The Real Estate Settlement Process

So you want to buy or sell a piece of real estate. Where do you start? Find a real estate agent and get them to prepare a real estate contract. A real estate contract identifies the property and agreed-to price has been signed by both the purchaser and the seller. Once signed by everyone it becomes a ratified contract. In most instances, this ratified contract is then forwarded to an attorney’s office to handle the closing. Delaware is what is called an attorney state which means that an attorney must preside over the real estate settlement. The purchaser has the right to choose the attorney. The DE Supreme Court has been very clear that purchasers need to know who is representing them and to freely choose that person or firm. Many times, the purchaser doesn’t know an attorney or have an opinion so many real estate agents will recommend one. Even in those situations, as a result of the Supreme Court, attorneys will send a letter to the purchaser identifying himself or herself, explaining the process and asking the purchaser to sign a form affirming that they are choosing that attorney.

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