Guidelines for Real Estate Closings

Complete your sale without issue when you use the listing guidelines from FLORIDA ABSTRACT AND SECURITY TITLE CORP. in Port Charlotte, Florida. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of guidelines for real estate closings to help you when you list properties for sale. Call us to check title when you list the property so there will be no surprises when the property is sold. Let us determine now if any corrective measures need to be completed.

Listing Guidelines for FAST Real Estate Closings

The following information is standards for real property practice and is supplied by our underwriters for the issuance of marketable title policies. It is in no way to be construed as legal advice for the situations addressed nor is it to be construed to be the only remedies available for a particular situation.

WHO OWNS PROPERTY? – Request Copy of Deed and Complete Title Policy

ARE THERE ANY CHANGES IN STATUS OF TITLE?

  1. Trusts
    • a. Passive Trust ( ______, “as Trustee” or “Trustee” )
      – convey Individually and as Trustee
    • b. Living Trust ( ______, as Trustee of _______ Trust Dated _______) – if powers of authority for the trustee are not contained in the deed into the trustee of the trust a Certification of Trust can be obtained by the trustee to confirm the trustee’s authority to sell and convey the property. If the original trustee named in the deed is different, then the original trust must be obtained, examined for proper authority and recorded in the public records.
  2. Deceased Parties
    • a. Spouse – Need to file Death Certificate and Affidavit of Continuous Marriage – A receipt for Florida Estate Taxes Paid or a Non-Taxable Affidavit is necessary for Non-Florida Residents.
    • b. If both husband and wife are deceased – same as above is needed for the first deceased and the estate of the other must be probated (NOTE: determine if estate has been probated in their domicile – depending on circumstance a full administration, ancillary administration or summary administration must be filed Florida). All heirs must join in the conveyance of homestead property.
    • c. Property Held As Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship – Death Certificate and a receipt for Florida Estate Taxes Paid or a Non-Taxable Affidavit must be filed for the deceased party(ies). The Estate must be probated upon death of the last survivor.
    • d. Property Held As Tenants-In-Common – Estates must be probated on any and all parties who are deceased.
  3. Dissolution of Marriage
    • a. Pending – Both husband and wife must convey
    • b. Final – Title to Real Property converts to Tenants-In-Common each with 1/2 Interest – Both parties must convey title unless one has released interest to the other or final decree dictates conveyance.
  4. Added Parties – All parties must convey
  5. Life Estate – Party with life estate must also convey or if deceased, Certificate of Death must be filed.
  6. Homestead Property – Spouse must convey even if not in title.
  7. Power Of Attorney
    • a. Durable Family – May be used if conveyance is to a bonafide purchaser. May survive subsequent disability as provided by statute. The execution must be notarized and witnessed by two disinterested parties. An affidavit is needed by the principal that the power of attorney has not been revoked and that the principal is currently of sound mind.
    • b. General – must be specific as to sell and convey real property, must be notarized and witnessed by two disinterested parties. An affidavit is needed by the principal that the power of attorney has not been revoked and that the principal is currently of sound mind.
  8. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies
    • a. Must file a Certificate of Status stating that the corporation is valid and has been in good standing from the acquisition of the property until the conveyance.
    • b. A dissolved Florida corporation or limited liability company may convey property to wind down its affairs. A foreign company or corporation shall be governed by the laws of their domicile.
  9. Bankruptcy – There are several types and situations – determine the venue of the Federal Court, Attorney for Bankrupt party and Trustee.
  10. Foreign Seller – Must withhold and report to the IRS 10 percent of the purchase price – Exempt if purchaser intends to occupy improved property at least 50 percent of the time in the next two years and the sales price is less than $300,000.00. A Resident Alien with a social security number is also exempt from the withholding.
  11. Tax Deeds – Grantee must either obtain a deed from the owner of the property at the time of the tax sale, file a suit to quiet title or wait four years from the time title was acquired by tax deed. An affidavit of possession shall be necessary to comply with the four year statute of limitations for anyone claiming to overturn a tax deed foreclosure.
  12. Foreclosure, Short Sales, and Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure
    • a. Pending Foreclosure – Owners convey – Foreclosure suit to be dismissed and mortgage to be satisfied.
    • b. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – Title must be check to determine that there are no intervening liens (ie. second mortgages, judgments etc) that would attach to the property. An affidavit of solvency should be obtained.
    • c. Final Judgment of Foreclosure – Entity or person acquiring property thru Certificate of Title conveys. The foreclosure action shall be reviewed to determine if the proceeding were handled properly.

WHERE IS PROPERTY LOCATED?

  1. Capital Assessments and Municipal Liens – Are they to be paid or prorated?
    • a. Drainage and Road Maintenance
    • b. Water and Sewer Assessments
    • c. Seawall and Waterway Assessments
    • d. Code Enforcement Liens
    • e. Charlotte County Utilities & City of Punta Gorda Utilities
    • f. Other Assessments which may be levied by the County.
  2. Encroachments Into Easements and Set Backs
    (Requires Release from County and/or GDC)

    • a. Minor – Sidewalks, drives, A/C slab, porches, pool decks, fences, utility shed, docks – A Florida Form 9 Endorsement to the Lender’s and Owner’s Title Policy may be issued
    • b. Major – House structure, pool, garage, boat house, permanently set utility shed – Proper releases must be obtained to issue a Florida Form 9 Endorsement to the Lender’s and/or Owner’s Title Policy.
  3. Restriction Violations (Requires Release from 51% of Owners)
    • a. One or Two Story Residences
    • b. One or Two Car Garage
    • c. 20′ or 25′ Canal Maintenance on Waterways
    • d. Not enforceable under the 30 year Marketable Record Title Act

WHAT LIENS ARE AGAINST THE PROPERTY?

  1. Mortgages
    • a. Bank – Obtain copy of payment coupon or monthly statement together with authorization from mortgagor.
    • b. Private – Holders name, address, phone and copy of amortization schedule
  2. Judgments – Valid for 10 years – Certified copy must be filed of record and must show or accompanied by an affidavit showing the address of the plaintiff – a certified copy may be refilled prior to the expiration for an additional 10 years, totaling 20 years.
  3. Federal and State Tax Liens – Valid for 20 years
  4. Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes
    • a. Taxes must be current for issuance of Title Policy – Exception for subsequent years which are not yet due and payable.
    • b. Delinquent Taxes must be redeemed
  5. Mechanics Liens – Active Notice of Commencement
    • a. Valid for 1 year
    • b. Filing of Mechanics Liens is limited to 90 days after the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.
    • c. Notice of Commencement may be valid for more than 1 year if stated on instrument.
  6. Lot Mowing Liens & Code Enforcement Liens – Must be released for issuance of Title Policy.
  7. Homeowners Association and Condominium Association Liens.
    • a. Must be current
    • b. Current due may be prorated for period
    • c. May require approval and payment of application fee