Real estate is one of the most important industries in the United States. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) estimates that this sector of the economy makes up nearly 12% of our nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). For many people, a real estate purchase (or real estate sale) is one of the most consequential transactions that they will ever make. 

Whether you are buying or selling residential or commercial property, it is crucial that you have an understanding of the real estate closing process. At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, we represent buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, developers, and brokers. Here, our Coral Gables real estate attorney highlights five key things that you need to know about the real estate closing process in Florida. 

  1. A Real Estate Closing is the Final Step in the Buying and Selling Process

To start, it is important to understand that a real estate closing is the final step in a transaction for the buying/selling of real property. The Legal Information Institute defines a real estate closing as the culmination of a deal and the moment “when the parties exchange deeds for payment and final signatures.” In other words, a real estate closing is the formal part of the process whereby the ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Most notably, a real estate closing is when the buyer pays the purchase price, and the seller officially transfers the property’s ownership to the buyer. Until a deal is “closed,” it is not done. Terms can change—and the transaction could potentially still be called off. It is important to get the closing right. 

  1. Funds are Protected Within an Escrow Account

Once an initial agreement to purchase real estate is reached, the buyer will generally put down some money as a deposit. You may hear these funds referred to simply as earnest deposit money. These funds are used to “hold” the property while the deal is going through the closing process. 

Where does this money go? It is typically held in escrow. An escrow account is set up by a neutral third party, known as an escrow agent, to hold the funds for the purchase of the property until the closing. The escrow agent acts as a neutral intermediary and ensures that the funds are disbursed correctly at the time of closing.

As explained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), escrow is legally required for certain types of mortgage transactions. Though even when not required, escrow accounts are still used in virtually all residential and commercial real estate transactions. If you have any questions about escrow, an experienced Florida real estate closing lawyer can help. 

  1. A Title Search and Title Insurance are Key Parts of a Real Estate Closing for Buyers

How do you know who owns real estate? How do you know that the property in question is free and clear of any potential claims? This is where a title search comes into play. For homebuyers and commercial property buyers in Florida, a title search is a critically important aspect of the closing process. Among other things, a title search involves researching the history of the property to ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property. All buyers should consult with a Florida real estate closing lawyer who has experience with a title search. Title insurance is also important. Simply put, title insurance is a form of coverage that protects the buyer from any potential claims or disputes that may arise from the title of the property.

  1. The Timeline of the Real Estate Closing Process Varies Based on Several Factors 

One of the most common questions that people have about real estate transactions in Florida is: How long does the real estate closing process typically take? The most accurate answer is that it depends on a wide range of different factors, including the complexity of the transaction, the type of property, and the availability of all parties involved. For residential real estate in South Florida, a general timeline for a real estate closing is 30 to 60 days. In other words, it typically takes somewhere between one month and two months from the date an agreement is reached until a residential real estate transaction is finalized (closed). Commercial real estate closings typically, but not always, take a bit longer to close. 

  1. Get it Right: Residential/Commercial Transactions Can Fall Apart Until the Last Minute

One of the most important things to remember about real estate closings is that the transaction is not done until the closing is complete. Even when an agreement has been reached, and all parties are on good terms, many different issues can still arise. Indeed, it is not uncommon for things to go wrong in a real estate transaction between the agreement and the actual closing. 

It is essential for buyers, sellers, and other implicated parties to review all documents and be aware of any contingencies that could potentially disrupt the closing process. Even in the last stages of the process, it is important to be vigilant to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly. You do not have to go it alone. A Florida real estate lawyer with experience handling title issues and real estate closings can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights and your interests are protected each and every step of the way. 

Contact Our Coral Gables, FL, Real Estate Closing Lawyer Today

At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our Florida real estate lawyers are committed to representing buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, developers, and brokers with a comprehensive range of real estate and title needs. If you have any questions about real estate closings, we are here to help. Call us at 305-669-5280 or send us a direct message for a confidential consultation. From our Coral Gables law office, we are well-positioned to handle real estate closings throughout Southeast Florida. 

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We service all your real estate needs in the entire State of Florida. We are your “real estate lawyer near me”.

As a buyer or seller of real estate in Florida, it is never prudent to rely on a real estate agent or broker to handle your real estate transaction. Realtors are excellent at what they do, which is bringing buyers and sellers together. However, when it comes to giving advice regarding a Real Estate Contract, the did not attend law school and are not experts in contract law. It always makes sense to hire a real estate lawyer to protect you every step of the way. What you pay is nominal for peace of mind.

