New Changes in the Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 7.0

Web Admin - Friday, March 29, 2019
Inverness real estate contract lawyerWhen Illinois residents buy and sell homes, their real estate agents and lawyers generally use a standard form for the sales agreement, the 13-page multi-board residential real estate contract. The latest version, 7.0, should be used for all transactions initiated after March 1, 2019. It contains several important changes that make the contract easier to use than the 6.1e version that has been in use since 2015. 

Significant Changes in Real Estate Contract 7.0 versus 6.1e

The changes to the contract are mainly intended to help reduce errors and misunderstandings amongst all parties involved in a real estate sale. The most important changes that buyers, sellers, and real estate agents should be aware of are:

- Inspection contingency: Subparagraph (a) of the inspection paragraph has been rewritten to prevent buyers from demanding minor repairs. It now specifically states that minor repairs “shall not be a basis for the buyer to cancel” the contract. In addition, the seller can now terminate the contract and return the buyer’s earnest money if the buyer asks for repairs or credits unrelated to the major components of the property. 

- Financing contingency: The old Mortgage Contingency paragraph has been replaced by a Financing paragraph with a choice of three options: mortgage contingency, cash transaction with no mortgage, or cash transaction with mortgage allowed. The deadline for the buyer to serve notice that they did not get the specified mortgage is now fixed at either 45 days after acceptance or five business days before closing, whichever is earlier.

- Property tax representations: Two new seller representations have been added to the contract to better inform buyers about a home’s future property taxes. First, sellers must indicate if there are any home improvements that have not yet been assessed for property tax purposes, such as an addition or a new garage. Second, sellers must indicate if there have been any property improvements eligible for a home improvement tax exemption. 

- Attorney review: The language of this paragraph has been clarified so that any proposed change to the sales contract that references subparagraph (d) will be deemed a “proposal;” any other change will be deemed a counteroffer. A buyer or seller can void the contract due to disagreement over a counteroffer but not over a proposal. 

- Seller credits at closing: The paragraph stating whether the seller will pay the buyer’s closing costs has been moved from page 10 to page 1, so it is located near the purchase price.

- Fixtures and personal property included: Four more items were added to the list: hardscape, wall-mounted brackets for TV/AV equipment, water softener, and wine/beverage refrigerator.

- Foreign seller disclosure: If the seller is a nonresident alien or foreign corporation, this fact must be disclosed for federal tax reasons. 

Consult a Palatine Real Estate Lawyer

To ensure that your home sale and/or purchase proceeds smoothly and that your legal and financial interests are protected throughout the process, contact an experienced Arlington Heights real estate attorney by calling 847-934-6000. The attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC will represent your interests in any real estate transaction. 

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Beware: The Illinois Rent-to-Own Law Has Changed

Web Admin - Friday, May 18, 2018
Schaumburg real estate attorney rent-to-own contractsWhen purchasing real estate property, most homeowners obtain a mortgage, which provides them with certain legal protections, including in the case of foreclosure. However, following the financial crash of 2008, many potential homeowners have purchased homes through installment contracts (also known as rent-to-own agreements), allowing them to live in their home and pay down the purchase price over time.

These types of agreements provide low-income homeowners or those who are unable to qualify for a mortgage with the ability to purchase their own home. However, since the seller retains the title of the home until all payments have been made, some predatory sellers may use rent-to-own agreements to take advantage of buyers, especially if they fail to disclose issues related to property maintenance or building code compliance.

Changes to Illinois Law Regarding Installment Contracts

On January 1, 2018, a new state law went into effect that is intended to provide buyers with protections in an installment sales contract (often referred to as an Installment Contract for Sale of Real Estate, Articles of Agreement for Deed, or Installment Agreement for Deed). The Illinois Installment Sales Contract Act applies to sellers who sell three or more residential real estate properties in a single year, and it does not apply to agricultural property that is larger than four acres. The law contains the following new provisions:

- A seller must record a contract with the county recorder of deeds within 10 days of the sale of the property. If the contract is not recorded, the buyer can rescind the contract, and the seller must provide them with a refund of all payments made.

- A contract must contain a statement in large, bold type that informs the buyer of their right to obtain a home inspection and/or appraisal from a third party before signing the contract.

- If a building on the property has been condemned, the contract must contain a statement in large, bold type informing the seller of this fact.

- A contract must include a statement of what repairs the buyer is responsible for making to the property. The seller is responsible for making any repairs not included in this statement.

- If a buyer defaults on any payments, they have 90 days to make payments and cure the default before the seller can bring any action against them. If a buyer cannot cure the default, the seller must refund them any money they spent to perform repairs on the property.

- If a buyer defaults after paying at least 20% of the property’s purchase price, the seller must follow foreclosure procedures in order to evict the buyer from the property.

Contact an Inverness Real Estate Attorney

If you are planning to use an installment contract to buy or sell a home, an experienced attorney can review your contract to ensure that your rights are protected and that the correct legal procedures are followed. To schedule a personalized consultation, contact a Mount Prospect real estate lawyer at 847-934-6000.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


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