Real Estate

Frequently Asked Questions about Real Estate Law

1. Do I need a real estate attorney when I am buying or selling a home?

Yes, for the following reasons:

  • When you are purchasing a home:
    • This is the biggest purchase you will probably make in your lifetime. The sales contract you signed is long and complicated and many protections you might have are time-driven. Once the time expires your protections are lost. Some of the time frames last from a couple of days to 30 days. If you are not ready to close, for example, you cannot get a mortgage (which is more involved than a pre-approval), you could lose your earnest money, and in addition, you could be sued.
    • You should have an attorney read the sales contract suggesting changes and requesting information and modifications in the time frame allowed. In addition, a lawyer typically monitors the mortgage clause requesting extensions from the Seller if your Lender needs more time to secure a full mortgage commitment for you, thereby protecting you and your earnest money.
  • When you are selling a home:
    • When you sell your property, you should hire an attorney who can provide services from ordering and clearing title to drafting closing documents including the deed. Your attorney also orders payoff letters for your mortgages, the survey, zoning and water certification.

2. I just signed a Sales Contract, how long do I have to contact an attorney?

You should contact an attorney within 24 hours of signing a Sales Contract whether you are the buyer or the seller. There are important deadlines that will be missed if you wait to contact an attorney.

3. Some Real Estate Agencies tell me I can save money using their company for all my services, why should I hire an outside attorney?

Many real estate companies are trying to sell you in-house services all packaged together, meaning the-attorney, mortgage and title services that are all part of their real estate company.

It is my belief that hiring individuals that are not financially tied to each other, i.e. attorney or, -a mortgage broker, who only works for you,- and not you and the real estate company, ensures that there is no conflict of interest restricting the ability to provide you with the best legal representation.

4. Weren’t my real estate property taxes paid at closing?

You were given credit from the Seller to pay the real estate taxes when the taxes come due and owing. You can find that credit by looking at your RESPA (the document you took to your accountant for your end of year income taxes) on the front page and it is marked “property taxes.”

5. When are the real estate taxes due?

Cook County taxes are typically issued in February and August, twice a year.

Contact Chicago Real Estate Law Attorneys

To schedule an appointment with a real estate attorney, call 773-878-4480 or contact us by e-mail.