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


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