Selling your home is an important financial transaction that can be quite complicated. Throughout the process, you will need to produce documents to facilitate a sale. For instance, the State of Illinois requires that sellers disclose defects in their home such as flooding and foundation issues.
To ensure you meet all your legal obligations, you may want to consider working with an experienced real estate attorney. Diamond Real Estate Law assists buyers and sellers with real estate transactions in McHenry County (and surrounding areas).
Below you’ll find helpful insight from our team regarding the documents you will need before you place your home on the market, while your home is listed on the market, and during the closing process.
Helpful Documents to Gather Before Listing Your Home
Prior to listing your home, your real estate agent and/or your real estate attorney may need to review the following documents:
- Home appraisal: When you purchased your property, your lender would have required that a professional home appraisal be conducted. This document can help you and your real estate team determine your home’s current market value.
- Financing and Mortgage Documents: Your home’s deed and the original purchasing agreement along with documents regarding lines of credit and home equity loans from your mortgage lender are important forms you should gather before listing your property.
- Homeowner’s insurance documents: These documents can help buyers anticipate their insurance costs.
- Receipts for repairs and upgrades: If you have made substantial upgrades, repairs, and additions to your property, producing these receipts is helpful to your real estate agent and potential buyers. If upgrades or additions require building permits, it is wise to produce copies of these permits as well.
- Property Surveys: These documents are helpful if you have easements or shared driveways.
- Tax records: Producing your property tax records can help potential buyers anticipate their tax burdens.
- Building and Zone Code Certificates: Compliance certificates are important if you made additions, such as a guest house or garage, to your property.
Active Listing Documents
Once your home is on the market as an active listing, you will need to meet your statutory disclosure requirements. Illinois sellers must complete the State’s 23-question disclosure form.
This form asks questions about common defects such as boundary disputes, municipal code violations, and issues with the property’s systems and structures. It is helpful to reference your home’s previous inspection reports, if applicable, from when you first purchased the property.
In Illinois, sellers are not required to have an inspection prior to listing their home. However, it is wise to complete the State’s disclosure form because overlooking a defect could lead to future legal concerns with your buyer.
Illinois also requires that sellers present two pamphlets containing information about radon exposure to a buyer before their contract is signed:
Sellers are not legally required to test for radon but their contract may have stipulations that testing and mitigation, if necessary, be performed at the buyer’s request.
Sellers are also obligated to disclose lead hazards such as paint. Homes built before 1978 may have utilized lead paint and other materials. Disclosing lead hazards is a Federal requirement.
Documents Required for Closing Day
Closing ceremonies finalize the sale of your property. Some of the most common documents you may need include:
- Transfer Documents and Deeds: Sometimes, these documents can be pre-signed before closing. If not, this paperwork will be signed during closing ceremonies.
- Mortgage/Lien Payoff: It is important to have written payoff statements for all mortgages and liens on the property. This way the title company can make sure they get paid from your proceeds.
- Lease Agreement: If the property you are selling has tenants, you will need to bring a copy of your current lease agreement to closing (and if the lease agreement requires it, the consent of your tenants to the sale of the property).
- Receipts for Maintenance and Warranties: Gather any receipts for substantial maintenance done to your property’s structures and systems along with any warranties on closing day.
- Affidavit of Title: These types of documents require notarization. Affidavits of title discloses any potential legal issues that may arise with the property being sold.
- Bill of Sale: This is a legal document that transfers to the Buyer all of the personal property referenced in the contract (usually appliances and other things not physically attached to the property).
- Transfer Tax Declarations: The State of Illinois and its Counties levy transfer taxes when properties are sold. Municipalities may also levy transfer taxes. Transfer tax declarations provide tax estimates based on the final purchase price of your home.
- Estimated Closing Statement: This document is usually prepared by your real estate attorney. It should be reviewed carefully to ensure that charges, credits, and commissions are accurate.
Contact Diamond Real Estate Law today to schedule a consultation
We know this can feel overwhelming. An experienced Illinois real estate lawyer can assist sellers with meeting their legal obligations and ensuring that contracts protect their best interests. If you are selling your home in or near McHenry County, contact Diamond Real Estate Law at (773) 217-9623 to schedule a consultation.
DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, [I][We] always urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.