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Libertyville real estate attorney REO property

As the Chicago region begins to emerge from the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market is flooded with prospective buyers looking to get a great deal on their next home. If you are searching for a new house, family members and friends may have suggested the possibility of buying a foreclosure property. A foreclosure property is real estate—in this case, a home—that is for sale by a lender because the current owner defaulted on the mortgage. Most defaults and foreclosures are caused by a failure to make the required payments.

A foreclosure sale is usually an auction, which means that it is possible to score a great deal, depending on the condition of the property. If a foreclosure property is put up for auction but not sold, the property reverts back to the bank and becomes a “real-estate owned” or REO property.


Libertyville real estate lawyerOver the last few months, the lockdown and the slow reopening caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced many families to spend countless days and weeks in close proximity to one another. In many cases, the extra family time has been a blessing. In others, the time together served as a notice that the family home is starting to feel a bit small—or perhaps a little too big. If you are in the latter group, you may be thinking that it is time to start looking for your next home. Or, maybe you were already in the market for a new home before the pandemic started. Either way, now could be a good time to buy a house, despite the challenges presented by the “new normal.”

Is It a Seller’s Market?

Many real estate experts suggest that this vague period of reopening after COVID-19 is shaping up to be a seller’s market in the residential real estate industry. The last few months have offered many would-be sellers the chance to tackle projects that they have been putting off, in some cases, for years. By finishing such projects, prospective sellers have been able to add substantial value to their homes, which is likely to be reflected in the asking price.

Spring and summer are often busy months for home sales, but considering that most of the spring was “lost” to the coronavirus, the number of people looking to buy is higher now than in previous years. This is usually a factor that works in favor of sellers as well. However, a market that is slanted slightly toward sellers does not necessarily mean that buyers are out of luck. It simply means that you will need to be more careful and perhaps a little patient.


Libertyville real estate lawyerSelling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make in their lifetime. The process can already be complicated if the seller is buying a home at the same time, having to relocate by a certain date, or if the seller is downsizing because of trouble making mortgage payments. The COVID-19 crisis adds complicating factors, from uncertainty about the real estate market in the future, leading sellers to accept low offers quickly; to concerns about strangers walking in and out of the seller’s home, creating personal safety concerns.

There is no definitive answer to the question of whether or not you should move forward with the sale of your home during the COVID-19 crisis. As you weigh the pros and cons of selling your home, remember the best decision you can make includes hiring an experienced real estate attorney before you make a decision about listing your home. In the Lake County area, our attorneys can talk you through the pros and cons of selling during these unprecedented times and will likely have insights into concerns you were unaware of.

Should you decide to move forward with your home sale, our attorneys can continue to guide you through the process, handling aspects of the sale with which you may be unfamiliar.


Lake County real estate lawyerCommercial landlord-tenant relationships can often be mutually beneficial, but tensions caused by adverse goals can arise from time to time. If you are a commercial landlord in the Lake County area, there are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to evict a commercial tenant. In any event, consult an experienced commercial real estate attorney before taking eviction action. It will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.

Lease Modification and Changes to Rental Agreements

If you find yourself at odds with a commercial tenant, stop to consider whether a lease modification or change to a rental agreement could solve your issue. If a tenant is continuing to pay rent but wants to adjust the space used or other conditions of the agreement, then negotiating and modifying your lease may be more profitable than trying to find a new tenant for the space. When the goals of the landlord and tenant diverge, there is no reason the relationship cannot survive if an experienced attorney steps in to guide the negotiations.

Non-Payment of Rent

There are many reasons a tenant may fall behind on rent payments, and a landlord has the right to begin the eviction process if that happens. But stop to consider whether the lack of payment may be temporary, and if so, whether finding a new tenant for the space would be more profitable than waiting for the current tenant to work through his or her financial issues.


Libertyville real estate lawyerSome states mandate that home buyers hire an attorney for the real estate closing while others stay silent on the matter. Illinois is one of the states that does require you to have a lawyer review your purchase agreement before finalizing your home purchase. Buying a home is a significant purchase, probably one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime. However, that is not the only reason you should consider using a Lake County real estate attorney. Would you not want legal guidance to make sure your rights and investment are protected?

At Newland & Newland, LLP, we have decades of experience helping Illinois home buyers with their real estate needs. We offer top-quality legal services to Lake County residents and the north and northwest Chicago suburbs. If you are looking to buy a home in one of these areas, do not wait until the purchase is nearly complete before hiring an attorney. Let our legal team help guide you through the entire process so you can be assured that there are no legal issues with your dream home.

Do Not Sign a Contract Without Attorney Review

When purchasing a home, the contract should always contain a contingency clause that the purchase contract is subject to review and modification by an attorney. Without a proper contingency clause in place, a legal professional cannot modify the terms of your contract. That means the documents you signed may not adequately protect your rights, and you could be subject to perform outside of the terms you previously discussed.

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