What can you expect to pay a real estate lawyer? Depends on the transaction. Fees generally start at $450.00 and depending on the scope of work, whether you need an As Is Contract for Sale and Purchase prepared, title work, lien search, etc.

Always hire a real estate lawyer near me to protect your interest.


706 S. Dixie Highway Second Floor Coral Gables FL 33146

(305) 669 5280


If you have a HELOC or Home Equity Line of Credit that is either in default, unpaid, past due or written off with the lender/charged off as bad debt, the lien against your property will remain there, even if the lender is not reporting it on your credit report. Often HELOC mortgages that are unpaid or in default do not engage in collection practices, but rather wait for the borrower to sell their property in order to get paid. Just because the loan is not being reported on your credit report, does not mean it does not exist, nor that the lender does not expect to be paid in full.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines, PA we have been assisting borrowers with settling the debt owed on Second Mortgages and HELOC loans for over 21 years. We have been successful in settling these suits for pennies on the dollar since often the HELOC Second Mortgage lender does not have their documents in order ( assignments, note, mortgage), the statute of limitations has expired or there is little to no equity on the property. Calculating the Fair Market Value is a very important step in the negotiation and it is important to hire the right professional to make sure repairs, and other significant value mitigators are taken into consideration.

When looking for a professional to negotiate your mortgage debt, make sure that the lawyer has significant experience doing so. At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA owner/attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq. is not only an attorney, but she is also an Accountant and realtor, which provides the necessary tools to determine value, comparative sales and equity. With over 21 years experience in the debt settlement/mortgage industry and 26 in the Accounting business, attorney Salcines and her knowledgeable staff can help you get the best outcome for your HELOC Settlement.

The first consultation is always free and can provide meaningful advice as to how to proceed to settle your debt. Consult today.


HELOC Home Equity Line of Credit Settlements
Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.

Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA

706 S. Dixie Highway

Second Floor

Coral Gables, FL 33146

Tel: 305 660 5280


The Coronavirus and Force Majeure Clauses in Contracts – SALCINESLAW

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) taking over the country and businesses, businesses are now seeking to determine whether they are obligated to perform under their contracts, or whether they can invoke a force majeure clause to excuse performance temporarily or even permanently.

Force Majeure Clauses Generally

Not all contracts contain force majeure clauses and even if they dont, there are still protections afforded by law. The force majeure clause is a contractual provision which excuses one or both parties’ performance obligations when circumstances arise which are beyond the parties’ control and make performance of the contract impractical or impossible.[1]

Force majeure events typically enumerated in contracts include:

  1. acts of God, such as severe acts of nature or weather events including floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or explosions;
  2. war, acts of terrorism, and epidemics;
  3. acts of governmental authorities such as expropriation, condemnation, and changes in laws and regulations;
  4. strikes and labor disputes; and
  5. certain accidents.[2] Economic hardship typically is not enough to qualify as a force majeure event on its own.[3]

Determining whether a force majeure clause can be invoked depends on the specific language of a contract. Generally, force majeure clauses are confined to situations of the kind or nature which limit damages in a case where the reasonable expectation of the parties and the performance of the contract have been frustrated by circumstances beyond the control of the parties.

State Specific Requirements for Force Majeure Clauses: Florida

The CDC defines an epidemic as an outbreak of disease that infects communities in one or more areas, and a pandemic is an epidemic which spreads across the globe. If a contract at issue lists epidemics or pandemics as a force majeure event, the claiming party could argue that the coronavirus qualifies in light of the fact that is has been officially declared a pandemic by World Health Organization.

If a force majeure clause does not list epidemic or pandemic as a triggering event, it is possible that the coronavirus could be covered as an act of governmental authority in some areas, given that many governments, including the United States government, have instituted lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

If a listed force majeure event occurs, however, there is still further analysis required to determine whether invocation will be successful.

Under Florida law, a party seeking to invoke a force majeure clause must show that the force majeure event was unforeseeable, and that the force majeure event occurred outside the party’s control. This means that the claiming party must show that the event could not have been prevented or overcome, and there additionally cannot be any fault or negligence on the part of the claiming party.

Some contracts additionally require that the claiming party give the other contractual parties notice before invoking a force majeure clause. If the claiming party does not give proper notice as set forth in the contract, it could preclude successful invocation of a force majeure clause.

