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Lake County, IL real estate attorneyInterest rates on home loans in Illinois are double what they were a year ago. This has created less competition for buyers, and many markets are seeing frequent price drops and fewer offers, giving buyers the upper hand in negotiating the best price. So maybe you are ready to take the plunge and use your savings for a down payment on your first home. If you are a first-time buyer it can be a bit nerve-wracking and overwhelming. But an experienced Illinois real estate attorney can guide you through the home-buying process and make sure that you thoroughly understand everything you sign.

Offer and Negotiation

Once you know how much you can spend, you will tour various homes until you find the right one for you. The official buying process begins when you make an offer in writing. A real estate attorney will help you draft an offer that makes sense financially and protects your rights. The seller could accept the offer, make a counteroffer, or reject the offer. But if there is an agreement, a signed offer becomes a purchase contract. A real estate attorney will review the terms of the contract to ensure they are reasonable and fair to you as the buyer. The attorney will address any issue with the seller's attorney before the sale proceeds.

Three Property Issues that Can Surface

A real estate attorney will also make sure that you have a solid understanding of the requirements for a loan and what you will pay at closing. Once the purchase contract is approved the real work begins, including an inspection of the house and documenting any needed repairs. During this time, three potential problems related to the home’s title may surface:  

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waukegan real estate lawyerSpooky homes and dark tales abound this time of year. But if your dream of homeownership has suddenly left you seeing ghosts, you may feel like someone played a trick on you. Selling and buying real estate can be complex, and disclosure laws can be equally perplexing. But in Illinois, it is your responsibility as the buyer to find out if the house you wish to buy has a tragic history or spirits luring inside. 

What is a Stigmatized House? 

A seller in Illinois is required to disclose any physical defects the property may have. The law does not require the seller, listing brokers, or agents to disclose anything that may cause a stigma for the property. Stigmatized homes are those that some people find undesirable because emotionally upsetting events such as murder, suicide, or sexual assault have occurred at the home. Haunted houses fall under the same stigmatized category.

 Even though some people refuse to live in these properties and would have never purchased a home that comes with supposed supernatural forces, Illinois law does not require a seller and his or her representatives to disclose the paranormal activity.

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libertyville real estate lawyerThe current real estate market is making it harder to find the perfect new home than most people are expecting. Let’s assume, however, that you found the right house, and you are ready to make an offer, but your real estate agent tells you that the home is an FSBO. You might recognize that abbreviation to mean “for sale by owner,” but do you understand the effects that a sale by the owner can have on your homebuying experience? Selling an FSBO property can be tricky, but so can buying one. Here are a few things you should know ahead of time.

Advantages of Buying an FSBO Home

A “for sale by owner” (FSBO) home is sold by the homeowner with no help from a broker or listing agent. This reduces the commission fees for the seller, thereby allowing them to pocket a larger percentage of the sale price. As a buyer, you will still be able to secure a commission for your agent, but there are a few advantages that buying an FSBO property offers you, including:

  • Direct communication with the seller – Since the seller is not using a broker or agent, there will be no intermediary in your conversations with the owner. In some cases, this means that negotiations may be easier, and you could end up with a lower price than if the seller had an agent.

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Grayslake Real Estate AttorneyOriginally published: October 6, 2021 -- Updated: June 25, 2022

Last fall, we shared some of our thoughts about digital closings for residential real estate transactions and how they started to become popular during the Coronavirus pandemic. As concern about the virus slowly decreases—although it will probably never go back to pre-crisis levels—it appears that electronic real estate closings are here to stay.

The Benefits of eClosings

In most cases, originating a traditional mortgage takes roughly 30 days from the initiation of the application to closing. As more and more digital lending platforms emerge, the use of artificial intelligence and data processing allows lenders and borrowers to remove a number of manual steps from the process of fulfillment.

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Il real estate lawyerInvestments in real estate can be very lucrative. However, there are a variety of concerns that will need to be addressed when purchasing real property. If a buyer will be assuming ownership of property that tenants currently occupy, they will need to be prepared to assume existing leases and understand any other contracts that are in place. Those who are planning to embark on a real estate development project will need to ensure that they have the proper construction permits and are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. To ensure that all of these issues will be addressed correctly, it is crucial to work with an attorney who can help perform due diligence during a transaction.

Issues to Address When Performing Due Diligence

An investor can protect their financial interests by gathering all information needed to ensure that they fully understand the risks and benefits of a commercial real estate transaction. In many cases, a person will have 30 days or less to perform due diligence, so it is essential to act quickly to uncover any issues that may affect a transaction or impact an owner’s ability to receive the proper return on their investment.

While the forms of due diligence that may be performed will vary depending on the type of property and transaction, an investor will likely need to address issues such as:

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