Whether you're closing on your dream home or an income property, buying real estate is a big investment. While it is not a requirement to have a lawyer at a real estate closing, the expertise of an attorney can simplify things, provide peace of mind, and save you from big mistakes that may hurt the deal or your wallet.
Here’s how an attorney can help:
- Open an Escrow Account: When your purchase and sale agreement has been reviewed and your offer is accepted, an escrow account is set up by a neutral third party to hold funds from the buyer, secure a deed from the seller, and when all the terms of the contract have been met, transfer the deed to the buyer and release funds to the seller. An attorney can ensure this is done correctly.
- Perform a Title Search and Obtain Your Title: A title search checks public records to determine and confirm a property's legal ownership. Before any real estate transaction goes through, you want to ensure that the title is clear. The reality is that you can purchase Chicago real estate without having any knowledge existing rights or claims on the property you’re buying. It happens all the time, and can be very costly to the buyer!
- Negotiate Closing Costs: Many consumers are taken advantage of in a real estate closing because they do not understand which fees are necessary and which have been added or inflated to make interested parties a few extra dollars. Having an attorney in your corner can curtail this.
- Review the Home Inspection: This is essential, as major problems are often caught during a home inspection. While issues with the home may be deal-breakers that kill the purchase, it is often possible to renegotiate the price of the property and work repair costs into the transaction. Whether it is a house, multi-unit or condominium, an attorney can review the inspection and strategize with you to come up with a plan that’s in your best interest.
- Review All Documents On Closing Day: There will probably be at least 100 pages to sign on your closing day. This is the last step of the process, but it is still nerve-wracking because things can still go wrong with any aspect of the closing. We’ll help ensure that everything is in order at the closing and scrutinize any curveballs that may emerge on the day of closing.
You’ve found your dream home, now you need to make sure that the transaction is handled correctly! Real estate transactions are a major investment, and having an experienced attorney in Illinois helping you through the closing can make your life a lot easier and protect you and your family.
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Did You Know?
- The Civil Rights Act of 1968 was a landmark piece of legislation that outlawed housing discrimination based upon several demographic factors like national origin, creed, or race.
- Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is becoming an increasingly important factor in buying a home. Pre-approval will give you a clear idea of what your price range will be and signal to a seller that you’re serious.
- Property Liens can be consensual or non-consensual. Consensual liens are imposed by a mutually-agreed upon contract between the creditor and the debtor. Nonconsensual liens are placed on property without the debtor's consent.
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The article above appeared in the Suburban Legal Group Newsletter: Protecting Your Investment: 5 Essential Steps in a Real Estate Closing | Issue 38 | June 2014