Commonly available printed form contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate in the Chicago Metropolitan area contain a paragraph which is very useful for both buyers and sellers. The paragraph is commonly referred to as “Attorney Review” or “Attorney Modification”. Under the terms of the paragraph, attorneys for both buyer and seller have a set period of time after the contract is signed by both buyer and seller and initial earnest money is deposited to review the contract and propose changes. The period is usually five to ten business days. This allows the buyer and seller to agree on the basic terms of the deal, such as purchase price, closing date and mortgage contingency, before going to the expense of employing an attorney.
Once the contract is signed, the executed contract is delivered to the attorneys for the buyer and seller. They can then review the contract, confer with their client as to any issues, clauses or wording of concern to them and then propose appropriate changes in the contract to the attorney for the other side. In most cases, proposed changes can be worked out and the contract then proceeds to closing. However, if the parties’ attorneys cannot reach agreement, either attorney can terminate the contract, in which case the initial earnest money is returned and the property put back on the market. As a kind of safety blanket to real estate buyers and sellers allowing them to sign otherwise binding agreements before they hire an attorney, the Illinois courts have held that the attorney may disapprove the contract during the attorney review period for basically any reason.
Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate closings for both buyers and sellers at Kreisler Law, if you have questions about the sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing the purchase or sale of real estate.