Whether you are buying or selling residential property, it is often an exciting and rewarding experience. Residential real estate transactions are commonly one of the most significant financial transactions of a person’s lifetime. With various complex legal documents and large amounts of money involved, selling or buying residential real estate can quickly become intimidating and confusing.
Residential real estate transactions generally overlap with multiple areas of law and involve various property types, such as single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, multi-unit apartments, and manufactured homes. Whether you’re buying or selling a home or investment property, having a residential real estate attorney can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and protect your best interest.
At Kasan Law, we understand that purchasing or selling residential property is a significant milestone for many people. Our real estate attorneys provide a variety of legal service, to both buyers and sellers, including:
Our real estate lawyers are available to help guide you through the entire residential property sale or purchase process.
In any residential property transaction, buyers and sellers should retain a real estate attorney to help ensure the process goes smoothly. In selling or buying residential real estate, there are many legal documents and steps involved, such as:
Purchase Agreement: After the residential property is selected, the buyer submits a written purchase offer to the seller. If the seller accepts the offer, the buyer and seller will have a legal contract. A contract to buy or sell real property is a binding and enforceable commitment between two or more people that imposes rights and obligations on each of the parties. The contract will govern the transaction by setting forth the rights and obligations of both the buyer and the seller.
Inspections: Before finalizing the residential property sale, buyers should retain a licensed professional home inspector for the property. Homes with unique features or systems may require an additional inspector that specializes in evaluating these if necessary. After the inspection complete, the licensed home inspector will compile a written document or report. The document or report is generated to advise you on the property conditions, particularly citing any costly flaws or defects. A professional inspection can give buyers a better idea of the property’s condition, structural integrity, and reveal issues. Illinois law requires home inspectors to be licensed, which involves a set of standard requirements, completion of the educational curriculum, and passing a state examination. Home inspections are permitted within a given time frame stated in your purchase agreement. It is imperative to have a professional home inspector, as it will reveal any issues that you or your agent lacked the knowledge to identify when you visited the property.
Legal Disclosure: In Illinois, the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act requires the seller to provide certain disclosures to potential buyers about the property’s conditions. A buyer is entitled to receive a written document of property concerns, particularly those that impact safety, health, and the property’s condition. Property disclosure forms require sellers to convey water flooding problems, code violations, and defects in systems such as plumbing, heating, or structural issues. The disclosures documents are typically provided by your realtor or attorney and should be signed by all owners.
Mortgage Financing: Purchasing a home is a significant financial decision. You may be entering a mortgage agreement that spans between 15 to 30 years. Lenders primarily adjust their loans based on variables, including the buyer’s credit history, credit score, income, the current volume of debt, amount to be borrowed, and available down payment. The home lending market is competitive. Therefore, considering offers from multiple sources is encouraged. Attorneys have knowledge of the mortgage process and other obligations such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, and private mortgage insurance.
Title Matters: Titles are documents used as proof of property ownership, a legal indicator of an individual’s right to an asset. How a title is structured or “held” will vary based on your circumstances and available options. In Illinois, property title can be “held” in different ways, including tenants in common, tenancy by the entirety, and joint tenancy. Lenders will arrange a title company to handle all the paperwork and ensure the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are purchasing.
Closing: The final step in the purchase is the closing process. For closing to occur, your broker or attorney will ultimately coordinate a time and location for the finalization of the transaction. The timing for this depends on the progress and completion of the many requirements contained in the contract. Your attorney will generally be involved with the activities leading up to closing, such as:
Closing is ultimately the culmination of the many concerns, including approvals of mortgage financing, title insurance, property inspections and surveys, and a host of other conveyance and closing documents. As a buyer, you will have to sign all the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including loan documents. Once the lender provides a check to the seller, you are clear to move into your new home. This process can occur at closing or take a few days.
At Kasan Law, our attorneys help buyers and sellers navigate the ins and outs of the real estate world, which might be confusing and overwhelming. We provide legal guidance through each step of the real estate purchase or sales transaction, including the preparation of contracts, ordering title commitments, closing, and post-closing matters. Ultimately, our goal is to make the process less cumbersome and help reduce the financial risk involved with the residential property’s sale or purchase.
At Kasan Law, our approach to lawyering enables us to efficiently provide creative, flexible, and individually tailored solutions to each client’s specific needs and legal issues. We offer reasonable hourly fee arrangements and offer flat-fee, hybrid, and, if possible, contingent fee litigation services. Our consultations are free and carry no obligations.
Whether your legal needs involve residential or commercial property, contact Kasan Law’s Chicago and Illinois residential and commercial real estate attorneys to schedule your free and no-obligation consultation by calling (312) 300-6724, e-mailing us at [email protected] to request a review of your case, or schedule your consultation online.