Mike, Home Buyer in indianaplolis

hi, just signed pre-construction condo in the south loop. Still have grace period for my final decision and

Asked by Mike, indianaplolis Sat Nov 10, 2007

need to find help for reviewing condo contract? Whom should I look for?

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Robert Darrow, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sat Nov 10, 2007
Hi Mike,

Here in Chicago, most contracts DO have an attorney review period built into them. They are usually 7 days or 5 business days in length. The length of time can vary, but usually less than two weeks. Your attorney must receive and review your contract DURING THIS TIME. If not, then no changes can be made to your contract.

It is VERY important to have an attorney review your contract. He or she wil be able to determine if the developer is handling tax prorations correctly, verify that the developer is offering a warranty, complying with local laws, making sure your condominium declarations are created and recorded correctly, and many other important items.

The following is a list of attorneys that handle real estate contracts and closings. We have worked extensively with them representing both Buyers and Sellers, and our clients have been very pleased with their performance. If you have your own attorney or have a referral for one, make sure that they have practiced Real Estate Law and are familiar with the contracts (especially in the City of Chicago). If not, you may not be getting the best representation that you are entitled to.

Fees generally range from $400 to $800 to handle the contract review, any contract modifications, inspection issues, and preparation of the closing statement. In addition, your attorney will accompany you at the closing table to explain the forms that you are signing. Most attorneys bill on a flat fee, payable at closing. However, some attorneys may charge you additional fees if the property is new construction. Some attorneys will not bill you if the property does not close, or if you void the contract.

Kent Elliott Novit
Law Office of Kent Novit
100 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone (312) 332-2407
Fax (312) 332-6452

Daniel Seltzer
Attorney at Law
1010 Lake St., Suite 424
Oak Park, IL 60301
Phone (708) 358-8902
Fax (708) 445-9701

Mulryan & York
Mary M. York
4001 N. Wolcott
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone (773) 248-8887
Fax (773) 248-9542

Chris Stasko
Stasko Boyd
20 S. Clark St., Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone (312) 372-7075
Fax (312) 977-0685

Call one of these attorneys today or on Monday. Feel free to use my name as a reference, but also tell them that I am NOT your real estate agent.
Web Reference:  http://www.darrowwest.com
2 votes
Sheldon Saln…, , Chicago, IL
Sun Nov 11, 2007
Hi Mike,

Yes, it is critical to have an attorney who knows new construction review your contract but what about the property report? Did the developer give you one and did you sign for it? Note, it is my understanding that the contract is not binding unless the developer has provided the report. The property report is where the naunces of the development are found and the attorney should see that document as well. The important items to make sure you know about are as follows: % of units sold in the building? Are you able to sell the unit in the first year? Is there any clause that limits the number of rentals in the building? Is parking deeded and if so do you have to sell it to someone in the building? Also, make sure that if the parking is garage that there is a statement in the contract, it is covered. And if this is an existing building that was commercial or occupied by tenants I strongly recommend that both you and the attorney go over the document very carefully to see what improvements and what the developer actually did to improve the building and what possibly needs to be done.

Beware, there are many developers doing cosmetics to existing buildings and then reselling them to the
buyer and the buyer has no idea of what he/she is getting to. Do your due diligence and make sure you have an attorney who know the developers and really understands the ins and outs of new construction.

Also note, make sure you have enough time to go over all the documents and remember not to be pressured as an attorney can easily extend the grace period as long as the extension is in writiing.

Lots of luck.
Web Reference:  http://sheldonchicago.com
1 vote
Patti Pereyra, , Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 10, 2007

I cannot stress to you enough the importance of taking advantage of the attorney review period built into the developer's contract (as Robert said, it is likely 5-7 business days, but I don't want to make any assumptions without having seen your contract).

Builder contracts basically protect and favor the builder's interest, and though it is not likely the builder will allow many (or any at all) modifications to the terms offered, what your attorney can do is ensure that the terms in place are terms that you thoroughly understand and can at least feel confident in moving forward with.

I, too, if you are still in need, can offer you the name of a very good attorney who I know has dealt with a lot of new contruction contracts. You may contact me via my profile for the information.

Good luck.
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sat Nov 10, 2007

By all means have a Real Estate Attorney review the contract before you proceeed any further.

Thank you Ruth for the information.
1 vote
Ruthless, , 60558
Sat Nov 10, 2007

Hey, your attorney price range is soooo high. Are those loop prices, condo prices or did I just get lucky with an awesome RE Attorney in La Grange. I've used him on several transactions plus extras. Our Michigan RE Attorney charges by the minute and I have always felt I am getting a deal from our IL attorney.

Out of State Pros:
Attorneys are a normal part of IL RE transactions. The reason for not being "allowed" an agent would be because of "procuring cause." Hiring an buyer's agent out of pocket would be redundant at this point because your attorney can handle things.

Good luck,
1 vote
Jim Roth, , Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 10, 2007
Mike, at this point you need an attroney to reveiw the contract. If you like I would be happy to refer you one.
1 vote
Suzanne Walk…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Sat Nov 10, 2007
You weren't allowed a realtor????????????? Or you chose not to involve one until now?

If the builder's sells rep procurred the deal and you signed it without a Realtor being present from the first time you walk onto the job site then that makes sense. But, if you were flat out denied the right to representation that would be my first red flag.

I doubt they will deny you the right to an attorney, which at this point you NEED. Builder contracts protect the builder not the buyer. Please get an attorney to review IMMEDIATELY, the cost will be well worth it.

You should know your federal and local governments give you right to a buyer broker.

Short true story from one of my clients who is now a 30 year vet in investing:
First home they bought was from a builder without their own representation. The builder's rep said they could either have an upgraded kitchen or basement. The builder's rep pushed the upgraded kitchen for obvious cost reasons but failed to tell the clients you can always upgrade a kitchen but you can't go back and add a basement. They were one of the few homes in a subdivision that didn't have a basement thus they took a tremendous loss on resale because their home couldn't compete.

I have another client who recently signed a contract on a new build in FL without representation. 23 months later the property wasn't finished and the client lost $70k. The client then went to an attorney to find out they had no recourse since they signed the deal.

I seriously doubt a Realtor will get involved now, since what you are asking is for legal advice and Realtors are not attorneys. We have very strict laws in regards to this situation.

Please get legal advice on this contract.
Susan Walker
1 vote
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sat Nov 10, 2007
You should hire a local Realtor to help you. If you go in to new construction with your Realtor, they are often able to save you money PLUS the builder pays them. At this point, you can either go back to the builder and tell them you have a Realtor....if they say they won't cooperate, move on. Or...pay a Realtor out of your own pocket.
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote
Mike, Home Buyer, indianaplolis
Sat Nov 10, 2007
thanks Cindi, but they do not allow me to have a realtor. In case of hiring one w/ my pocket money, what is the fair money value for contract review?
0 votes
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