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


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