Buying and Selling Residential Real Estate in Illinois

Cook, Lake, Kane, Will, DuPage and McHenry County Real Estate Attorneys

The purchase or sale of your home will most likely be the largest and most important financial transaction in your lifetime. Consequently, it is vital that you take steps to protect yourself. It is highly recommended that you obtain a skilled attorney to handle the complexities involved. Steve and Gary Newland each have 20 years of representing clients in real estate transactions and have done many thousands of real estate closings. They are extremely experienced and knowledgeable in most all real estate matters.

Stage 1 - The Contract

A prospective Buyer presents a written offer to the Seller. This offer is usually presented to the Seller on a standard preprinted form provided by a real estate broker that serves as the Real Estate Sales Contract While the main focus is on the price, there are many other provisions contained within the preprinted form that are also extremely important Often time, once the price is agreed upon, both parties sign the contract without paying much attention to all of the other provisions contained therein.

Usually, the contract contains an attorney approval provision, which states that the contract is contingent upon the approval of the parties' respective attorneys within a specified time (three or five days, for example). Relying on this clause, Buyers and Sellers often enter into the contract and then soon after send the contract to an attorney for review. The attorneys then must negotiate the other terms of the contract with each other.

The Real Estate Sales Contract form contains many provisions in fine print. Some forms are very one sided, providing some protections to one party but leaving the other party vulnerable. Even with some of the protections already included in the contract, if a problem does arise, one of the parties may be at great risk of being forced to go through with the sale when they wanted to declare the contract and void, losing their earnest money deposit or having to pay tremendous monetary damages.

Contact an experienced Real Estate Attorney to learn more.

Stage 2 - Pre-Closing Process

Usually soon after the contract is accepted the Buyer has an opportunity to have a skilled inspector inspect the property. Depending on the terms of the contract, the Buyer may cancel the contract if the Seller refuses to repair any material defects that are discovered or refuses to credit the Buyer at closing. Once the contract is approved there is a lot to be done in order to meet the closing date set in the contract The Buyer should promptly apply for his or her loan. Meanwhile, the Seller's attorney performs many tasks such as ordering a title commitment for title insurance, a survey of the property, and requesting mortgage payoffs from the Sellers mortgage holders). Upon receipt of the title commitment, the Seller's attorney clears the exceptions noted on title and the Buyer's attorney approves the title commitment The Seller's attorney also prepares the necessary closing documents (Deed, Bill of Sale, Affidavit of Title and Transfer Declarations) and prepares a Closing Statement (estimate of the Seller's net proceeds from the sale of the property). Depending on where the property is located, the Seller is also responsible for the Municipal Transfer Stamp and Water Bill Certification, if necessary. The Buyer's attorney then reviews the closing figures and informs the Buyer. of the amount of money needed to close. The Buyer must also provide, at closing or sooner, proof of a hazard insurance policy for the property.

The Buyer's attorney carefully inspects the survey to look for encroachments. If there are encroachments, the attorney must advise the Buyer of the problems and possible solutions are explored.

The title commitment will indicate all recorded liens on the property, zoning law violations, encumbrances, easements, covenants and restrictions. These may result in possible defects in title that affect rights and ownership and steps must be taken to resolve those that may affect the Buyer's rights with respect to the property and possible problems that may result.

Contact an experienced Real Estate Attorney to learn more.

Stage 3 - The Closing

The Buyer and his or her attorney, the Seller and his or her attorney, a representative of the lender and a representative of the title insurance company are usually gathered at closing. Also, the listing real estate agent and the selling agent are usually present The Seller's attorney explains to the Seller all of the documents and has the Seller execute the required conveyance documents. The Buyer's attorney explains all of the conveyance documents including the loan documents and has the Buyer execute the loan documents. The Buyer's attorney also makes sure that the appropriate exceptions which appeared on the title commitment are waived and any endorsements are indicated on the title commitment to ensure that the final title insurance policy of which will be mailed to the Purchaser after closing will be issued correctly. If all is in order, the Seller receives that sale proceeds and delivers the keys to the Buyer.

Contact an experienced Real Estate Attorney to learn more.

Stage 4 - Post-Closing

The Buyer's attorney reviews the title insurance policy to make sure that all of the proper exceptions have been waived and that the Buyer indeed has proper title.

  • Please note that this guide is intended to inform Buyers and Sellers of residential real estate as to the general procedures involved in closing a real estate transaction. This guide is not intended to instruct individuals on how to close a real estate transaction. There are many complexities that arise when dealing with these types of transaction that have not been addressed in this guide. Please consult with a skilled attorney.

Contact the experienced Real Estate Attorneys at Newland & Nelwland, LLP to learn more.

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL