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Chicago Area
Residential Real Estate Transactions: 
A Checklist for Sellers

* Non-Chicago area buyers – because this article is intended to be a brief summary of the procedural aspects of a real estate sale in the Chicago area, and not legal advice, parts of this article may or 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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For sellers of residential real estate in the greater Chicago area, proceeding to the closing can be a slow, painful process if the right steps are not taken from the beginning.  The following checklist discusses some of the most important issues that a seller of residential real estate in the greater Chicago area will need to be mindful of once he/she has entered into a contract to sell his/her home.

In the weeks immediately following the signing of the sale contract, your real estate attorney will order and review the evidence of title to be provided to the buyer, the documents related to the transfer of the property, order a new survey of the property as is required by the Contract and arrange for the satisfaction of your existing mortgage(s), if any.  Your attorney will clear normal title objections, reconcile financial aspects of the transaction and attend the Closing with you or on your behalf.

In order to properly represent you and push the sale toward the closing, your attorney will need the following additional documents and/or information from you as soon as possible after the contract is signed:

1.   A Copy of Your Deed to the Property.   If you have conveyed your title to a land trust or living trust, advise your attorney since he or she may need additional documentation such as a copy of the trust agreement;

2.   Your Title Insurance Policy or torrens certificate.  This was issued to you when you purchased the property.

3.   Plat of Survey.  This, too, should have been provided to you at the time of your previous Closing.

4.   Original Real Estate Tax Bill.  Your attorney will need your original county real estate tax bill if taxes need to be paid by the title company;

5.   Your Social Security Number.  This will be required at Closing and before Closing if your attorney needs to order any mortgage payoff letters.

6.   Name, Address and Telephone Number of Your Mortgage Holder, if any, and Your Loan Number.  If your existing loan is FHA rather than conventional, you must specifically advise your attorney about his, since payoff procedures for those loans are unique;

7.   Any Second Mortgage Information.  If you took out a home equity loan, a line of credit or a second mortgage against the property’s title, your attorney will need the same information as requested in #6, above;


Jump Ahead
in this document:

Contact the Utilities

Homeowner’s insurance

Surrender of Possession

Buyer’s Role at Closing

See Also:

The Statute of Frauds


Doctrine of Equitable


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


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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 real estate attorney, click here to contact The Galer Firm today.

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