Why Hire an Attorney When Buying or Selling Residential Property?

Illinois real estate lawyersAs a consumer, you make hundreds – if not thousands – of purchases each year. Some are small and require nothing more than your debit card, credit card, or cash payment. Others, such as the purchase and sale of residential property, require a larger investment. Learn how the aid of an experienced real estate attorney can protect that investment while also decreasing the chances of costly or unexpected delays and challenges along the way.

Practicing Your Due Diligence

Anyone that has ever purchased a used car knows that there is always a risk of purchasing a “lemon” – a vehicle that never seems to run properly and always needs repairs. Sadly, not everyone knows that this can happen with houses, too. A home with the gorgeous wainscoting could be hiding mold or fire damage underneath. Structures that do not give much access to the crawl space could have more foundation issues than originally thought. Due diligence, performed with the aid of an attorney, can reduce the risk of these costly and unexpected problems.

Avoid Vague and Unclear Contract Terms

Real estate contracts are long, complex, and potentially confusing documents that few individuals have the knowledge to decipher. Instead, they usually find out too late that they are responsible for more of the closing costs than anticipated, or that the real estate agent has added commission fees to the contract. Avoid such issues by ensuring you have an experienced real estate attorney on your side, long before you ever sign a single document.

Negotiate a Better Deal in the Purchase Agreement

The purchase agreement is one of the single most important documents in a residential real estate transaction, and not understanding it can cost you dearly. For example, it may be listed that the home was altered, but it may not have been done lawfully. If you do not know this before signing the purchase agreement, you could become subject to fees and fines, imposed by your county, city, or state, for the continued use of unlawfully built or zoned structures. Additionally, you would be responsible for the demolition or correction of the structure in question.

Contact Our DuPage County Real Estate Lawyers

Regardless of whether you are purchasing or selling residential real estate, contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC. Dedicated and experienced, our seasoned DuPage County real estate lawyers can protect your real estate investment. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule your personalized consultation to get started today.



Buying Foreclosed or Bank-Owned Property

Naperville real estate lawyersPurchasing a foreclosed or bank-owned property can save you a lot of money on the purchase of your home or investment property. However, this is not always the case. Instead, buyers need to be diligent, resourceful, and savvy to decrease the odds of a financial loss. The following information can help you learn more about buying a Real Estate Owned (REO) property, and it explains how an experienced real estate lawyer can assist with the process.

Be a Savvy Home Buyer

Whether you are investing with the hopes of one day making a return on the property, or are planning on making an REO your full-time residence, be a savvy home buyer. Make sure you are pre-approved for a loan or have the cash on hand to smooth the process, and know that some homes (particularly those with significant damage) may be ineligible for certain types of loans. If the property is distressed, an FHA loan may be your best option. Just keep in mind that some buyers might not be eligible for an FHA loan. In such situations, cash may be required.

Get Your Own Appraisal and Inspection

Although the bank may have already conducted an appraisal and inspection of the property, it is important that buyers obtain their own, separate from the bank. Doing so ensures that the buyer is aware of any major issues, and sometimes, separate inspections turn up damage that was not discovered during the bank’s inspection or appraisal. Remember: it is critical that you know what you are getting into. Otherwise, you run the risk of financial loss, either through the home purchase price or while trying to make repairs.

Never Go Through the REO Buying Process Alone

While the state does not require the assistance of an attorney while buying a home, the assistance of an experienced real estate attorney is still encouraged. Able to protect your interests, assist you in negotiations, and skilled in navigating some of the most complex homeowner transactions, an attorney can improve your odds of a positive outcome.

Do not take chances with your money or investment property. Instead, contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for assistance with the purchase of your REO home or investment property. Backed by more than 40 of legal experience, our DuPage County real estate lawyers offer comprehensive and personalized real estate transaction services to meet your needs. Schedule a personalized consultation to get started. Call our offices at 630-665-2500 today.



Home Buying Basics for Illinois Residents

DuPage County real estate attorneysBuying a home is a significant milestone that can give you and your family years of joy and a lifetime of fond memories. Unfortunately, the process itself can be highly complex, and missteps along the way can delay home ownership. Thankfully, there are ways to smooth the process. The following information explains, and it provides details on where to find assistance with your next (or first) Illinois home purchase.

Working with a Realtor

While homeowners may want to skip the real estate agent to save money on the sale of their home, this decision can be a grave mistake for buyers. Real estate agents do more than just show potential homes. Knowledgeable on the communities, market conditions, and median home prices in the area you are searching in, real estate agents can work with your family’s needs and budget. They can aid you in preparing pertinent documents, such as your viable offer. Best of all, the agent’s commission is typically covered by the seller (covered in the purchase price) once the home closes. Just remember to shop around. Find one that has experience representing buyers, good references, and an understanding of the area.

Home Inspections and Seller Disclosures

Illinois state law requires that sellers provide potential homebuyers with a disclosure statement, which offers details on whether the home has any major issues that may impact the home’s value. Examples include defects like:

  • Termite infestation (or recent treatments);
  • Cracks in the foundation;
  • Lead paint or pipes; and
  • Previous flooding or fire.

However, buyers should not rely solely on these disclosures. Sellers may not know the full history of the home, or may not be aware of new but potentially serious issues. A home inspection can ensure these potential problems are discovered before you complete your purchase. Just do not use one selected by either the realtor or the seller; instead, practice due diligence and find one that comes with experience and good references.

Why Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

Although home buyers in Illinois are not required to hire an attorney, it is still highly recommended (and it may become necessary if you run into title issues or other legal problems). Real estate attorneys can review your contract to check for any problems, and they can work with you during negotiations. They can even draft or review your real estate agent contract to ensure favorable terms.

If you are purchasing a home in Illinois, contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our DuPage County real estate lawyers will protect your interests, every step of the way. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a personalized consultation to get started today.