...Managing Commericial & Residential Transactions
Purchases & Sales
Commercial Real Estate Projects
STEVEN IVY P.C. specializes in commercial real estate. We provide legal services to individuals, start ups, small, medium, and large corporations. In representing both buyers and sellers, we negotiate purchases of land and developed property. The firm conducts the necessary due diligence work, providing reviews of title insurance, surveys, warranties and environmental reports. We formulate and complete all the necessary documentation, and guide our clients through the entire process. Due to our professional associations with attorneys and consultants abroad, the firm is able to assist clients in both domestic and international commercial real estate projects.
Commercial Purchase & Sales Agreements
Typically, commercial real estate agreements are more complex than those utilized in residential real estate. They contain more details, various additional provisions and may involve multiple individual and joint ventures. STEVEN IVY P.C. has an in-depth understanding of the applicable contract laws and the intricacies involved in formation of commercial purchases and sales agreements. Our commercial contracts are effective, easy to understand, and most importantly, designed to protect our clients' best interests.
Residential Real Estate
STEVEN IVY P.C. also represents buyers and sellers of residential real estate. Our clients include individuals and families of all income levels. We work closely with our clients, providing personalized legal services. The firm handles a wide range of real estate transactions, from the purchase to the sale of a residential property, efficiently resolving any intermediate legal issues.
Benefits of Buying a Home
Purchase of a home, a place of your permanent residence, offers several practical benefits, which include: 1) Tax shelter. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home, mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return); 2) Property tax deduction. In addition to the mortgage interest tax deduction, your primary residence tax payments can be deducted on your federal income taxes. 3) Equity Loans. You can borrow against a home's equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, college, medical or starting a new business.
Buying a Home in Illinois
For most individuals and families, the purchase of a home represents the largest investment they will ever make. Therefore, before the final decision to purchase is made, we help our clients asses their financial readiness. In addition to the financial readiness, the firm consults its clients on the applicable Illinois law, property disclosure requirements, title defects, warranties, professional property inspections and real estate purchase contracts.
Illinois sellers must disclose the true condition of the house on the state's Real Property Disclosure Form and must make a good faith effort to answer accurately. This form specially addressees the condition of: foundation, exterior walls, roof, HVAC system, flooding and any existence of asbestos.
We recommend that you do not rely on the seller's disclosure or inspection report. Obtain your own inspection, because problems omitted during the inspection become your responsibility.
Title Defect Investigations
A title search will often uncover these title defects before closing, and title insurance protects you from problems that may arise later. Common title defects include: defective mortgages, liens and various easement issues.
Residential Purchase Contracts
Once the purchase of your home is completed (closed), there is no going back. For this reason alone, you must have a properly drafted purchase agreement (also known as an earnest money agreement, residential offer or real estate contract). Each agreement will contain several conditions, known as contingencies, the most important of which are listed below:
1) Purchase Price. Although quite obvious, this provision removes any possible misunderstandings between the parties, especially after a lengthy price negotiations.
2) Down Payment. This provision is commonly known as the earnest money or deposit.
3) Down Payment Return. This provision specifies under what condition return of the buyer's deposit may be required (such as poor inspection results or buyer's failure to obtain the financing).
4) Escrow Agent. This provision indicates who will hold the deposit money, and who will be the closing agent and/or escrow agent for the closing.
5) Offer Duration. This provision indicates how long the offer will be open. We recommend limiting the validity of an offer to 2-3 days.
6) Closing Date. The date the sale will be finalized and the date buyer can move in. Occasionally, the buyer or seller might want a closing as short as two weeks, but it's difficult to remove all the contingencies and obtain all the necessary paperwork and funding in such a short time period. Common time frames are 30 days, 45 days and 60 days.
7) Closing Costs. This provision should specify whether the buyer or seller will pay for each of the common fees associated with the home purchase, such as escrow fees, title search fees, title insurance, notary fees, recording fees and transfer tax.
8) Real Estate Taxes, Assessments, and Adjustments. This provision provides who is responsible for paying the utility bills, property taxes, insurance and other house-related expenses through the closing date. Typically, real estate taxes accrued against the property shall be prorated through the date of closing the sale and the seller should pay all taxes allocated to the property through that date of acceptance.
9) Property Description. This provision provides the legal description of the property.
10) Improvements and Fixtures Included. This provision specifies what item, currently part of the property being sold, are not included in the sale. If you want the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, oven, washing machine or any other fixtures and appliances, do not rely on a verbal agreement with the seller and do not assume anything. Specify in the contract any fixtures and appliances that are to be included in the purchase.
11) Title Guarantee. A guarantee that the seller will provide clear title to the home, through an abstract of title, certificate of title or a title insurance policy.
12) Inspection Process. An inspection clause that allows you to have the home inspected by a professional inspector, usually within a few days of the date of the contract.
13) Final Inspection. This provision details when the buyer, for the last time, can walk-through the property before the purchase is finalized.
14) Mortgage Contingency. This provision allows the buyer to withdraw from the purchase if he/she is unable to obtain a loan in a specific amount at a specific interest rate within a specific amount of time. Typically, this time frame is limited between 30 and 60 days.
15) Possession of the Property. This provision specifies when the buyer can move in (date of occupancy). In addition, this provision should require the seller to pay a certain amount to the buyer for every day beyond the date of occupancy that the house is not available for the buyer to move in.
16) Sale of Existing Home. A clause that makes the offer contingent on selling the buyer's current home. This clause should also provide a reasonable time frame for the buyer to sell his/her home, such as 30 or 60 days.
17) Risk of Loss. This provision specifies who will be responsible for destruction or damage to the property by fire or otherwise prior to the closing. This provision should indicate that if the property is destroyed prior to the closing, this agreement (including transfer of title) is void and the earnest money must be refunded to the buyer.
18) Special Conditions. This provision allows to account for any unusual circumstances and agreement between the parties.