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The Real Estate Closing Process for Homebuyers

The closing process occurs after the Seller accepts an offer but before the property is transferred to new ownership. In general, the closing process entails three things (1) final approval for the loan, (2) home inspection, and (3) getting homeowners and title insurance. The closing process is usually limited to a few weeks or a month to ensure that the seller may relist the property if the buyer cannot complete the process.

Final Loan Approval

When a buyer is shopping for a new home, there is usually a preliminary approval letter from his or her lender. The letter authorizes loans up to a certain amount and is based on a bank’s preliminary investigation. However, when an offer is made at a specific price point, the buyer will need the bank’s loan approval before he or she can proceed. The bank will ask for financial information, such as tax returns, bank statements, and employment records, to verify that the buyer can pay back the loan.

Home Inspection & Attorney Review

Another step in the closing process is the attorney review period and home inspection. The attorneys for each side will review the contract and either approve, disapprove or propose modifications to the contract.  Additionally, the buyer usually hires the inspector and makes payment at the time services are rendered. The inspector checks the house for potential issues, such as mold or unpermitted structures.  The attorneys may negotiate necessary repairs that are to be made to the property or cancel the contract if repairs are excessive or an agreement cannot be made as to which repairs the seller will make to the property. 

Insurance

Buyers need two kinds of insurance: Homeowner’s and Title. Title insurance protects buyers and lenders from potential issues if there is a defect in the title. For example, if the seller fails to disclose that a lien is held against the house or an easement to a neighbor, the third-party may sue to enforce his or her rights, causing the bank and buyer to incur expenses. Title insurance protects buyers and banks from this possibility.  Title Insurance in Illinois is usually paid for by the seller. 

Homeowner’s insurance covers the house itself. Homeowner’s insurance covers accidental damage to the home. It also may protect the buyer against lawsuits that originate may when someone is injured on the property. Most lenders require homebuyers to maintain homeowner’s insurance as a condition of the loan. Buyers are free to use the insurance company of their choice, but lenders often require buyers to purchase policies with specified policy limits and deductibles.

He helps clients resolve issues relating to family law, including divorce, parenting time and parental responsibilities, paternity, and child support. As a skilled real estate attorney as well, Scott also provides advice and legal representation to clients who are purchasing or selling residential or commercial property in Illinois.

Years of Experience: Approx. 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illiois Courts Northern District of Illinois Federal Courts Illinois State Bar Association Chicago Bar Association

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