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Lake County Real Estate AttorneySelling or purchasing a home can be a stressful and exciting time. There are several tasks you must remember and several documents you must sign in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly. This is why it is important to make sure that you properly execute the right documents. One such document you must have is the deed. The deed transfers the title of the property to or from you. There are four commonly seen deed categories: Quit Claim, Warranty, Special Warranty, and In Trust Deeds. When buying or selling real estate, it is important to understand the differences in each type of deed. Here is what you should know.

Quit Claim Deeds

A Quit Claim Deed does as it sounds: it renounces one’s interest in a piece of property. The individual who acquires the property through a Quit Claim Deed does not promise that the property will be free of third-party interests, such as liens. A Quit Claim Deed also fails to provide any warranties as to the property or nuisances within the property. Put simply, with a Quit Claim Deed clear title of the property is not promised.

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lake county residental real estate lawyerDuring a residential real estate transaction, all encumbrances on the title of the property will need to be resolved before the transaction can be completed. These encumbrances may include liens by creditors seeking repayment from the homeowner, such as mechanic’s liens. Those planning to sell their home will need to determine how to address any mechanic’s liens and resolve these issues to ensure that they can complete the sale successfully.

What Is a Mechanic’s Lien?

A mechanic’s lien allows a contractor or supplier who performed repairs or made improvements to a home to collect payment for any unpaid work. While homeowners will usually be able to resolve any payment issues with a general contractor, subcontractors or suppliers who were not paid by the primary contractor may also use mechanic’s liens to collect the payments they are owed. 

Requirements for Mechanic’s Liens in Illinois

Illinois law requires subcontractors or suppliers contributing to work on a single-family home to provide a preliminary notice to the homeowner within 60 days after work on the property has begun. This notice is necessary to establish the right to pursue a mechanic’s lien if payment is not received. A Notice of Intent to Lien must also be filed within 90 days after labor was last performed by a subcontractor or materials were furnished by a supplier. 

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Gurnee real estate attorney for pest inspectionsThere are many things that need to be considered when selling a home. Sellers will want to make sure all known defects have been repaired, and they may want to make improvements that are likely to increase the home’s value. They will also want to make sure their home is clean and well-organized to present a positive image to prospective buyers. However, there is one issue that sellers should also be aware of that is often overlooked: pests in the home. Understanding how to determine whether pests are present and what should be done to deal with them can help sellers avoid additional expenses and complications during the home closing process.

Pest Inspection Requirements

While sellers are not required to perform pest inspections prior to listing their home or accepting an offer, lenders will often require buyers to get a pest inspection to identify any concerns about termites, carpenter ants, or other issues that could affect the structural integrity of the home. If these types of pests are discovered after an offer has been accepted, the buyer may ask the seller to pay for treatment and repairs, or the buyer may even back out of the sale. To avoid these types of issues, sellers may want to perform a pest inspection before listing the home, and if pests are discovered, they can determine the best way to address this issue.

Options for Dealing With Pests

If a seller finds that pests are present in their home, or if the home has been damaged by termites or carpenter ants, they can usually take steps to correct this issue, and they will want to disclose the issue to potential buyers. Pest treatments will remove termites or other insects from the home and prevent them from returning, and they will often cost several hundred dollars. If pests have caused damage to the home, repairs will need to be performed, such as replacing damaged wood or installing supports to correct a home’s damaged structure. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs may cost between several hundred and several thousand dollars.

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Grayslake real estate attorneyIf you are planning to buy a home, you will need to consider a wide variety of issues that may affect your transaction. While you may be focused on obtaining financing and meeting all of your requirements before your home closing date, you should also take the time to determine whether there are any issues with your new home that you may need to consider. The potential for flooding is one issue that is often overlooked. By understanding your risks and the options available to you, you can take steps to prevent financial losses in the future.

Understanding Flooding Risks and Flood Insurance

Determining whether a home is at risk for flooding is not always an easy task. Some homes are located in high-risk flood zones identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but these zones are not always kept up to date. Even if a home is not located in a flood plain, flooding can still occur due to heavy rain or other weather conditions. Other issues unrelated to weather, such as clogged storm drains, water diverted by construction, or a broken or malfunctioning sump pump can also lead to flooding that may cause damage to a home.

To address the potential risks of flooding, homebuyers can consult with several different types of experts and officials. A city or municipality will have a floodplain manager who can look at whether a home is in an area with a risk of flooding and offer advice about solutions to prevent flooding damage. A floodplain manager can determine whether a home has an elevation certificate that compares the elevation of a home’s lowest floor with the base flood elevation in the area. If a home does not have an elevation certificate, a buyer can work with a land surveyor or engineer to perform a survey of the home and identify flood risks. Buyers will also want to make sure their home inspector can identify water damage from previous flooding in a home and determine whether there is a risk of flooding in the future.

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Lake County real estate attorneyIf you are preparing to move to a new home, you may be focused on meeting your requirements to obtain financing for a new home mortgage, packing up your belongings, and getting ready for your move. However, if you will also be selling your current home, you will want to make sure you can receive a good price while also avoiding any complications that could affect the sale.

Preparing Your Home For Sale

As you prepare to sell your home, taking the following steps will help you get the best return on your investment and ensure that you can complete the sale successfully:

  1. Clean and declutter the house - To make sure your house is appealing to potential buyers, you will want to do a deep clean. Make sure to mop floors, wash windows both inside and outside, wipe shelves and countertops, clear away cobwebs, fully clean all kitchen appliances, and remove trash from the garage. You will also want to remove as much of your belongings as possible and make sure the space throughout the home is clear and open so buyers can consider how they will be able to make the space their own.

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