Buying a Home in Illinois: Inspection Contingencies in the Contract

Web Admin - Monday, November 18, 2013

A considerable amount of paperwork is involved when buying a home. To begin the process, buyers sign a detailed contract with the sellers which essentially takes the home off the market while other details--including securing financing, appraisals, and inspections--are finalized.

Two particularly important contracts often used in Illinois are the Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract (“Multi-Board”), which has now been released in its fifth version and the Chicago Realtors Contract.  These documents get signed by both the buyer and seller, and represent an agreement between them that the buyer will indeed buy the house, and that the seller will sell it for the agreed upon price. However, the contracts also contain sections called “contingencies,” which represent certain things that either must happen, or cannot happen, for the sale to go through.

For example, a critical contingency that the Multi-Board calls for is the Professional Inspections and Inspection Notices section. This contingency allows for the buyer to conduct, at their expense, different types of inspections of the house that they just agreed to purchase. Under the Multi-Board, a buyer may conduct, “home, radon, environmental, lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, and/or wood destroying insect infestation” inspections.

While most of the names of those inspections provide a good idea of what the inspector will examine, “home” inspections are more general. It is intended and written in the Multi Board that the home inspector goes in to examine the state of the MAJOR components house. The contract  gives some examples of what constitutes a major component:

• Heating and air conditioning

• Plumbing and well systems

• Electrical systems

• Roofs, walls, windows, ceilings, and floors

• Appliances

• Foundation

If the buyer and the seller cannot reach an agreement about how to handle the results of the inspection by ten business days after they signed the contract, then either party may cancel the contract. This makes the inspector’s job particularly important, since it requires someone who can distinguish important issues from minor or cosmetic ones. Since the real estate market changed from an ultra hot Sellers market in the early 2000s to a cold Buyers market the tenor of the home inspection issues has changed significantly. More and more deals are getting terminated over minor inspection issues. The drafters of these two Contracts specifically drafted them to avoid this decision. Often times these issues are being raised as the parties are getting bad advice from the realtor and/or the attorney involved.

But not all defects or problems may automatically allow a buyer to get out of purchasing the home. For example, under the inspection contingency in the Chicago Realtors Contract, “the Buyer agrees that minor repairs and maintenance costing less than $250 shall not constitute defects covered” by the portion of the agreement which allow a buyer to terminate the contract. In other words, squabbles over minor issues which could be solved for little money are rarely should be enough to tank the deal. Many prolonged legal disputes hinge on the exact question of whether a defect is sufficient to allow a buyer to refuse to purchase the home. This is the point when the professionals involved should provide the appropriate guidance to the Buyer(s) regarding what is acceptable to raise under the contract terms and what is not acceptable to raise.

The easy thing for the Realtor and/or attorneys involved to do is to blame the home inspector.  However, the home inspection company has a contract with the client setting forth their obligation to inspect the property in a certain manner regardless what the home inspection contingency states. It is the responsibility of the Realtor and attorney involved to translate the inspection report into the home inspection contingency limitations and set the Buyers expectations on what the Seller should reasonably be asked to repair.

Of course, home inspections represent just one of the many legal complexities surrounding the process of buying or selling a home. If you are considering going through that process, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows real estate attorney today. Our team can help you navigate the process from start to finish. We serve many northwest suburban areas including Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, and other nearby communities.

