Due diligence is the exercise of the proper degree of care in the performance of an act as warranted by the circumstances. It is a Civil law concept usually encountered in contract law. This concept has also found its way in real estate law due to the numerous instances where real property buyers have been led into thinking that a particular property is what it is claimed to be. The application of due diligence begins prior to the signing of any contract. Background checks and title investigations concerning both the seller and the land sought to be purchased must be made in order to properly ascertain the claims of the seller. Furthermore, these acts have the tendency to unearth other issues not known to both parties such as obscure yet pending claims. Moreover, delving into the history of the land would also yield most if not all the titles and deeds associated with the parcel of land. In summation, all of the hard work and dedication associated with a successful and diligent purchase of property is made prior to the signing of a contract.