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


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