Buying A Home
Property law is an entire course in law school. When buying a home- you will need someone who understands those rules in detail to protect yourself. I will personally provide advice directed toward solving your problems throughout your real estate transaction whether you are a buyer or a seller.
Why do I need a Real Estate Attorney?
You need a lawyer for your real estate purchase because real estate is mostly imaginary. There are no property lines drawn out on the ground. There are no large signs proclaiming your ownership to the world. Ownership is a concept founded in philosophy, grounded in law, cemented in language, and entirely abstract. A home is probably the most expensive thing you will own and I want to make sure that you truly have that ownership.
What legal work do I need?
- Contract Review. A line-by-line review of your real estate contract to purchase conducted by an attorney. The standard form real estate contracts in Illinois contain a variety of options, conditions and provisions. Often the buyer will put down thousands of dollars in earnest money. This money can be lost completely if certain conditions are not met. I will do my best to provide you an understanding of that contract so that you do not lose thousands in earnest money.
- Negotiation and Attorney Approval. Under most contracts in Illinois, the buyer has an opportunity to inspect the property and then request that the seller to make repairs or give the buyer a credit. The seller has the right to reject this request. This negotiation needs to be based on the condition of the property and cannot be a re-negotiation of the price of the property. The buyer typically loses this right within five (5) business days. As a result, it’s very important to hire an attorney early in this process.
- Municipal Work. Each county and municipality in Illinois has its own rules about real estate. In some counties the buyer needs to pay tax to that municipality when purchasing. In other municipalities, the seller pays the tax. Occasionally, this tax is split between the seller and the buyer. I research the municipality with each transaction, contact said municipality and work to ensure that all government entities are satisfied with the transaction. Also, I will check what are called the tax pro-rations to ensure that the seller is not manipulating the numbers to his/her advantage.
- Checking the deed. This is the document that transfers ownership to you and it’s very important. For most people, a home is the most expensive thing that they own. That ownership is recorded on legal documents, mostly deeds. There are several different types of deeds and each one provides differing promises from the seller of the property. In Illinois, deeds contain a technical legal description of your property. This single document, a deed, is critical to establishing that you own your most significant investment. It requires legal review.
- Explaining the Mortgage documents. Banks usually require signatures on about 50-200 pages of documents. The type and complexity of the loan determines the number of pages required. Understanding the terms of that loan may provide critical information in reducing the overall cost of home ownership.
- Examining Seller Documents and Title Policy. In addition to the deed, the seller will be providing a title policy, affidavit of title, bill of sale and other documents. A bill of sale establishes a right to own the personal property, such as an air conditioner, that is often associated with the purchase of the property. An affidavit of title is a promise from the seller that s/he is actually conveying ownership of a property without legal problems to you. The title policy is an insurance policy that you’ll own. This insurance covers claims against your property, but certain exceptions often apply. You will want to understand those exceptions.