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


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