Recent Posts


living wills underfunded trust construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation home inspection lawyer privacy head on collisions revenge porn license suspension Illinois workplace discrimination attorney insurance claim denials Illinois injury lawyer Jay Andrew probate process field sobriety test bad faith insurance claims denied insurance claim Illinois estate planning appealing an insurance claim liability Landlord Tenant Ordinance license reinstatement personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Illinois registered agent Barrington estate planning attorney estate plan child safety license modern family estate planning pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Crystal Lake will lawyer paid sick leave irrevocable trust contracts foreclosure Schaumburg personal injury attorney Illinois red light cameras digital evidence Illinois traffic accident lawyer Exclusions estate planning attorney nursing home negligence Rolling Meadows business lawyer Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Illinois employment attorneys Schaumburg car accident attorney involuntary manslaughter real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers insurance agents speeding Des Plaines DUI attorney Illinois insurance lawyer insurance claim delay BUI startup company Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Deer Park real estate law firm hiring employees Illinois employee rights attorney. loopholes Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Illinois DUI attorney Deer Park accident attorney natural gas Colin Gilbert Illinois employment lawyer distracted driving accidents vacation home breach of contract Schaumburg insurance lawyers Crystal Lake injury attorney reckless homicide Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Palatine real estate lawyer life insurance policy investment property mass shooting car accidents estate planning Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Palatine business attorney Palatine drug lawyer digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, personal injury claim Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer no contest clauses Barrington employment law firm Arlington Heights traffic attorney natural gas explosion truck collisions digital information Home Sale Contingencies pet bites consent to a search Illinois traffic laws power of attorney Illinois employment law residential real estate fatal car accidents coronavirus caretaker rights Schaumburg employment law attorneys marijuana crimes attorney meal breaks digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers sexual images wage theft Forcible Entry healthcare driving Schaumburg Arlington Heights lawyer cell phone tower data llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Schaumburg criminal law attorney Rolling Meadows Arlington Heights Attorney Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer insurance agent negligence filing a medical malpractice claim job lawyers Crystal Lake insurance lawyer underinsured motorist dog bites Illinois employment law firm DNR Illinois small business Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer internet TBI swimming pools Barrington attorney forming a corporation in Illinois employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Palatine criminal defense lawyer rent to own real estate contracts medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Palatine traffic accidents premises liability Illinois business law atorneys traumatic brain injuries Barrington employment law attorney employment law living trust car collision Do Not Resuscitate insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys workers compensation benefits Illinois insurance attorney Inverness corporate attorney defective products lawyer income distribution deducation blood alcohol content murder disability benefits Schaumburg probate attorney hit and run accident Joliet general practice lawyers Illinois civil litigation lawyer traffic violations employee discrimination Illinois Sales Representative Act Chicago estate planning Employment Discrimination Law insurance attorney rollover car crashes Crystal Lake traffic attorney Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney unauthorized overtime food poisoning digital assets Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers owner responsibility products liability compensatory time life insurance lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Inverness elder law lawyer POA Self-Directed IRA Accounts Crystal Lake employment lawyer Illinois mortgages installment contracts brain injury Palatine corporate attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Transfer on Death Instrument elder law Long Grove real estate lawyer employment attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer living trust benefits trustee drugs Detainer Actions Des Plaines insurance attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission corporate law holiday statistics Arlington Heights trucking lawyer traffic deaths Illinois medical malpractice case Chicago biking tips Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney traffic violations defense Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Illinois business lawyer Palatine elder law attorney Illinois estate planning law firm Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney Inverness personal injury attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Deer Park traffic lawyer changes to mortgage law Illinois car accident attorney minimum wage Chicago traffic lawyer medical marijuana Arlington Heights injury attorney Barrington real estate lawyer Arlington Heights criminal lawyer healthcare claims advance healthcare directive drug crimes lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney accidental death benefits insurance denial appeals Illinois driving without license boating DUI Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Mount Prospect elder law attorney icy parking lots in terrorem provision Arlington Heights employment