Businesses seeking to invoke the force majeure clause of their contracts likely have a strong argument that the coronavirus outbreak is an unforeseen event, unless the parties entered into the contract after the outbreak of coronavirus. Whether businesses have also attempted to perform their contractual duties despite the coronavirus outbreak, and whether that is even required under a particular contract are questions that must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Other Options: Impossibility/Impracticability and Frustration of Purpose

If a party is unable to successfully utilize a force majeure clause to excuse performance during the coronavirus outbreak, or if a contract does not contain a force majeure clause, other options may still potentially be available to excuse performance, such as the defenses of impossibility and impracticability. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) provides that a seller is excused from performing under a contract when “performance as agreed has been made impracticable by the occurrence of a contingency the non-occurrence of which was a basic assumption on which the contract was made or by compliance in good faith with any applicable foreign or domestic governmental regulation or order whether or not it later proves to be invalid.” The Restatement (Second) of Contracts defines impossibility as “not only strict impossibility but impracticability because of extreme and unreasonable difficulty, expense, injury or loss involved.”

If a contract does not contain a force majeure clause, and an impossibility or impracticability defense fails, another possible defense for a party unable to fulfill its obligations under a contract due to the coronavirus is frustration of purpose. For the doctrine to apply, “the frustrated purpose must be so completely the basis of the contract that, as both parties understood, without it, the transaction would have made little sense. ”Put differently, frustration of purpose occurs where “a change in circumstances makes one party’s performance virtually worthless to the other, frustrating his purpose in making the contract.” Business should be mindful, though, that economic hardship such as an increase in the cost of performing under a contract is not enough to assert a frustration of purpose defense.


The coronavirus is having a significant and harmful impact on businesses and their ability to perform under their contracts. However, whether a claiming party can successfully invoke a force majeure clause, an impossibility/impracticability defense, or a frustration of purpose defense in order to excuse performance due to the coronavirus is a fact intensive inquiry and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Contractual parties must look to the specific language of the contract, including the applicable law, to determine their likelihood of success.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A Salcines PA we are here to help. With over 21 years experience interpreting contracts and practicing business law. the best defense is to hire the right lawyer. Let our experience go to work for you. We can assist virtually, by phone, facetime or skype. Call or email us today.


The Coronavirus and Force Majeure Clauses in Contracts


COVID-19 has caused many buyers to want to cancel contracts either dealing with real estate purchases, vessel purchases, materials or equipment. Many contracts in Florida contain a Force Majeure clause that permits closing dates to be extended, or even cancelled if there is an act of God, terrorism, hurricanes, accidents, storms or other events “beyond the Seller’s control” that do not permit the contract to go through or be completed.

Not all Force Majeure clauses are written the same. And not all Force Majeure clauses permit cancellation. Most allow for postponement or time periods to be extended, particularly closing dates, due to the inability to comply with the contract terms.

We are getting many calls daily to review contracts for buyers and sellers to interpret the Force Majeure clause in their particular contracts. If you need a contract reviewed, free of charge, the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines is here to help.

Call us, email us, Skype or Facetime. We are one phone call away and happy to help our community in this time of need.


305. 669. 5280

If you are buying, selling or refinancing real estate, the most important decision you can make is to hire the right Real Estate Lawyer to represent you. Hiring a real estate lawyer to oversee the transaction and make sure that the transaction goes smoothly is what we are here for.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our real estate lawyers in Miami have over 31 years experience in closing residential and commercial real estate transactions. As both an Accountant and a Real Estate lawyer, attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines has closed more than 5,000 transactions and has the knowledge and experience to represent you in your real estate closing.

Did you know that in Florida, neither the seller, nor the bank can force you to use their title company. This is called coercion and there are laws against it. However, in Florida, if you do not select a title company, the lender will select one for you. Or worse, your realtor will recommend one or the seller will choose, leaving you at the mercy of others. And unprotected!

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA our real estate lawyers serve buyers and seller from all over the globe with their real estate closing transactions. Whether buying a home, an investment property, a duplex, an income producing property, or a commercial land or vacant land, we have the knowledge and experience to protect you as a purchaser of real estate.

We handle the following real estate transactions for our clients:

  • As Is Residential Transactions
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Escrow deposits
  • Title Review, Title Examination and Title Insurance
  • Lien Searches
  • Real Estate closings
  • Sale by Owner transactions
  • 1031-Exchanges
  • FIRPTA and 1040 NR filings
  • Landlord Tenant Matters
  • Commercial and Residential Leases
  • Landlord Tenant evictions
  • Real estate litigation

Buying, selling or refinancing real property is often the largest investment that a person does in their lifetime. Don’t go it alone. Hire the services of an experienced real estate lawyer.


Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.
706 S. Dixie Highway
Second Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Tel: 305 | 669 | 5280


With its single taxation for residents, homestead exemption protection, booming tourism ,and wonderful climate, Florida has long been a desirable state for real estate investors.

