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


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