attorney probate lawyer Illinois elder law attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm elder abuse Barrington Traffic Lawyer Inverness accident lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorney insurance disputes Illinois defective products attorney Illinois real estate Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer uninsured motorist probate claims process criminal record Barrington business law firm anesthesia errors texting while driving distracted driving accident victims homestead rights Illinois Trust Code capital gains tax Arlington Heights accident attorney Illinois personal injury lawyer Illinois traffic attorneys Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Inverness injury lawyer Illinois rollover accident lawyers Palatine Attorney Mt Prospect Attorney Chicago employment attorney Illinois criminal defense attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney medical malpractice compensation Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney overtime violations taxes Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer bicycle accidents Illinois pedestrian accident attorney personal injury lawyer boating accidents insurance dispute Palatine insurance lawyer real estate attorneys probate claims Palatine employment law lawyer liens Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Chicago will attorney Palatine personal injury lawyer car crash Home Remodeling Repair Act Rolling Meadows criminal attorney estate tax civil rights violation workplace sexual harassment estate attorney product liability Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Buffalo Grove corporate attorney bicycle dooring accidents Illinois workers compensation attorney liability claims Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Affordable Care Act Illinois probate lawyer preventing accidents car accident lawyer Illinois will lawyer Illinois boating accident lawyer gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys personal injury accidents insurance claim dispute attorney Family Medical Leave Act Des Plaines personal injury lawyer medical malpractice claims traffic accidents Illinois tax attorney pedestrian accident Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Illinois employment law attorneys Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers deed transfer slip and fall accidents boating under the influence Illinois trusts attorney ken apicella Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Barrington criminal defense lawyer probate fees car crash injuries Rolling Meadows employment attorney Illinois Probate Act of 1975 comp time low-ball insurance settlement deadly crashes Inverness estate planning lawyer Illinois insurance disputes Crystal Lake employment law attorney Illinois personal injury lawyers landlord tenant law first degree murder Deer Park criminal attorney criminal defense wills criminal Illinois employment laws Arlington Heights TBI attorney Deer Park personal injury lawyer BAC fiduciary rule Illinois Smoke Detector Act South Barrington real estate attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys civil litigation attorney unpaid assessment Illinois lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Illinois workers compensation lawyer Illinois workplace lawyer preventable medical errors Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers small business blended families defective products senior citizens Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney LLCs Schaumburg real estate lawyer jet ski accidents DMV employee misclassification Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Kenilworth estate planning lawyer IRA trust transfer caregiver Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Schaumburg traffic lawyer trust payments Schaumburg estate attorney Des Plaines Rolling Meadows accident lawyer golf accidents Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer crossover accidents Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act real estate attorney car accident lawyers traffic laws dealing with problem employees Crystal Lake tax lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer breathalyzer test Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney IRA benefits Barrington criminal lawyer workers compensation Illinois job attorney back injuries suspended license creditors Illinois real estate lawyer Des Plaines civil attorney wills and trusts employment lawyer Illinois employment law attorney pain and suffering drunk driving statistics Des Plaines tax law firm Illinois trucking safety Illinois wills and trusts attorneys medical malpractice vacation home fines condo association underage DUI Crystal Lake employment attorney Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Palatine workers compensation lawyer Palatine probate lawyer expungement commercial leases Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys estate planning lawyer Illinois speeding lawyer denied insurance claims Illinois collections attorney trucking accident lawyers Des Plaines pet law attorney Inverness traffic law firm real estate zoning surgical mistakes Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Des Plaines real estate attorney Illinois medical malpractice attorney commercial leasing slip and fall Palatine construction attorney estate planning for college students Super Mario Palatine civil litigation lawyer Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois traffic attorney texting and driving medication errors Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Barrington civil litigation attorney denial of life insurance Crystal Lake personal injury attorney guardianship attorney estate planning trusts Long Grove real estate attorney special needs trust car accident workers comp Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Des Plaines criminal attorney probate fiduciary rule delay GM ignition switches Schaumburg corporate attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Chicago insurance law firm trusts CAM DUI attorney Illinois wills and