After property buyers in Illinois find the home that they desire to purchase, one of the final steps in the process is signing the property contract. Although buying property can be extremely exciting and buyers may not be very worried about the terms contained in this document, failure to properly cover the basic terms, contingencies, responsibilities and remedies can cause buyers to end up in a difficult situation once the sale if finalized.

The basic terms

One of the most important aspects of real estate contracts are the basic terms of the deal. This particular section includes vital information like the name of the buyer, name of the seller and other basic information about them, such as their addresses or Social security numbers. Additionally, this section also contains what type of transaction is occurring. For instance, in a property buying situation, this section describes:

  • Where the transfer of ownership will take place
  • How much the property will be sold for
  • What condition the property should be in
  • When the deal will occur

If any portion of this information is incorrect, it is essential that buyers correct these mistakes or else the sale will go through on terms that were not previously agreed upon.


The section outlines what both the buyer and seller must do in order for the sale on the property to go through. For instance, if closing costs are to be split between both parties, this section will outline how much the seller is required to pay and how much the buyer is supposed to pay. It is extremely important for property buyers to thoroughly examine this section before signing the real estate contract to ensure that they do not become responsible for an aspect of the sale that they were not originally planning on or did not know about.


This is the section of the contract that indicates what happens if either the buyer or seller backs out of the sale.  For instance, this section may state that if the buyer decides to not purchase the home right before the sale is finalized, the seller is allowed to keep the security deposit to make up for the inconvenience. Those buying property should make sure that they are aware of this section to fully understand what their options are in case they no longer desire to purchase the home.

While it is necessary for buyers to fully understand the terms of the real estate contract they are required to sign, these documents often contain legal jargon that can be difficult to comprehend. Those who wish to gain more insight into what their property contract entails may benefit from consulting with an attorney.