I’m Going to Be Buying a Property. When is the Best Time to Consult or Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

If you’re a first time home buyer, it is a really good idea to consult with a lawyer and review the entire process. This includes everything from looking for a home to deciding when to apply for your loan. You should discuss what to expect after you’ve signed a contract, what an inspection consists of, and what role it has in the process, and what to expect all the way through the process. By discussing the process, a first time home buyer can be prepared and know what to expect before even signing a contract.

If you have bought and sold real estate before, then you don’t necessarily need to consult with an attorney until you have signed a contract. I advise meeting with an attorney right after signing the contract, even if it hasn’t been accepted by the seller yet. While you don’t officially need an attorney or a real estate broker, it is a great idea to have both a broker and an attorney, as each one can play a vital role in the process. A broker can help you identify the proper price for a property, while the attorney can ensure the contract is protecting you, and that you are getting exactly what you think you’re getting.

What Role Would My Attorney Play in Financing? What and When Do I Need to Get Started?

An attorney’s role in financing begins at the closing, where the buyer’s attorney will review all of the documents prepared by the lender and ensure that those documents accurately reflect the loan terms that were represented to the buyer. There is nothing worse than a buyer thinking that he or she is signing for a 30-year mortgage at 3%, only to find out that at the closing that they are really signing for a 20-year mortgage at 4%. Attorneys will ensure that the lender’s documents are securing the mortgage property on the correct piece of real estate. In summary, the attorney’s role is to make sure that the financing is exactly as was represented to the buyer by the lender.

Is It Best to Be Pre-Approved Before You Purchase a Real Estate?

While you do not need to be pre-approved when purchasing real estate, it is strongly encouraged. Doing so can be very helpful, especially in what’s called a ‘seller’s market’, which is when properties are selling very quickly because multiple buyers are bidding for the same property. A buyer who has been pre-approved is more likely to win when there are multiple offers than someone who has not been pre-approved.

Will My Attorney Draft the Buy-Sell Agreement on My Behalf or Should We Stick with A Standard Agreement in Illinois?

It is common for residential transactions to use a standardized contract, as it makes the process much smoother. However, a standardized contract still requires knowledge of the transaction and of the contract itself and is not user-friendly enough for the average person to fully understand all of its details. People who have been trained in the industry, like real estate attorneys or brokers, are the typical people who will fill out and modify these contracts.

On the other hand, commercial real estate almost never uses a standardized contract. Most commercial real estate contracts are drafted by attorneys and tailored specifically to the commercial transaction.

What Are Some of The Factors that We Should Consider Before Selling Our Real Estate in Illinois?

There are four main things to consider before selling real estate. First, you need to research the real estate market and find a realistic sale price for your home. If you price it too high, it likely won’t sell. If you price it too low, you will lose out on potential money. Second, you must find out how much you owe on your existing mortgage. This will dictate whether you’re selling at a profit or a loss. Third, decide where you are going to move to. Fourth, you should know what your profit will be from the sale.

What Needs to Be Included in Seller’s Disclosure Form in Illinois?

All problems with the home should be disclosed. This includes problems with the walls, floors, electrical system, plumbing, roof, foundation, air conditioning, ventilation, asbestos, and more. Every single issue with the property needs to be disclosed if it meets one of the categories noted herein.

What Else Needs to Be Disclosed?

Any issue regarding the property that the seller is aware of, especially if not discoverable during a visual inspection, needs to be disclosed. There are significant consequences towards a seller who lies on the property disclosure form. It is highly encouraged to be as thorough as you possibly can be in your disclosures because if the buyer buys the property as represented, the seller is not held liable for any defect that was already disclosed.

Are There Any Pointers Regarding Title Insurance?

Title insurance is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued parts of the real estate transaction in Illinois. The seller buys the owner’s title insurance policy for the buyer and the buyer buys the lender’s title insurance policy for the lender. Title insurance is insurance that has a one-time premium payment that guarantees the owner of the property holds the highest degree of ownership in the property, and nobody can come onto the property claiming that they own the property.

The buyer has full assurance that the property title is being transferred to them, granting them ownership. Prior to closing, the buyer must make sure they know exactly what they are buying. It is common for claims to arise against title insurance of buyers. Common claims include delinquent taxes, which become the responsibility of the buyer, but the buyer can file a claim with the title insurance if the delinquent taxes were not disclosed or handled prior to the sale. There are many benefits to title insurance, but essentially, it is a way to ensure that a buyer is getting the ownership in the property that they think they are.

For more information on Real Estate Law, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.


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