trusts life insurance pay when paid contract Des Plaines personal injury attorney Policy Cancellation Deer Park traffic accident attorney real estate Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer right to work license revocation civil litigation insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Rolling Meadows Attorney Inverness DUI lawyer overtime pay Whistleblower Claims traffic tickets Schaumburg criminal attorney murder defense Illinois corporate lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer personal injury attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer federal crimes clemency employment law, Illinois employment laws Illinois pet lawyer Thanksgiving sole proprietorship insurance claim dispute Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers problem employees Palatine punch death business litigation Des Plaines real estate lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer agent severance agreements Palatine traffic lawyer IRELA Illinois personal injury Schaumburg injury lawyer attorney fees Chicago lawyer insurance claim tax attorney rumble strips Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer landlord Illinois Human Rights Act Illinois jet ski accident lawyer insurance adjusters new real estate form traffic crimes Rolling Meadows insurance attorney living trust vs will rest breaks Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney unpaid overtime Chicago employment lawyer work unions Kenilworth estate planning attorney Illinois estate planning attorney Attorney Ken Apicella Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Retaliatory Discharge Crystal Lake business law attorneys hands free device Illinois construction accident attorney Class A misdemeanor Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Arlington Heights employment law attorneys employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Des Plaines claims law firm cell phone accidents construction contracts Schaumburg elder law lawyer DUI penalities Illinois attorney trench injuries privacy laws Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer trauma after an accident sexual harassment Barrington estate planning lawyer Illinois insurance claims lawyers mortgage Schaumburg civil litigation attorney insurance claim denial Palatine corporate law attorneys FMLA Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney DUI defense spinal cord injuries wrongful death Schaumburg drug defense lawyer institutional trustee drug crime Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Schaumburg Attorney automated cars drug possession real estate closing Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorney jet ski construction accidents health insurance dispute gift taxes college kids insurance negligence controlled substance Chicago insurance claim attorneys pet law Fair Labor Standards Act Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer spinal cord injury motorcycle accident lawyer personal injury claims Deer Park DUI lawyer BAIID employees Des Plaines injury law firm Illinois home inspection Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Inverness probate lawyer Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows real estate attorney car crashes loss of consortium Palatine trusts lawyer Deer Park employment law attorney cell phone real estate leasing Legal Info Arlington Heights tax lawyer estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers wrongful termination Inverness civil lawyer Colin H. Gilbert Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Crystal Lake pet attorney real estate contract fault based insurance School Visitation Rights Act pregnant women drug crimes Barrington drug crime attorney Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer medical research ACA commercial real estate Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer operating agreements Mount Prospect real estate lawyer DUI employee rights Illinois Illinois personal injury attorney bike accident Illinois medical malpractice claim Inverness insurance attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer eluding a police officer condo Des Plaines accident attorney power of attorney for healthcare Buffalo Grove law firm Long Grove estate planning attorneys federal regulations for LLCs Palatine employment attorney manufacturing Palatine law firm Illinois living will criminal law Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers foreclosed rental property motorcycle accident Palatine civil attorney Chicago trucking accident attorney Schaumburg employment attorney insurance dispute attorney Barrington injury attorney Palatine injury attorney Buffalo Grove real estate attorney dram shop law Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument employment contract unfunded trust marijuana trucking accidents Illinois insurance claim attorney Palatine estate planning lawyer traffic offenses Long Grove estate planning FSLA Inverness real estate attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act comparative negligence ObamaCare PTSD whistleblower protections Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers life insurance claims financial advisors drunk driving Barrington employment attorney Barrington boating accident attorney Liquor Control Act Crystal Lake law firm Illinois law Crystal Lake accident attorney personal injury traumatic brain injury Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Illinois LLC creation Fourth of July Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer social media after death Palatine employment lawyer subcontractor Des Plaines collections attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer IRS Chicago estate planning lawyer Chicago car accident lawyer murder charges personal injury law firm Chicago attorney independent contractor pizza emoji auto accidents Barrington litigation attorney insurance denials Rolling Meadows tax attorney Chicago corporate attorney Crystal Lake car accident attorney dynasty trusts rollover accidents DGAA insurance claims pedestrian accidents