Attorney review refers to the time frame buyers have to hire an attorney, have them review the contract, and either cancel it for any reason other than purchase price, or suggest modifications to it. It is typically five business days from the date the seller signed the contract, but it can be extended if needed.

You may cancel the contract for any reason, other than purchase price, in the first five business days. This time frame can be extended by having us send a letter to the seller’s attorney requesting an extension.

Yes.  The standard multi-board contract has a few provisions that are challenging for a lot of buyers to comply with.  We have a standard letter that we send that makes these provisions easier for you to adhere to.

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.

See our Instant Quote Tool on our website.

Yes.  Sometimes our clients ask us to write a large amount of letters, counter-offers and addendums and as a result we must raise our fees. Additionally, if the amount of emails or telephone calls we receive from our clients becomes excessive we will charge additional fees for all emails or phone calls.  Our clients will be notified before this occurs.

Our fees are paid at the closing and are simply added to all other fees you pay at the closing. You only need to bring one check, payable to the title company, to the closing.  The title company then pays the attorneys, the realtors, the lenders and the seller.

Tell our office ASAP and we will amend the contract.

A/I and AA refer to attorney review and inspection time frames.  It means your earnest money is due after the 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. There is an additional $100 fee for this service.

It means your realtor represents both you and the seller.

Whoever is listed as the buyer on the contract is who will take title at closing. If you wish to add another person to the title, you must have this approved by your lender in writing.

It depends entirely on your lender, some allow it and other do not.  After you speak with your lender, if they agree that your spouse can be on the title without being on the mortgage, let us know and we will handle it at closing.

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In Illinois, inspections are not required, but almost all purchasers have one performed.  When you purchase a home in Illinois, you are buying it “as is” and the inspection can reveal the major deficiencies in the home.

Immediately.  Ask your realtor or us for referrals to quality home inspectors in your area as soon as the seller signs the contract.  Ideally, you should have the inspection performed within three days of the seller signing the contract.

No.  The standard contract in Illinois only allows buyers to ask the sellers to repair a very limited set of items.  This includes only the major components (i.e., electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) that are defective or non-operational at the time of the inspection.  The contract specifically states that just because an item is old or at the end of its useful life, does not mean it is defective, and therefore is not cannot be requested to be repaired or replaced per the contract. Often, non-lawyers will encourage buyers to ask for cosmetic or other non-covered repairs.  This can often result in excessive negotiation which will can increase your legal fees and costs and which has no legal basis in your contract. Remember that items of routine maintenance such as HVAC servicing or cleanings are NOT part of your inspection contingency.

Your inspector should provide you with a summary report of the inspection, which will identify the major concerns or hazards of the home. If they did not- you should ask for them make a separate summary page.

Sometimes.  It depends on how many items you are asking the Seller to fix and where those items are addressed in the report.

Yes and no.  Realtors and lawyers have seen a lot of inspections before, but we are not licensed contractors and we cannot tell you if something is major or how much it may cost to repair.  However, we can help you understand what your contract allows you to ask for and what is specifically does not.

Yes, but you need to ask for permission to extend the five-day period and you need permission to have a contractor come to the seller’s house first. You should talk to us about this ASAP if you think this is necessary.

No.  You can only ask for those items that are on the inspection report- call your inspector and have them change the report immediately.

Buyers have five business days from the date the seller signed the contract to do the following:

  • Have an inspection performed;
  • Review the inspection report;
  • Send us an email with a list of all the items you want the seller to repair or address based on that inspection report;
  • Have our office send the seller’s attorney a formal letter requesting repairs be made.

Let us know ASAP that you cannot meet this deadline and we will request an extension for you.  Note that most extensions are only a couple business days, so time is of the essence.

So long as you are still in the first five business days of the seller signing the contract, you may cancel the contract by notifying our office in sufficient time. Otherwise, a failure to reach agreement with the seller over repairs may enable a cancellation.

That is completely your decision.  Your realtor can provide more information and literature about radon and the hazards it poses. You can also find a lot of information about radon online.

Yes.  Often times, we send the initial list of repair items to the seller and explain that we need an extension of the inspection time frame for the radon only.  It helps expedite the attorney review process to make sure you close on time.

No. You may still have an inspection performed, and you may cancel the contract in the first five business days if the inspection reveals major issues with the home, but you cannot ask the seller to repair any items or ask for a credit in lieu of repair.

There is no set time frame for them 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.

You cannot. The contract gives you five business days to send the inspection letter and the Seller five business days to respond.  If they do not respond, your only recourse is to terminate.

The sellers will provide receipts for the work performed unless otherwise noted.  You can also verify much of these repairs at the walk-through prior to closing.

Yes, and they often do.  We cannot predict what a seller will say or do, but most of them counter.

Yes and no.  The seller’s also have five business days to cancel the contract for any reason.  Beyond those five business days, if the buyers and sellers cannot resolve the inspection items within ten business days, then either the seller or buyer can cancel the deal.

Yes. Your realtor will help you get the money back after the cancellation notices are sent.

Most buyers think their sellers are being unreasonable and most sellers think buyers are being unreasonable.  The important thing to remember is that buying a home is a business decision, an investment, and we encourage all of our clients to treat it as such and to take a long-term view of all areas of disagreement.

Yes, if the seller agrees to it.  In our attorney review letter, we can advise the seller that you are willing to accept a credit when you ask them for the repairs.

No, but you can specify that it be done by a licensed professional.

Ideally, the buyer receives them a few days before the closing.  Practically, they are often not given until we get to the closing.

No. Under no circumstances are buyers allowed to supervise work the seller does in the home.

Yes. You may decline some or all of the items, but the buyer can cancel as a result of your response.

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