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


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