Chicago Real Estate Lawyers

Seller’s FAQ’s

Do I need an attorney? How much does it cost?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney. With so much at stake, the relatively small fee charged to have an attorney working on your behalf is well worth it. And there is no fee unless the transaction closes. In other words, if the deal falls through, you will not have to pay any legal fees. When selling a home, sellers will be confronted with complex issues and a lot of paperwork that should only be dealt with by an attorney who is experienced in this area. Even the title companies believe each party should have their own attorney. In a recent press release, Peter J. Birnbaum, president and chief executive officer of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG), was quoted as saying “Buying a home is the most significant financial commitment most people will make … because so much is at stake, we believe an attorney should be involved in the process from the beginning.” To see the 10 reasons why you need to hire an attorney, look under the tab “Sellers” and click on “ten reasons seller.”

How do I hire you for my closing?

Call my office — toll free 312-815-6637 — and fax or email the contract. My fax number is 312-379-3163. My email address is [email protected].

What kind of closing costs can I expect to have as a seller?

Read about closing costs under “Sellers” and then “Seller Closing Costs.”

When should I get an attorney involved?

I recommend you contact our office right away — before you receive an offer. This way we can begin representing you immediately, which will allow us to review any contract BEFORE you sign it. Other people, however, wait until they accept a buyer’s offer. Please note though that you need to contact us immediately after accepting a buyer’s offer because there are important deadlines that begin to run after you accept the buyer’s offer.

What is a typical timeline for this type of transaction?

Please see “general timeline” under the “Sellers” tab.

What if the buyer walks away before the closing?

If all of the contingency deadlines have passed (attorney approval, inspection, mortgage commitment date, etc.), you may be able to retain the buyer’s earnest money as a penalty. However, it depends on the individual facts at the time the buyer walks away.

How long does it take from the time I accept a buyer’s offer to the actual closing?

Typically between 45 and 60 days, however, it may be longer or shorter depending on the individual circumstances.

If the buyer asks for certain repairs to be made during the inspection period, do I have to comply?

No, you do not need to comply. Keep in mind, however, that the buyer could then possibly walk away without penalty. Typically, we work those issues out and come to an agreement that is fair to both sides.

Please explain the property taxes in Cook County

In Cook County we pay our property taxes in arrears, which means that in 2010, we are paying 2009 taxes. Therefore, when you sell your home, you will have to give a credit to the buyer for the taxes not yet due while you lived in the home. Generally speaking, taxes are prorated around 105-110 percent absent special circumstances. That means that we are assuming that the taxes will go up 5-10 percent next year.

What is the “final walk-through?”

The final walk-through usually takes place the day before closing. Generally speaking, the buyer, along with their real estate agent will be looking through the home to make sure there are no problems. For example, they will be (1) making sure any agreed repairs have been made, (2) confirming that the appliances, furnace, hot water heater, etc. are still working, (3) confirming that any personal property of the seller(s) has been removed and (4) checking for any new damage due to the seller(s) moving out or other reasons. As the seller, you should make sure that the home has no new damage and is in broom-clean condition for the final walk-through.

Do you handle short sales?

Yes, Bradford Miller Law, P.C., handles short sales for both buyers and sellers. For more information, contact my office toll free at 312-815-6637.

Contact Bradford Miller Law, P.C.

To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Chicago real estate lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 312-815-6637. Meetings can be set up for weekdays, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. We charge reasonable fees for all services.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney before acting on any information.

Bradford Miller Law, P.C.
10 S. LaSalle
Suite 2920
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-238-9298
Toll Free: 312-815-6637
Fax: 312-379-3163
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