Illinois Real Estate- What is the Attorney Review Period?

A real estate contract that is signed by both parties at the beginning of the process contains a provision commonly referred to as the “Attorney Review” or “Attorney Modification” Provision. This clause allows an attorney for one party to review and modify the terms of the contract before it becomes binding on both parties. If either party wants to make changes to the contract after signing, they must do so through an attorney and as such, should have one retained prior to or immediately following signing of the contract.

The purpose of this clause is to allow each party to negotiate the terms of the real estate transaction with an experienced attorneys representing their best interests. It also gives each party time to consider whether they want to proceed further with the deal. Here’s what to expect during an Attorney Review period:

Time Frame for the Attorney Review

After the buyer and the seller sign an initial contract, their real estate attorneys will have five (5) business days to review the contract, accept it, reject it, or propose any changes. Within this period, the buyer and the seller can agree to modify the contract to satisfy their specific needs.

Your attorney will work closely with you to make any necessary changes or modifications to the initial contract. The other party’s attorney has the right to accept or reject the proposed changes. They may also counter and make new proposals.. In this 5-day attorney review period, either party may terminate the transaction without consequence an agreement cannot be reached on modification proposals.

However, Once the review period expires which generally remains open until either party terminates, the contract becomes binding.  Once the review period concludes, neither party can change the terms of the agreement. This means that if you do not terminate the contract or ask for modifications within five business days following Seller’s acceptance of your offer, you cannot cancel. .

Requesting Extensions

Sometimes, it may be challenging for both parties to agree with the contract modifications within the 5-day attorney review period. In this case, your attorney will coordinate an extension to the period by mutual agreement with the other party’s attorney.

Other situations may also arise, forcing the seller or buyer to ask for the extra days in various contractual contingency periods, including attorney review or professional inspection.

Responsibilities of Both Parties 

Your attorney will also review your inspection report with you to determine what, if any repair requests you may wish to submit to the Seller, your attorney will also review title history and title insurance. If the buyer finds any issues with the title, the buyer generally has the right to ask for a reduction in the purchase price for the title defect, and may even elect to cancel the transaction.  Your attorney will also review financing documents with you at the closing.

Cancellation of the Sales Contract

In most instances, both parties’ attorneys usually work out the proposed changes and close the contract naturally. But in other instances where an irreconcilable dispute arises between the buyer and the seller, either attorney can cancel the contract if the dispute falls within one of the remaining contingencies. In that case, the buyer gets their initial earnest money back, and the seller puts the property back on the market.

JTLG is Here to Protect Your Rights in All Your Real Estate Transactions!

Whether you’re looking to invest in a commercial property, purchase a new home or sell your current residence, Libertyville law firm Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg, LLC real estate attorneys will help protect your interests throughout the entire real estate transaction process. We understand that the whole attorney review process may be complicated and stressful. But our team of qualified real estate lawyers will make sure you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your future. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your next real estate transaction.



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Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC

Phone Number: (847) 549-0600
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350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Ste. 202
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