Real Estate Closings

Chicago Lawyer Advising Clients on Property Transactions

Whether you are buying or selling real estate, the transaction can have a big impact on your finances and future investments. Often, the negotiations and the contract are complicated, and it can be challenging to understand the terms to which you are agreeing. It may be important to retain an experienced Chicago real estate closing attorney to help you explore all of the details and long-term consequences of a sale or purchase. James Kottaras serves as a knowledgeable guide for sellers and buyers in both residential and commercial contexts, and he can help make sure that your transaction goes smoothly.

Preparing for a Smooth Closing

Several weeks before closing, sellers and buyers may need to meet pre-closing compliance requirements. For example, some cities require a water department certification, a certificate of inspection, or purchasing transfer tax stamps. Similarly, whichever party is responsible under the contract to provide title insurance must order it in enough time to provide a commitment five or more days before closing. The buyer and the seller are expected to cooperate in whatever reasonable actions need to be taken to comply with the requirements.

Before signing the contract, the seller will need to furnish pre-contract documents, such as a residential real property disclosure report, a lead paint hazard information pamphlet, and in some cases documents required by the Illinois Condominium Act, notices of legal violations received after signing the contract, environmental disclosures, and a disclosure statement based on the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act. The seller is also responsible for preparing a proposed closing statement of closing figures two or more days before closing. The seller must also provide the closing agent with the agreed closing figures at least one business day before closing. Any required documents should also be provided to the buyer's attorney.

In some simple closings, the seller delivers the deed, and the buyer simultaneously pays the seller the purchase price. The buyer in that case will either assume the risk of any title defects that arose between the latest title commitment and the recording of the deed, or obtain "gap coverage" from a title insurer. However, in an escrow closing, the seller will deposit the deed with a third party or "escrowee," often the title insurer, and the buyer will also deposit the purchase price with that third party. If a lender is involved, a moneylender's escrow will also be required. Only after all the appropriate deposits have been made will the escrowee record the deed and mortgage and re-examine the title. If all the conditions are met, the seller receives the proceeds from the escrowee.

In other cases, the title insurer will issue a title policy to the buyer for a fee and a gap undertaking indemnity agreement. Once all deposits are made, the net proceeds will be disbursed to the seller.

When the closing is in escrow, the escrow instructions will specify a place of closing. However, if the buyer has a lender, usually the lender will direct the closing to occur at the lender's agent title company. Generally when a title company has multiple offices, the closing will be held at the title office nearest both attorneys' offices or in a title company office that is in reasonable proximity to the property being sold. In other cases, the office of the seller's attorney is the closing place.

Contact a Real Estate Closing Attorney in Chicago

Most sellers and buyers can benefit from a Chicago real estate lawyer who makes the process efficient and uneventful while safeguarding their interests. James Kottaras also represents clients in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Palos Hills, Palos Park, River Forest, Oak Park, Lansing, South Holland, Homewood-Flossmoor, Frankfort, Mokena, Olympia Fields, and other communities across Cook County, as well as in Oak Brook, Oak Lawn, Bridgeview, Maywood, Countryside, Westchester, Maywood, Cicero, Norridge, Park Ridge, Skokie, Evanston, Morton Grove, Glenview, Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Arlington Heights, Northbrook and all nearby communities. Call us at (312) 346-5297 or use our online form to arrange a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Very knowledge and was a true expert when it came to handling the sale of real-estate. Prompt, easily accessible, and very much an expert in the field. Highly recommend to all those in the Chicagoland area. D.C.
James was involved in my first ever real estate purchase. He was very helpful in walking me through the several steps, and he was ready to accommodate my needs, including negotiating extensions and credits. I recommend James Kottaras without a doubt. A.G.S.
Jim was a pleasure to work with. He handled both the sale of my condo and the purchase of my house. He is extremely organized and very responsive. I would recommend him to any of my friends or family who need an attorney on the buy or sell side. J.S.
I hired James to assist me with a private sale of a condo and he was patient and helpful throughout the much more complicated than I expected negotiations. He was professional, patient, prompt and accessible. A.S.