Residential Closing Attorneys
in Skokie, Illinois
Navigating the process of buying or selling a home can be complex and daunting. At Alexander | Grossman Attorneys at Law, our experienced real estate attorneys are here to guide you through the intricate process of residential real estate buying and selling, up through the closing. Our goal is to offer a smooth, seamless transaction, protecting your interests every step of the way.
Reach out to our law firm in Skokie, Illinois, to schedule a free initial consultation, and learn how we can help. Our attorneys proudly serve residents throughout our community and the surrounding areas, including the North Shore, all of Cook County, Lake County, and beyond.
Understanding the Residential Real Estate Closing Process
The closing process is the final step in a real estate transaction. It's when ownership and possession of the property are officially transferred from the seller to the buyer. Before getting to the closing table, there are several steps and phases along the way:
Inspection and Attorney Review: A buyer may choose to have the property inspected to identify potential issues or repairs needed before proceeding with the purchase. During this period, any issues relating to the inspection are addressed, and the attorneys on either side may propose modifications to the contract to further protect their clients' interests.
Title Search: This is an essential first step, where a thorough search is conducted to ensure that the property’s title is clear, free from any liens or encumbrances. The title search is handled by the Seller's attorney, who also selects the title company. Seller's attorney will work to clear any title issues, which can range from simply obtaining a mortgage payoff to more complicated old lien clearances. Buyer may have to provide documentation for title clearances as well.
Buyer works on loan: Unless it is a cash deal, the Buyer's role at this point is to work with their lender to get a clear to close. This may involve completing paperwork, providing financial documents the lender requests, or clearing up any other hurdles the lender runs into. Once the Buyer obtains a clear to close, the parties can proceed to schedule the closing.
Closing Documents: The Seller's attorney will prepare the title transfer documents to be signed by the Seller. The Seller may choose to pre-sign closing documents so they do not need to be present at/on the day of closing. The Buyer will also have closing documents to sign, but those are signed during the closing.
Preparation for Closing: The Seller's attorney, along with the title company, will prepare a settlement statement which contains all of the fees, costs, and credits for both parties, and lists for each side what their bottom line will be. For the Seller this will be their proceeds, for the Buyer this will be their cost of the property (minus any earnest money paid). Buyer will wire these funds necessary to close, which include the purchase price, closing costs, and any additional fees. If Buyer's balance to close is less than $50,000, they have the option to bring a cashier's check to closing.
Closing: The closing is the culmination of the entire process. Any remaining Seller's documents are signed, and Buyer signs all of their required documents, which would include the package of documents from the lender if there is a loan involved. Once all documents are signed, funds are transferred from lender to the title company, who then disburses those funds according to the settlement statement, including to Seller as their proceeds. Ownership (and keys!) are then officially transferred to the Buyer.
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The Closing Procedure of Buying/Selling a Home
Essentially, at a real estate closing, all agreements outlined in the sales contract must be fulfilled. This includes transferring money and documents, paying off any outstanding loans on the property, covering closing costs, and settling real estate agent commissions.
Having a real estate attorney present at closing provides several benefits. They can clarify what needs to be signed, guide you through legal terms, ensure that any issues raised by the title search have been addressed, and catch errors in documents. The attorney for the Buyer will walk the Buyer through the stack of paperwork that the lender requires the Buyer to sign for the loan, explaining what each document means or does for them. The attorney for either the Buyer or the Seller will go over each document with their client to ensure they understand what they are signing (including if the Seller is pre-signing documents). In a nutshell, that's the closing process for buying or selling a home. It's a complex process, but with the right guidance, it can go smoothly and successfully.
At Alexander | Grossman Attorneys at Law, we handle residential real estate closings for buyers and sellers in Chicagoland and throughout the surrounding areas. A successful closing leaves your interests secured from future disputes and other liabilities. We are here to make sure that your interests are protected throughout the closing process.
In Illinois, Sellers are required to provide title insurance to Buyers, and the closing process takes place with the assistance of a title company. The Seller's attorney acts as title agent, working with the title company to ensure title is able to properly be transferred, and any issues on title are cleared prior to closing.
Buyer's and Seller's Responsibilities in the Closing Process
Whether you're a buyer or seller in your current real estate transaction, you should go into the process informed and prepared. Both buyers and sellers have specific responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.
Conducting inspections and addressing any issues found.
Securing financing for the purchase, if obtaining a mortgage.
Obtaining homeowners insurance to protect the property.
Paying closing costs, which may include various title or lender fees.
Reviewing all closing documents meticulously.
Disclosing any known defects or issues with the property.
Providing all necessary documents for ownership transfer.
Paying off any existing loans on the property.
Paying the real estate agent’s commission, if applicable.
Vacating the property and removing all personal belongings by the closing date.
The Role of a Real Estate Attorney in the Closing Process
The role of a closing attorney in this process is vital. Our attorneys assist both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Here’s how we can help you:
Assist With Negotiations: Guide our clients through the attorney review and inspection period, working to come to a resolution on any issues that may come up. If disputes arise, either during attorney review, or later in the transaction, our attorneys are here to help negotiate a resolution.
Conduct a Title Search: Our attorneys will perform a thorough title search and look for liens, easements, or any other red flags to mitigate before the closing proceeds. Although the official title search is done by the Seller's attorney, as Buyer's attorney we review the title search to make sure there are no issues raised that might pose a problem for our Buyer.
Review Closing Documents: We meticulously review all closing documents to make sure they’re accurate and legally valid.
Provide Legal Advice: We offer personalized legal advice backed by knowledge and experience. We can help you understand your rights and obligations throughout the process.
Facilitate the Closing: At the closing, we will take the time to go through all the paperwork with you to make sure you have a full understanding of everything you are signing.
Residential Closing Attorneys in Skokie, Illinois
If you're buying or selling a home and need expert assistance with the closing process, don't hesitate to contact Alexander | Grossman Attorneys at Law. Our team of experienced real estate attorneys is ready to guide you through every step. Reach out to us today for a free consultation. Let us make your real estate transaction a stress-free experience.
The firm does not handle landlord/tenant matters, condominium association dispute issues or real estate tax appeals.