Parkway Pointer

What makes a valid contract for the sale of real estate in the State of Delaware?

In order to have a valid contract for the sale of real estate in the State of Delaware, the following items must be present: (1) the seller; (2) the purchaser; (3) the identity of the property; and (4) the purchase price. Therefore, the first installment of Parkway Pointers is about naming the seller. It is critically important that a real estate sales contract accurately reflects what will be shown on the deed which conveys title to the property. If an incorrect party is identified, then an improper conveyance will be the result.

The easiest method of naming the sellers is to look at what is provided on the deed whereby the sellers acquired title to the property. Listing agents may want to inquire with their sellers about receiving a copy of the deed. For purchasing agents, meaningful communication with the listing agents is an invaluable asset in clearing up any confusion about the sellers’ identity. However, agents can also do their own research to identify property owners. I recommend that all agents spend some time becoming familiar with the land and tax records websites for the three Delaware counties. New Castle County Sussex County Kent County

Now, I wish I could tell you all that each site was the same across all three counties and that the systems are incredibly easy to navigate. But we are in the trust tree, so I won’t mislead you about that point. However, a little bit of time should create some proficiency with these sites and will assist agents with identifying the sellers and those sites can also be helpful in acquiring other pertinent information about the property, such as taxes, sales history and property features.

Realtors should be extra careful when dealing with property that has been conveyed through the probate process, such as a will. If there is any confusion then an attorney should be consulted. The same caution should be found when dealing with artificial entities such as a corporation, an LLC or a trust. The concern always being who has the actual authority to convey the property on behalf of the entity.

For more information about this subject or other legal issues that may concern you, please contact us at 302-449-0400.