Selling Your Home - Frequently Asked Questions

Selling your home takes a team of professionals. We specialize in representing sellers and have formed relationships with the area’s top surveyors, title companies and contractors to help you close quickly and inexpensively.

In Illinois the majority of buyers and sellers of real estate hire attorneys to handle their closings.  It is not illegal to not have an attorney, but the system in Illinois is designed to have attorneys handle closings. Sellers in particular must prepare several legal documents at the closing to clear the title and legally transfer the property to the buyers- for this reason most sellers hire attorneys. Failure to prepare documents correctly to transfer title can lead to lawsuits in the future.

A/I and AA refer to attorney review and inspection time frames.  It means the buyer’s earnest money is due after both lawyers have reached an agreement about all repair requests.

The realtors, if you have them.  Otherwise, our office can hold the earnest money in our trust account.

It means your realtor represents both, you and the seller.

Sometimes. Largely it depends on what the Buyer is requesting and what they are not. See below for more information about why you may not want the Buyer to send the entire inspection report.

Yes. Since our office and most real estate attorneys offer very low flat fees for real estate closings, we do not have the ability to draft formal letters back and forth to one another without charging our clients additional money.  The handwritten and signed letters are legally the same as a typed response.

No. The buyer can still have inspection performed, and they can cancel the contract in the first five business days if the inspection reveals major issues with the home, but they cannot ask you to repair any items.

There is no set time frame for us to respond but 2-3 business days is standard.  If both, the buyers and sellers, have not reached an agreement on the repair requests within ten business days of the seller signing the contract, then either party may cancel the contract and the buyer will get their earnest money back.

Somewhere between $500-$700, depending on the size of your lot.

Usually not.  The surveyors need access to your yard, but not your home.  If your home has a gate, then yes, you need to be home to let them in.

Absolutely – as long as they are licensed. Please let us know this ASAP so we do not duplicate efforts and order one on your behalf.

It is a letter stating the amount of the monthly assessment for your unit or home, that the assessment is paid and up to date, when the last payment was made, and any amounts due at closing. It is required in Illinois to sell your house.

We agree. In the past few years many associations have hired management companies that outsource the production of paid assessment letters and 22.1 disclosure documents. These management companies often charge extraordinary fees to produce very simple documents in an effort to make more money. Unfortunately, there is nothing our office can do about this – it was a decision your specific association made when they hired or outsourced to that company. We suggest you bring it up to the Board, so at least it does not happen to future sellers.

No. Lawyers only get involved in the legally significant events of the transaction and the buyer’s financing is not a legally significant event for a seller. Additionally, lenders are not permitted to disclose many aspects of a buyer’s financing.

It depends on a lot of factors.  Here is a list of items that most sellers need to pay for in a standard closing:

  1. Realtor fees: Usually 5-6%.
  2. Attorney fees: Please see our online calculator.
  3. Title Fees: These range greatly depending on purchase price.  They range from $2500-$7500 although a general average is $3,000. Our office will give you an exact title fee quote within a couple of weeks of opening your file.
  4. Survey (if applicable): Somewhere between $500-$700.
  5. Well and Septic (if applicable): $350.
  6. Association Paid Assessment Letter (if applicable): $200-500.
  7. Taxes (varies): See below.

In Illinois, real estate taxes are paid in arrears, meaning this year, you are paying for last year’s taxes.  As such, at the closing, you must give the buyer a tax credit for the period you owned the home. This is usually prorated at either 105% or 110%, because we assume that taxes will increase.

Last year’s tax bill multiplied by 105%, divided with 365 (number of days in a year), multiplied by the number of days between last year’s tax bill and closing.


Last year’s tax bill = $1,000 and Closing on January 31, 2019.
Tax proration: ($1000*105%)/365= $2.88 (per diem tax rate).
2018 proration: $1050.
2019 proration (31 days): 2.88 * 31= 89.28.
Total tax proration: $1139.28.

Please note that at various times during the year, one of the tax bill installments will have been paid and the other will not.  Depending on the time of the year, this will affect the above formula.

No.  You may suggest times that work best for you, but the closing needs to be scheduled based on a lot of people’s schedules including the buyers, the sellers, the buyer’s attorney, the seller’s attorney, and the title company’s availability. If you are closing at the end of the month, it is even harder to get the time you desire as this is when title companies are the busiest.

The closing will take place at the title company closest to the property address.  Usually there is a title company within 15 minutes of the property address.  Common towns for title companies include Gurnee, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Skokie, Irving Park, and downtown Chicago.

  • Yourself and anyone else on the title.
  • A photo ID.
  • If you need to bring money to sell your home- a cashier’s check made payable to the title company.


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