Step 7: Make Sure Everything's In Order
Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted. Now it's time to make sure everything's in order.
Although your Dream Town REALTOR® has prepared a contract based on professional experience and common practice, have an attorney review it—a contingency for such a review is included in your offer. Usually the legal review needs to be completed within a few working days of acceptance. Many attorneys handle real estate closings; attorneys who specialize in them usually work for a set fee, often significantly lower than what general-practice attorneys charge.
Your Dream Town REALTOR® will recommend several local real estate attorneys. Make sure they're available on your closing day, and that their fees fit your budget. Try to assess from your first phone conversation with each attorney whether you are comfortable working with this person, since they will be protecting your interests until the closing. The attorney will help you prepare for the closing and do whatever is possible to ensure that it's successful. Their fees are paid at the closing.
Chicago Home Inspection: Get the Whole Story.
A professional inspection of your Chicago home might be one of the best investments you can make. You should exercise due diligence and obtain all the disclosures available from the seller. The bigger the purchase the more time people spend researching it, and buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you can make. By law in Illinois, sellers are obligated to complete a real estate disclosure report. Here are some examples of flaws that require disclosure:
- Plumbing system - water treatment and sprinkler systems, swimming pools, and water heater
- Electrical system - heating, air conditioning, and ventilations systems
- Defects and hazardous conditions - flood plain locations, roof/ceiling/chimney conditions, septic and sewer issues
- Violations - Any violation that has not been corrected relating to the property, in accordance with local, state, or federal laws or regulations
- Presence of asbestos or lead paint. - Harmful chemicals that may be found in the construction of older homes.
This list is not complete. Talk to your Chicago REALTOR® to get a current copy of Illinois' seller's disclosure list. If the seller knowingly conceals anything on this list, you have the right to take legal action.
There are some things to consider when looking to buy a condominium as well. There might be some restrictions with the deed or code. It would be a good idea to get a copy of the minutes from the last few meetings that the condominium's board held. This will show you any recent problems or planned expenses that may affect you.
Your Chicago real estate agent can help answer any questions that you have about seller disclosures. Spend a little extra money and hire a home inspector that will conduct a thorough examination of the property.
Home Warranty Protection
If you're purchasing a newly built home, the builder/developer may offer a full or limited warranty on materials and workmanship, typically for one year from the date of purchase. At closing, the builder will also assign to you the manufacturer's warranties that were provided to them for materials, appliances, and fixtures.
If you're purchasing a resale home, you can buy warranties that will protect you against most ordinary breakdowns for at least the first year of ownership. The seller may also offer you a warranty as part of the overall package.
Things to Consider About a Home Warranty
It's comforting to know that your new Chicago home is under warranty. When you buy a new home, everything might be in good working order. However, there's no telling when something will go wrong. Home warranties are a supplement to home inspections. Inspections identify any current problems in the property; a warranty protects you from future ones. There are several points worth considering about a Chicago home warranty.
Your lender will require an appraisal. This is neither a true home inspection nor an assessment of the home's true market value. The appraisal reassures the lender that the value of the house is at least as great as the loan amount.