Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Why you should know about IHDA!

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) offers legitimate programs which provide down payment assistance, as well as refinance options for "upside down" homeowners. These excellent opportunities are not limited to first-time homebuyers.


FAQ: What is a quit claim deed?

A quit claim deed is used to transfer the legal interests in real estate between two or more parties. This particular form of deed does not provide any warranties to the grantee (i.e. the person to whom the interests are conveyed). Quit claim deeds are commonly used to add a spouse to title or convey property into a living trust, LLC or other type of legal entity. In order to be certain that it meets with the statutory requirements and is valid, it is important to have a quit claim deed properly drafted by an attorney licensed to practice law in the state where the property being conveyed is located.

Monday, December 12, 2016

How much time do I have for a home inspection?

In this area, it is common for a five (5) business day inspection period, and most contracts adhere to that time frame. However, the inspection period may be longer or shorter by agreement of the parties. This inspection contingency begins on the next business day following the date the seller signs the contract (i.e. date of acceptance). For example, if the date of acceptance is on Monday, the inspection period will run through the end of business the following Monday, assuming that no federal holidays occur during that time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Can an attorney represent both the Buyer and Seller on the same real estate matter?

This question often comes up when the transaction is between related parties or when one party is simply determined to forego legal representation. In short, it is a serious conflict of interest for any attorney to attempt to represent both parties in a real estate matter. In most cases, inevitably something arises to cause the parties’ respective interests not to completely align. For example, the lender’s appraisal may determine that the fair market value of the property is lower than the purchase price; or, perhaps the home inspection reveals major issues for which the buyer was unaware. In either case, it would not be possible to properly represent the interests of either party vis-à-vis the other. Similarly, the same inherent conflict exists with respect to a real estate broker acting as a dual agent in one transaction.

Monday, December 5, 2016

I am considering buying or selling a home. So, when should I contact an attorney?

Excellent question! Ideally, you should contact an attorney as early in the process as possible to discuss the specific details of your matter. Many attorneys, including myself, would be happy to provide referrals to real estate brokers, mortgage lenders, or other industry professionals you may need. If you are already under contract, then it is important to contact an attorney right away as the attorney review period (typically five (5) business days) begins to run as of the date the offer was accepted.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Do I really need to hire an attorney for my closing?

Illinois law does not require you to use an attorney to buy or sell real estate. However, this state does have well-established limitations on what a non-attorney may do with respect to preparing a contract or other legal documents for someone else. In fact, if a non-attorney (e.g. real estate broker) goes beyond merely “filling in the blanks” on a form contract, it may be considered as the unauthorized practice of law, which is a serious, prosecutable offense. Further, in recent years, real estate matters have become increasingly complex legal transactions. The regulations which govern even a “simple” sale or purchase are constantly changing, making it essential to have an experienced real estate attorney representing your best interests. Finally, considering that this is probably one of the most significant events in your life, the benefits of having competent legal representation advocating for you greatly outweigh the relatively low cost of doing so.