Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a lawyer for a residential real estate purchase?

A. Intelligent consumers are well advised to enlist the assistance of a qualified real estate attorney. Buying a home will likely be the biggest and most important financial transaction of your life. You need a qualified professional to help guide you through the complicated world of today`s real estate transaction, and help you steer clear of problems.

Your real estate attorney owes an undivided duty of loyalty to you, unlike others involved in the real estate transaction, such as real estate salespersons, lenders, appraisers, inspectors and title insurance company representatives. Before you sign documents involving significant legal rights and obligations, your attorney can explain terms and help you understand what you are signing.

Therefore, you would be well-advised to see your lawyer first. Consult a qualified real estate attorney before signing any offer to purchase property. Thereafter, your real estate attorney can help you negotiate the specific terms of the contract, review title documents and ensure that clear title to the property will be conveyed, help you evaluate mortgage financing options and explain the terms of your mortgage loan, help guide you at closing through the stack of documents that you will be asked to sign, and check to be sure that the conveyance documents have been properly prepared and actually convey good title to the property to you. If you are married, your real estate attorney can also help you evaluate the pros and cons of taking title as joint tenants or as tenants by the entirety, and can explain to you the consequences of the various options.

Q. Can IRELA give me legal advice?

A. Sorry, no. If you need a real estate lawyer but don`t have one, consult the Lawyer Locator Section of this website to find a lawyer. For general legal information, consult your local bar association or the Illinois State Bar Association. The Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (312-332-1624) provides referrals for low-income people in the Chicago area.

Q. Can you tell me whether a particular attorney is a member of the IRELA and give me his/her name and phone number?

A. If you want to find out whether a lawyer is a member of IRELA, go to the Lawyer Locator Section of this web site, select a city or town, and click to see the attorney listings. Or you can call IRELA at (847) 593-5750.

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