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Posted 12/27/2023 by Empire Title Services

Kimberlee De Biase

Kimberlee De Biase

Kimberlee, give our readers a brief intro about what you do.

As an experienced real estate attorney, I am committed to ensuring that my clients are making informed decisions about their real estate purchases, sales, and refinances. With my team on your side, you will have the peace of mind that a professional is here to answer any questions you may have about the sale and purchase contract, requirements for closing, and settlement statement figures. I am also here to listen and to devise a plan when something unexpected such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or a dissolved business partnership affects your Florida real estate.

Readers would love to hear how you got started / how you got to where you are today.

I wasn’t one of those kids who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. In fact, when most teenagers were meeting with guidance counselors and researching which schools to apply to, I wasn’t even convinced that I should go to college. My family certainly couldn’t afford it. I ultimately decided to go to a state university to keep my debt on the lower end and I worked full-time to finance my education. I didn’t have a passion for a particular major and went with a general business degree.

It turns out that my degree didn’t qualify me for much aside from entry level sales positions or an administrative desk job. One of the best things that happened to me was getting let go from a job only a few months out of school. The next best thing that happened to me was a conversation with my aunt when she told me she could picture me being a great Realtor. We were watching American Beauty and Annette Bening’s character was desperately trying to sell a home. My aunt had also once told me that she could see me as the tour guide on Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride, so I had to think this advice through. Was I capable? Could I really show homes to people and sell them for a living? It sounded glamorous and like I’d have quite the learning curve. But I was excited about the goal. I took a course, passed the test, and reached out to a family member who was a Realtor to see if she’d mentor me. She agreed and we made a great team. I did well and earned the award of Rookie of the Year from the brokerage who held my license. But then the market changed drastically. Anyone remember 2006? Around that time, I’d attended a closing at the local go-to real estate attorney’s office and a former classmate of mine had just passed the bar exam and began working as an associate attorney there. I started thinking about how a career as an attorney would be more of a consistent income and I decided to see if I had what it took. With the help of a prep course, my LSAT score put some great schools within reach for me. I aimed high with Georgetown as my top pick. The rest of the schools I applied to were simply near a beach on either U.S. coast. The draw to Ft. Lauderdale was that I had a family member who lived there and offered to have me live with him rent free. Although I was disappointed by the rejection letter from Georgetown, I was over the moon when I got the call from Nova Southeastern University offering me a full-tuition scholarship worth $90,000.00.

I started law school with the same imposter syndrome I had when I decided to see if I could be a successful Realtor. I hadn’t been a political science major and had taken two-and-a-half years off between my undergraduate studies and law school. But I studied, and studied, and finished in the top 10% of my class. In the summer of 2009, I sat for and passed two states’ bar exams in the same week. I didn’t snag a real estate job right out of the gate though. I worked my way through practice areas such as collections, commercial litigation, and plaintiff's personal injury work. And when it seemed like I’d never be able to break into residential real estate closings, I left the practice of law to become an attorney recruiter. It was then that I read the job ad that would change the trajectory of my career. I’ve been a real estate attorney for more than 9 years now. I learned from an attorney with a brilliant, analytical mind and a desire to help people with the closing process. I honed my craft by examining the documents that make up the chain of ownership of properties and shadowing my mentor while he met with clients and facilitated closings.

What have been your biggest challenge(s) so far?

The biggest challenge I face is the wide-spread education of consumers about how important it is to have an experienced attorney on their side during the real estate sale or purchase process even though it may seem routine and as though there are already enough professionals, such as a Realtor, mortgage broker, home inspector, and insurance agent, involved in the transaction. It is never too early to speak with a real estate attorney to discuss what to expect, the common provisions of the sale and purchase contract, and what your obligations will be. But all too often, buyers and sellers hold off on reaching out to me until an issue arises and, at that point, the party may already be bound by certain contractual provisions and the cost to resolve the issue may exceed what it would have cost to be proactive and have an attorney on their side from the start.

What you’re most proud of / what readers should know about your work / what sets you apart from others.

We are a trusted resource for buyers, sellers, and Realtors from the contract negotiations through closing (and beyond). Because real estate is our sole focus, we are experts in our field. We serve the parties to our transactions by guiding them through the process, keeping them informed, simplifying legal concepts, and being accessible to answer questions. We also understand how important it is to close on time! Our team takes pride in our work and truly cares about the result that we get for everyone involved in the transaction.

What does success mean to you / what gives you most gratitude?

Success means working together to help each other reach our goals and dreams. The bottom line of what we do at Empire Title Services is we help people reach the dream of homeownership with the peace of mind that they have a knowledgeable legal team on their side. I am grateful for the buyers, sellers, and realtors who trust me with their business, as well as each member of our team who ensures that parties are taken care of every step of the way. By choosing Empire Title Services for their real estate closing, the parties that we serve also help me reach my goal of being a trusted and accessible advisor for their legal needs.

How do you envision the next 5-10 years?

I envision continued growth where more people and businesses move here to enjoy all that the Boca Raton area has to offer in the next 5-10 years.

What do you think is most unique about the city/population of Boca Raton and working with this community?

I think the most unique attribute of the Boca community is the love that we all have for our city. Whether someone was born and raised here or moved from the northeast (like I did), we all recognize just how special Boca Raton is. We have beautiful, sandy beaches, A-rated public schools, a university and athletic facility, the largest Jewish Federation campus, corporate headquarters, iconic hotel properties, small, walkable downtown areas, the Brightline, condo living and single-family homes. The community of Boca Raton quite simply has a heart.

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