Step 9 to Selling Your Home: Hire a Real Estate Attorney

WHAT DOES THE ATTORNEY DO?

Usually the attorney will do the following, however, verify that your attorney will do all of the below before hiring him/her:

  • Review the contract to ensure all terms are within guidelines of HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development).  If needed, the necessary changes will be made to comply with HUD.  This will help avoid any last minutes issues with the lender issuing a final loan approval for the Buyer.
  • Prepare and review letters to negotiate and establish final terms of the contract during the attorney review period and upon completion of the home inspection.
  • Order title search on the property, prepare title commitment and provide a copy to the Buyer’s Attorney and Lender/Mortgage Broker. 
  • * Should any “clouds” appear on title, Seller’s Attorney will trouble shoot these items so that a “clear” title can be provided to the required parties.
  • Order the water certification.  This is required by the title company and must be provided at the time of closing.
  • Order a payoff on any outstanding loans on the property.  The funds needed to pay off the loan will then be sent via over night mail service the day of the closing to the appropriate party. 
  • Cooperate with the Buyer’s lender to provide any documentation necessary in order to expedite the Buyers final loan approval.  This includes but is not limited to a copy the sales contract, declarations & by-laws, title commitment, condominium insurance certificate, etc.
  • Preparation of all the necessary legal documents which include the Bill of Sale, ALTA Statement, Affidavit of Title, Power of Attorney, 1099 Statement, Warranty Deed and Closing Statement.
  • Obtain the local City transfer stamp which is required in order for the Warranty Deed to be recorded, which is the document of record that legally transfers ownership from the Seller to the Buyer.
  • Schedule the closing date, time and location with the title company.  Provide email notification to all parties of the closing date, time and location.
  • Attend closing to finalize the transaction between the parties, resolve any remaining unresolved contract issues, review and sign “Settlement Statement” on Sellers behalf.

Condominium or Towhhome – Additional Services provided:

  • Order 22.1 Disclosure, financial, meeting minutes and paid assessment letter from the Association/Management Company.

*These documents are required by law to be provided to the Purchaser pursuant to the Illinois Property Condominium Act.

  • Obtain sales package (if applicable) from Association/Management Company and distribute accordingly to the necessary parties.
  • Obtain a copy of the condominium certificate of insurance and provide to Buyer’s lender, as this is required for all loan approvals.

Single Family Home, Towhhome or Multi Dwelling Building- Additional Services provided:

  • Order and provide Zoning Certification.
  • Order and provide Residential Boundary Survey.
  • Order and provide Building Registration (only applicable to buildings with 5 or more units).

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, usually for no additional charge.  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 Illinois, a real estate attorney charges between $300 – $600 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.

OUR FAVORITE REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS

We work with 3 real estate attorneys almost exclusively.  They are TRIED and TRUE professionals.  We have over 10 years experience with each of them.  We know how THEY work and they know how WE work! It makes a great partnership and you will get outstanding service.  We don't get a PENNY for recommending them.  

You can find them here: https://www.ayersteam.com/blog/real-estate-resources/

Email them and see what their current fees are, who responds the quickest and which one you like the most.  We would be happy to suggest one that we think might fit your style/personality too.

This should all be done BEFORE a contract comes in!  That way you know who your attorney is going to be once we have an executed real estate contract.

It is all about putting together a great TEAM!

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