Florida is also a tax-friendly state for real estate investors, providing one more reason to put your property investment dollars in the Sunshine State. Here’s what you need to know about Florida’s tax laws as a real estate investor, as well as an overview of how Florida’s tax system works for real estate investing.

Florida Income Tax on Real Estate Investing

Alongside Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, and Texas, Florida does not collect personal income tax. That doesn’t mean you won’t pay income tax to the IRS for federal taxes, but it does mean you will  pay less overall income tax in Florida.   Even if you don’t live in Florida, you can benefit from the state’s lack of income tax as a foreign investor in real estate.  Here’s how:

When conducting real estate transactions, collecting rent, or earning commercial property dividends from a Florida real estate investment, you will be taxed at the state’s franchise rate if you operate as a “C” type corporation. You can get around this by filing as an “S” corporation, but there are still easier ways to escape business taxes in Florida.

#1 Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships

Sole proprietorships are defined as businesses owned by a single individual, and in Florida there is no distinct business or corporate tax on sole proprietors. And since there is no income tax leveraged on individuals in Florida, you can invest in real estate as a sole proprietor without paying state income tax.

The same goes for partnerships; Florida does not leverage a state-specific tax on partnerships. And while most states tax the revenue generated from partnerships, Florida does not. This means you can invest in Florida real estate as either a sole proprietor or partnership without paying state income tax.

#2 LLC

Though perhaps a little more confusing, operating as an LLC in Florida can still afford real estate investors the benefit from Florida’s lack of an individual income tax. But, the LLC has to be setup properly to enjoy this tax benefit.

To form an LLC in Florida while living in another state, you’ll need an agent living in Florida to serve as a “resident agent”. If your LLC is composed of multiple members, it will usually be treated as a partnership for tax purposes, meaning you will not pay state income tax. Furthermore, if you are the only owner in your LLC, it will be treated as a “disregarded entity”, and you won’t pay state income tax.

Be aware, though, that it’s possible to setup an LLC so that it’s treated as a corporation under Florida’s tax code, which would result in paying Florida taxes. So, use a professional to setup your LLC to avoid paying Florida income tax.

Watch Out for These Complications

Florida’s lack of a personal income tax makes it a great place for real estate investors to conduct business. However, there are a few ways this picture can be complicated by external factors.

First off, depending on what state you live in, your state may leverage an income tax on income generated out of state, even if that income comes from a non-taxable legal entity in Florida.

Similarly, if the legal entity that you’ve formed to operate in Florida conducts business in other states, you may fall victim to “nexus” based taxes. “Nexus” exists when a business operates in more than one state, and the rules and regulations for businesses that fall into this category are extremely complicated. Again, consult tax and legal professionals before doing anything relating to taxes and real estate investing.

Things To Consider Regarding Out-of-State Real Estate Investing

From a tax perspective, there are numerous benefits for real estate investors in Florida. But if you live outside of Florida, there are logistic concerns to keep in mind.

Anytime you invest in real estate outside your home area, you need to do a great deal of out-of-town research to learn where to purchase investment properties. Plus, from a financial perspective, managing properties and tenants from long distance can be impractical, besides dramatically cut into your profits.

The solution, then, is to use a real estate attorney and local realtor.

There are major tax benefits for real estate investors in Florida, compared to most every other state.

If you are interested in real estate investing in Florida, consult with us today  to learn how you can take advantage of Florida’s tax laws. Hopefully, you can significantly increase your profits by avoiding state income tax in Florida.

By navigating around the tax laws and benefits of investing in Florida,  we are here to help you.

We offer free phone consultations, and a no cost review of your case. 

Call us today.   305.669.5280 and see how we can help you.

About the Author:

Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq is the Owner and Managing Partner of the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, P.A. Real Estate and Business Law Group. With over 20 years experience including holding a dual degree in Accounting, her broad knowledge of REAL ESTATE LAW serves to aggressively protect and defend our firm’s clients, foreign investors, real estate buyers and sellers.

Call us today to set up a  free consultation to discuss your specific needs. We are here for you!

Main office 305 | 669 | 5280. Or email the attorney directly:


Jacqueline A. Salcines

Jacqueline A. Salcines

TEL. 305 669 5280



With the South Florida market experiencing a boom in sales and values, there is more great news to assist qualified buyers with their real estate purchases.  Starting January 2018, FHFA has increased the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans.  This means that the limits to purchase, prior to  the mortgage being considered a jumbo loan, are higher.

Starting on January 1, 2018, the loan limits for conventional loans has increased from $424,100 to $453,100.

With house prices on the rise, this is great news for buyers looking to finance their purchases.

