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In Delaware, all real estate settlements for real property must be performed by a Delaware licensed attorney. It is the buyer's responsibility to select an attorney to handle all of the preparations for settlement. The settlement attorney will conduct a title search to ensure the property is legitimate, and to find out if there are any outstanding mortgages, liens, judgements, restrictions, easements, leases, unpaid taxes or any other restrictions that would impact your ability to take ownership of the property. 

Once the title is found to be "clear", the attorney will issue a title insurance policy which protects lenders or owners against claims or legal fees that may arise throughout ownership of the property. This is required when obtaining a mortgage, and is highly recommend even if you are paying cash. This will be part of your closing costs, and the fees are state regulated—every title company will charge the same amount for title insurance, making it easier for you because you don't need to "shop around"! Lastly, the settlement attorney is also responsible for making sure the deed and mortgage are recorded in the land records. 

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The best words to hear from your lender! This means the mortgage underwriter has officially approved all documentation required to fund the loan. This is your last step before settlement!

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