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Chicago Area
Residential Real Estate Transactions: 
A Checklist for Sellers

* 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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8.  Well or Septic Testing.  If your property is serviced by either a private well or septic system, you must advise your attorney so that he or she can arrange to order the required well and septic tests.

9.   Signed Disclosure Reports.  Under Illinois/federal law, a seller of residential real property must provide, at the least, an Illinois real property disclosure and a HUD lead-based paint disclosure to the prospective buyers when requested.

10.  Contact the Utility Companies Early.  Also note that you should contact all the utility companies several days prior to the Closing date to request final readings of the meters be made on the date possession is to be delivered to the buyer.  The utility companies will need the buyer's name and your forwarding address so that service will be properly transferred to the buyer(s) and final bills may be mailed to you. You should remember to ask for final readings only and not for a shutoff of service.

11.  Zoning Certification.  If the property is located in the City of Chicago proper, your attorney will need to obtain a Certificate of Zoning Compliance for you prior to the closing.  For single-family dwellings, this procedure is fairly routine, and will generally require only the submission of a one-page form and a $90 fee.  For multi-unit dwellings, or if the property is randomly audited to determine that the number of units in the property matches that for which it was zoned, there could be additional fees and procedures involved.

12. Water Certification.  In Chicago and certain other localities, certification must also be obtained stating that all water bills have been paid up to the date of the closing.  The procedures involved vary depending on whether the property is a single family dwelling with metered water service, a condominium with centralized service, etc.

13.  Paying Off Your Current Mortgage.  Assuming a Closing date as provided in the contract of sale, the last mortgage payment you will make on any existing mortgage/home-equity loans you may have is your payment which is due during the month of the closing.  It is important that you make that last payment(s) not later than the first of the month so that when your attorney orders a payoff letter verifying the balance remaining to be paid on the loan(s), you will receive proper credit for having made that final payment. 

14.  The Closing.  At the Closing, you will receive the net balance due you from the sale. You will be responsible for payment of the cost of providing evidence of title, revenue stamps, real estate taxes to the date of Closing, cost of a survey, broker's commission and attorney's fees.  These costs, along with the amount required to satisfy the balance of your existing mortgage(s) in full, if any, will be deducted form the purchase price at Closing to arrive at your net proceeds from the sale.

Jump Behind
in this document:

Deed to the Property

Title Insurance Policy

Plat of Survey

Real Estate Tax Bill

Paying Off Mortgages

See Also:

Chicago Real Estate Attorney’s Checklist
for Buyers


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


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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