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


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