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


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