Category: Residential Transactions

Home Inspection Issues and Negotiations

Home Inspection Issues and Negotiations

Buying and Selling a home can be a time-consuming process from beginning to end.  If you are buying a home, it can be very time consuming to schedule homes to view, going out to seeing the homes, and then finally making the decision. Once you make your decision your next step is to sign a contract. Once the contract is signed then the process really begins and it’s time to contact an attorney.

What Happens After I Sign the Contract?

After you sign your contract, in Illinois, if it is a standard real estate contract, you have five business days to do a home inspection. This means you need to find a good home inspector, and schedule a time they can go to the property. Your home inspector can be a very important person in this whole process. It is important to choose someone who will do a good job for you. If you are using a real estate agent, they usually have a list of home inspectors who are reputable in the area. Your home inspector will go to the property you are going to purchase and perform a detailed inspection. They will look at the bones and structure of the home and in return give you a detailed report of the home. A good home inspector will often list items in the home which need to be fixed, items which potentially need to be fixed, and items which are in good condition. This is all to help you make an informed decision about the home you are buying.

Once you receive the report, you may have some concerns or questions. You may decide to cancel the transaction all together, or maybe decide to push forward on the condition certain items be fixed. At this point you would contact your attorney to discuss the list of items you want fixed. Your attorney will then put together your list to send to Seller’s attorney. If more time is needed to make the deadline, your attorney can put together the proper forms to request this. A good attorney will be honest and responsive to your concerns and questions during this time. After the letter is sent, the negotiations begin. This can be a time consuming and frustrating process. Your attorney will help negotiate your needs effectively so you have the best result.  As the negotiation process continues, the Seller’s attorney will reply to your home inspection letter. A good attorney will take time to explain to you the exact terms and parameters of each reply and response letter and be your advocate during this process. Once there is a final agreement, the agreements become the terms of your contract and the transaction will move forward.

How to Take Title On Your Deed

How to Take Title On Your Deed

If you are buying real estate property you will be given a deed to your property. If you are buying with another person you may be wondering how you should take title. An attorney can help you decipher how the deed should be written so you are able to own the property with the other person in a manner which is best for your situation. There are a few common ways for people to take title in Illinois. The three ways are, Tenants in Commons, Joint Tenants with the right of Survivorship, and Tenants by the Entirety.

Tenants in Common.

In Illinois if the deed does not state how the property is held between people, it is defaulted to tenants in common. With tenants in common, each of the owners on the property has an undivided interest in the property. Undivided means you are able to use the entire property. However, you are only entitled to your percentage as ownership. As an owner you are able to sell your interest to the property to anyone at any time. You can take a percentage of the property however, you’d like. For example, you could hold a 50/50 interest in the property. Or you can hold a 20/80 or another other combination. Upon your death, the property goes to each individual owner’s heirs. It does not automatically become the ownership of the other owner. If you are unsure of how your property is divided, or are thinking of changing the deed, it is best to speak to an attorney who is well versed in both real estate and estate planning to better help your needs.

Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship.

Joint Tenants with the right of survivorship is similar to tenants in common. Each owner has the right to use the entire property to be considered a joint tenant. A joint tenant will be able to sell their share of the property without the other owner’s permission.  The big difference between a tenant’s in common and a joint tenant’s is the right of survivorship. Unlike with tenants in common, the right of survivorship means that if one owner passes, the other can take the property as a whole. The deceased owner’s share does not pass down to the deceased owner’s next of kin.

Tenants by the Entirety

Tenants by the Entirety in Illinois is one of the best ways for a married couple to take title. It is only available to married couples and you can only have one property as tenants by the entirety. This means, if a couple owns a residential home and a lake house at the same time, only one of the properties can be deeded as tenants by the entirety. This is similar to joint tenants with the right of survivorship. If one spouse dies, the property automatically transfers to the other spouse. If the couple divorces, the house will then be considered tenants in common. One spouse cannot sell their interest in the property, without the consent of the other. The biggest benefit to Tenants by the Entirety is that a creditor cannot place a lien on the property unless that lien is in both of the spouses’ names.

If you are buying or selling property it is important to speak with an attorney who can help you make the best decision about your deed. It is best to find an attorney who knows both real estate and estate planning law in order to help you make the best decision.

Are planning on buying or selling property?

Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy real estate and estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.