Real Estate Buyers now have more purchase power under conventional funding.  And current or prior qualified jumbo pre-approved buyers and borrowers may qualify for traditional financing now, possibly at a lower interest rate and a lower down payment.  This equates in more opportunities to close on those real estate deals for realtors and sellers alike.

Don’t go it alone.  Always hire the services of a qualified real estate attorney owned title company to assist you in your real estate purchase and to help navigate all the confusing mortgage terms and conditions.

Whether you are buying real estate and require a mortgage or buying cash, before you sign the contract, reach out to us. We are here to help.  We offer a free legal consultation regarding your real estate contract, purchase or sale.

With over 18 years experience practicing real estate law, and holding dual licenses of both lawyer, realtor and accountant,  allow attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines to guide you.

We are a full service title company and handle closings from beginning to end.

Practice Areas

Real Estate Closings
Title Insurance
Lien Searches
Inspection report review and negotiations
Contract Law and review of Real Estate Contracts
Escrow law
Real Estate Litigation
Contact the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA today at (305) 669-5280 to schedule your legal consultation.
The Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines offers cost effective services designed to meet your individual needs and requirements. For strong legal representation, call us at (305) 669-5280 today! Attorney Jacqueline Salcines  has been handling all types of real estate transactions for over 17 years.

Main office 305 | 669 | 5280. Or email the attorney directly:


Jacqueline A. Salcines

Jacqueline A. Salcines

Jacqueline A. SalcinesJACQUELINE A. SALCINES, ESQ.
TEL. 305 669 5280


Hands - Holding HouseFlorida homeowners facing foreclosures may be able to obtain a 90 day reprieve or stalling on their case due to Hurricane Irma. Florida and Puerto Rico residents in disaster designated areas can obtain what is called or referred to as a “moratorium” on their foreclosure and forbearance on foreclosure proceedings.  However, the 90 day moratorium does not apply to ALL loans or ALL counties.  Certain restrictions for the government assistance apply for example, to FHA insured home mortgages.

Moreover, the county must be designated as eligible  As of the writing of this article, the following counties were eligible: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Volusia.

If you have a pending foreclosure, foreclosure sale or foreclosure trial, you may be eligible to hire us to file a Motion to have the moratorium stop your case for the 90 days in order for you to recover.

Call us today.

Florida residents may also call their  recovery assistance representatives to see if they are eligible.  This information can be found by visiting and

Also, Florida has two HUD Field Offices:

Jacksonville Office
Charles E. Bennett Federal Building
400 W. Bay Street, Suite 1015
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 232-2627
Fax: (904) 232-3759
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Miami Office
Brickell Plaza Federal Building
909 SE First Avenue,
Room 500
Miami, FL 33131-3028
Phone: (305)536-4456
Fax: (305) 536-5765
TTY: (305) 536-4743
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday


Call us today for a free no obligation consultation.

Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines, PA

706 S. Dixie Highway

Second FL

Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Tel.  305  669  5280




Are you purchasing real estate in Florida?  Selling real estate in Florida? Are you about to enter into a real estate contract and relying on your realtor to hold your escrow deposit? Cases of escrow deposit comingling or fraud are on the rise.  Escrow agents in Florida hold a fiduciary duty to the buyer or seller to hold escrow deposits on real estate contracts in a special account, not comingled with personal funds, until the conclusion of the real estate transaction.  In my firm, when I represent sellers, I always have the escrow deposit held in my firm’s trust account, to guarantee that the escrow deposits are in fact made, are held during the pendency of the real estate closing, and disbursed correctly at the time of closing. 

As a buyer, you want to make sure your escrow deposit is safe and not in the hands of someone that could use the funds and commit theft or fraud.

Whether you are about to sign a contract and need an Escrow Agent or require the services of a competent, real estate attorney,  allow the Real Estate Law Firm of Jacqueline A. Salcines to guide you.

We are a full service title company and handle closings from beginning to end, including the safekeeping of your escrow deposit.

Practice Areas

  • Real Estate Closings
  • Title Insurance
  • Escrow Agent
  • Contract Law
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Short Sales
  • Debt Settlements
  • Negotiations

Contact the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA today at (305) 669-5280 to schedule your legal consultation.

The Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines offers cost effective services designed to meet your individual needs and requirements. For strong legal representation, call us at (305) 669-5280 today! Attorney Jacqueline Salcines  has been handling all types of real estate problems for 17 years. If you have an issue with a contract, title insurance, tax deeds, quiet title or any real estate issue, contact our probate and real estate attorney!

 Main office 305 | 669 | 5280. Or email the attorney directly:


Jacqueline A. Salcines

Jacqueline A. Salcines

TEL. 305 669 5280