Step 6 to Buying a Home: Pick a Real Estate Attorney
Now that we’ve started to look at homes for you, you need to pick a Real Estate Attorney to represent you in the transaction. You don’t want to be the only one without an attorney if the sellers have an attorney. And, while some buyers say they don’t want an attorney to represent them, we strongly recommend it as the best outcome is a smooth sailing transaction with no problems.
However, it’s common for there to be at least one hiccup with every deal, some of which can be fairly complicated, which is why it’s important to have a good real estate attorney on your side. It’s basically an insurance policy in case things go wrong. This is also why we recommend hiring a REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY, not Uncle Bob who practices family law. No disrespect to Uncle Bob, but real estate in IL is very specific and it’s best to have someone represent you who knows the law inside and out.
So, what does the attorney do? The attorney:
- Reviews the contract and negotiates any change with the seller’s attorney
- Assists with the negotiation of any inspection issues
- Helps you further understand the contract and makes sure your interests are protected
- Helps you decide how to take title
- Makes sure the title is clear
- Files extension requests (inspection, attorney review, mortgage, etc.) as needed
- Works with your lender to ensure a timely loan commitment
- Closely reviews the settlement statement (HUD) including any taxes owed, adjustments, closing cost credits, etc. prior to closing
- Prepares all legal documents
- Schedules the closing
- Conducts the closing at a title company and explains all of the documents to you as you sign them
- Ensures title insurance is in order
The above list is IF everything goes perfectly. If it doesn’t and the contract needs to be cancelled, earnest money needs to be refunded, etc. the attorney will handle these items as well. This is why it’s crucial to have a good Real Estate attorney as part of your team.
How much does the attorney cost?
Typically in IL a real estate attorney charges between $275 – $500 depending on the time of the year and how busy they are. You do not pay them up front. Rather their fee is part of your closing cost and is paid at closing. If a contract is cancelled due to an inspection issue, etc. you generally do not have to pay the attorney anything unless the transaction closes.
Picking an attorney
Here are our favorite Real Estate attorneys: