorney licensed to practice law in Delaware conduct real estate settlements.  The purpose of these laws is to protect the buyer to insure that buyers are protected from unscrupulous settlement agents.  Delaware law also requires that all funds received in connection with the settlement be deposited into and distributed from an attorney’s escrow account.

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Q: Where will my settlement take place?

A: At Sanclemente & Associates, LLC we make your settlement convenient for you.  One of our attorneys will come to your realtor’s office, your business or your mortgage company to conduct your closing.   Keep in mind, however, that there may be last minute changes to your settlement statement that may be difficult to make if we do not have access to a computer or fax machine. 

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Q: What do I need to bring to my settlement?

A: You will need to bring a valid government issued photo id, such as a driver’s license, state identification card or military identification card.  If the settlement is outside of our office it is a good idea to provide a photocopy of the identification card.

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Q: Do I need to bring a certified check or certified funds to my settlement?

A: If the amount of money you need to pay at closing exceeds $1,000.00 we require you to provide certified funds, a cashier’s check or to have your funds sent by wire transfer from your bank to our attorney escrow account prior to your settlement.

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Q: When will I know the final amount I will need at settlement?

A: The legal assistant assigned to your file will complete the Settlement Statement as soon as the lender’s closing instructions are received from the lender.  Unfortunately, in some cases, we will not know the final amount due until immediately before closing.  This is due to delays with your lender, not our office.  In a situation where the final amount required will be delayed we will provide you with an estimate on the amount required.  If the amount estimated is too high we will provide you with a check for the difference at closing.  If the amount estimate is too low you will need to write a check for the difference.  If the amount of the shortage is over $1,000.00 it will be necessary for the additional funds to be certified also.

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Q: Does the buyer’s attorney represent the seller too?

A: The buyer’s attorney represents only the buyer.  Because part of the settlement process requires paying off mortgages and possibly other liens against the property, we must contact the seller’s mortgage company or other creditors to obtain pay off statements.  In Delaware, the normal practice is that sellers do not have attorneys at the settlement; however, sellers can bring their attorney to the settlement.

Q: Do I need to have a survey?

A: We strongly recommend that you have a survey performed when you purchase property.  The purpose of the survey is to determine whether any structure on your property lies on a neighboring property or vie-versa.  These are called encroachments.  For example, fences are sometimes placed without referring to a survey and a portion of the fence may have been placed on an adjacent property.  A survey would reveal the encroachment and it should be addressed prior to your settlement.  If you purchase the home without addressing the problem and in the future the neighbor assert its ownership interest, you may be forced to bear the expense of removing or relocating the fence.  The survey also will identify any zoning violations such as having some portion of the home build too close to the road or other boundary.

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Q: Why do I need to have a title search?

A: The title search consists of searching the public records at the Recorder of Deeds office in the county where the property is located. Those records are relied on to be accurate.  The searcher traces ownership of the property back at least 60 years.  You can visualize this process as researching each link in the chain of title.  All prior owners of the land must have conveyed fee simple marketable title to the next owner in the chain.  Each link represents that person’s ownership period, say from March, 1968 through December 1975.  The searcher then checks the records during this time period to In the usual case, it reveals the sellers’ mortgage liens and possible judgments liens.  These liens attach to the property your are buying.  Your real estate contract requires the seller to convey fee simple marketable title.  In order to do that, these liens must be paid out of the sellers’ proceeds.  when you buy the property you are buying the property free of any liens or judgments.  The title search will confirm that your seller is the owner of the property and that no one else has a claim to the property.  Obviously, you do not want to have someone come to your door after you purchase the home saying that they own the home or that you owe money for an unpaid lien. 

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Q: Why do I need title insurance?

A: Once the title search is conducted all mortgages, judgments and other liens of record are identified. At or prior to settlement all potential claims are to be satisfied so that your ownership interest in the property is unchallenged.  All lenders require that you purchase title insurance so that if there is lien that was missed or there are any other claims to the title such claims are paid to insure that the lender’s interest in your property is protected.  When you purchase the home we recommend that you also purchase owner’s coverage to protect your interest in the property over the amount of the mortgage.

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Q: What other legal services are available from your firm?

A: In addition to real estate closings this firm also assists client in family law cases such as divorce, child support and custody.  We can also assist you in the preparation of wills, living wills and trusts.  We also have an experienced litigation attorney for corporate law disputes including those involving neighborhood associations and maintenance corporations.

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