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Chicago Area
Residential Real Estate Transactions: 
A Checklist for Buyers

* Non-Chicago-area buyers – because this article is a brief summary of the procedural aspects of a real estate sale in the Chicago area, and not legal advice, it MAY NOT be applicable to you.

* Chicago area buyers – the info. in this article DOES NOT constitute legal advice and should be supplemented with the advice of an Illinois attorney.

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3.) Contact the Utilities.  A few days prior to the Closing date, the buyer should call the electric, gas and water utilities companies to provide them with the buyer’s name, the address of the property and the possession date.  Service will then be properly set up in the buyer’s name on the his/her possession date without interruption.

4.) Homeowner’s Insurance.  In most real estate contracts in the Chicago area, the buyer is required, at Closing, to provide his/her lender with a homeowner's insurance policy in the amount of the replacement value of the property or in the amount of the buyer’s mortgage, whichever is greater.  The buyer’s insurance representative should be given the name and address of the buyer’s lender so that the policy will reflect coverage for the loan.  The insurance policy should be obtained well enough in advance of Closing to allow the insurance company sufficient time to prepare the policy itself since the buyer’s lender will not accept a binder as evidence of coverage.  You will need to bring the insurance policy as well as a paid receipt for the first year's premium to the Closing.

5.)   Surrender of Possession.  In most contracts, the seller is under an obligation to surrender possession of the premises to the buyer in the condition the buyer bargained for when signing the contract.  The buyer will have the right to inspect the premises just before Closing to ascertain that these obligations of the seller have been met.

6.)   The Closing.  At the Closing, the buyer will be required to pay the balance of the purchase price, any loan charges, fees and other Closing costs, which in total must be paid via a certified or cashier's check.  Personal checks, company checks, money market and non-certified credit union checks are rarely accepted in the greater Chicago area.  Unfortunately, you probably will not have a precise figure as to the total amount you will need to pay until the day before, or even the day of, Closing.   Your attorney should provide you with a good estimate of the funds that will be required at Closing several days if not weeks prior to the Closing date.  Regardless, it is a very good idea for the buyer to bring his/her checkbook to the Closing so that any unanticipated expenses can be reconciled between the parties involved.


Jump Behind
in this document:

Professional Inspection

Mortgage Processing

See Also:

Chicago Real Estate Attorney’s Checklist
for Sellers


The Typical
Residential Real Estate Transaction

Preliminary Matters


The Role of the
Real Estate Attorney


Hiring a Real Estate


Real Estate Seller’s Agent

Real Estate Buyer’s Agent

Real Estate Broker


Negotiating the
Real Estate Contract

‘For Sale By Owner’

Deciding Key Terms


Pre-Closing Matters

Mortgage Issues


The Closing

The Deed

Affidavit of Title
ALTA Statement


The Statute of Frauds


Doctrine of Equitable




If you would like more information about this topic, have comments about the article or website, or would like to request the services of a Chicago real estate attorney, click here to contact The Galer Firm today.

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* Roger Galer is licensed to practice law in New York and Illinois.

© The Galer Firm, P.C., 2004

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