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IL real estate lawyerMost experts agree that it is a seller's market. Homes are in great demand, supply is low, and house prices are skyrocketing. If you are like many people, you may be interested in selling your home. However, selling your home is a major undertaking and it can be easy to make mistakes or overlook responsibilities. As you prepare to sell, consider the following suggestions.

Choose an Experienced Real Estate Agent

It is possible to sell your home without a realtor. However, there are many serious risks associated with "for sale by owner" transactions. Usually, these risks outweigh any potential cost savings associated with an FSBO sale. Real estate agents have access to large networks of potential buyers and ample experience with the home selling and buying process. Your agent can help you identify unqualified buyers and negotiate the best price possible.

Retain a Skilled Real Estate Lawyer

In addition to your agent, you should also consider retaining a knowledgeable real estate lawyer. Selling your home is most likely one of the largest and most consequential financial transactions you will ever make. A real estate lawyer will help you ensure all agreements and contracts are executed properly and do not contain errors or omissions. Your attorney can conduct due diligence and attend the real estate closing with you. If unexpected disputes or legal problems arise, your attorney will be there to handle it.

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IL real estate lawyerIllinois law permits contractors, construction professionals, and other parties to place a lien on a residential property for the purposes of collecting past-due payment. The Mechanics Lien Act ensures that contractors and other parties who work on a home are paid for their work. In other words, a mechanic’s lien is collateral for a debt. It is important for any homeowner to understand when a mechanic’s lien may be placed on their home and how to respond to this situation. It is especially crucial for individuals buying a home to understand how a mechanic’s lien can complicate the home-buying process.

What is a Mechanic’s Lien?

A lien is an action used to ensure the collection of a debt. Liens filed against a real estate property give the creditor interest in the property. This means that the property owner cannot sell or refinance the property until the debt is paid and the lien is lifted. The creditor may also be able to ask the court to compel the sale of the property so the creditor can receive payment from the sale proceeds.

Mechanics’ liens are used to pursue payment of construction, renovation, repair, or home improvements projects. The contractor, subcontractor, or the party who provided materials for the project may be permitted to place a lien on the property if they are not paid for labor or supplies. However, a lien must be executed properly in order to be legally enforceable. Illinois contractors have four months after a project is completed to record a mechanic’s lien.

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IL real estate lawyerThere are multiple different situations where construction may be performed on real estate property. Homeowners may plan to make improvements or renovations to their homes, or a person may plan to build a new home after a residential real estate purchase. Real estate developers may plan construction on commercial real estate property, either by making improvements to existing buildings or adding new buildings that can be leased to commercial tenants. Construction projects can be complicated, and the parties involved in these projects will need to make sure they understand their rights and obligations as they enter into construction contracts. By understanding the types of contracts that may be used in these projects, property owners, developers, and contractors can determine the best options that will protect their rights and interests.

Terms of Construction Contracts

The contracts used during construction projects will typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Fixed-price/lump-sum contracts - A contractor may submit a bid in which a total amount will be paid for a construction project. While this may allow contractors to maximize profits if they are able to complete the project under budget, it can result in losses due to miscalculations, errors made during construction, or unexpected costs.
  • Cost-plus contracts - A property owner or developer may agree to pay for the actual costs of construction, as well as an additional amount that will allow the contractor to make a profit. These contracts allow for more flexibility if changes need to be made during a project or if unexpected expenses arise.
  • Time and materials contracts - A contractor may be paid for the materials used during a construction project, as well as an hourly rate for the time they have worked. While these contracts allow for modifications as needed, they require detailed tracking of time, and they can sometimes be inefficient.
  • Unit price contracts - A project may be divided into several phases or components, with different prices being established for different types of work. This may make it easier to make changes or additions while a project is ongoing.
  • Design-build contracts - This type of contract will combine the design of a construction project with the actual work being performed. This may be a good solution if a single contractor will be providing architectural designs and ensuring that work is completed properly.
  • Guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contracts - An owner or developer may wish to ensure that the total cost of a project will not exceed a certain price. These types of contracts may lead to increased risk for contractors, and they are typically used for projects that involve repeat work with a low possibility of delays or unexpected costs.

Contact Our DuPage County Real Estate Construction Contract Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we have represented in multiple types of real estate transactions and development projects. With our understanding of real estate law and contract law, we can help draft and negotiate construction contracts that will protect the rights and interests of the parties involved. Contact our Wheaton real estate attorneys at 630-665-2500 to arrange a consultation and get legal help with issues related to construction contracts.

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IL real estate lawyerBuying or selling a home is a complex financial transaction. There are a number of issues that can affect a sale, and the parties will need to make sure their interests will be protected as they proceed with the home closing process. The contingencies that will be included in a residential real estate purchase contract can play a significant role in a home sale, and it is important for buyers and sellers to understand the types of terms that may be included and how these issues will affect them.

Common Contingencies in Purchase Agreements

After a buyer makes an offer to purchase a home, and this offer is accepted by the seller, a purchase agreement will be created that will outline the details of the transaction, including the closing date and the requirements that each party will need to meet. A contract will include multiple types of contingencies, which are provisions that state that certain requirements will need to be met in order for the transaction to proceed. These terms may allow either party to terminate the transaction based on certain factors, including situations that would place them in a difficult financial position.

A purchase agreement may include contingencies that address:

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IL real estate lawyerThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people throughout the United States, and many landlords have struggled to determine how they can continue to earn profit through leasing property to residential or commercial tenants. While some tenants have experienced financial issues that have affected their ability to make rent payments, landlords were prohibited from performing evictions for much of 2020 and 2021. The eviction moratorium in Illinois has ended, and landlords may once again be able to use the legal tools at their disposal to address the non-payment of rent by tenants. However, there are some cases where landlords may be hesitant to perform evictions, since this may place residential tenants at risk of harm, and finding new residential or commercial tenants may be difficult during the ongoing pandemic. As an alternative, landlords may consider making lease modifications that will protect their financial interests while allowing tenants to continue using the property.

Types of Lease Modifications

Tenants who have experienced financial difficulties will likely be looking to find ways that they will be able to avoid being evicted while also meeting their ongoing obligations. In some cases, tenants may ask landlords to make concessions, such as forgiving a percentage of past-due rent or temporarily lowering the amount of rent payments. In return for these concessions, landlords may negotiate lease modifications such as:

  • Modifying the term of a lease or other tenant option rights - A landlord may wish to extend the amount of time a lease will last, or they may prefer to limit the term of a lease in order to seek out different types of tenants. Other options may also be addressed, such as a tenant’s right to renew a lease or their option to purchase the property.
  • Additional security deposits - To protect their financial interests, a landlord may ask that a tenant pay a certain amount on top of their existing security deposit, or some of a previous security deposit may be put toward delinquent rent payments.
  • Liens against property - A landlord may ask a tenant to agree to have a lien placed on certain assets they own, such as a vehicle or the equipment owned by a business. This will protect the landlord’s financial interests and ensure that they will be able to recover some of what is owed if the tenant is unable to pay rent in the future.
  • Government relief - There are multiple forms of emergency rental assistance that may be available to residential or commercial tenants. A landlord may require tenants to apply for state or federal relief or make use of local programs. Any benefits a tenant receives can be put toward paying rent that is owed or addressing other expenses related to the property, such as utilities.

Contact Our DuPage County Landlord Representation Lawyers

Landlords will want to make sure they understand their options for addressing tenants who have experienced financial hardship during the pandemic. At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, our lawyers can help landlords take steps to protect their rights and financial interests, including negotiating lease modifications or performing evictions. Contact our Wheaton commercial real estate attorneys today by calling 630-665-2500.

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