The Attorney’s Role in Representing Sellers of Illinois Residential Real Estate

When representing sellers of residential real estate, the attorney’s role begins by carefully reviewing the contract and real estate disclosures executed by the parties, public records of municipal violations, real estate tax assessment and payment, and other matters affecting title to the premises. 

When appropriate and beneficial, the seller’s attorney will request modifications to the contract under the attorney modification provision, and will counsel seller and negotiate on their behalf with respect to any modification requests or professional inspection requests made by the buyer’s attorney. These negotiations can seriously affect the parties’ respective obligations and exposure to liability both during the pendency of the contract, and sometimes well after the closing. Issues at the heart of attorney review negotiations include items such as the proper calculation of real estate tax prorations, allocation of pending or contemplated special HOA assessments, assignment or termination of existing tenancies, repairs or credit for items disclosed through professional inspection of the premises, as well as numerous other issues involved in the residential real estate transaction.  Given the serious legal and financial implications involved in this process, the counsel of a knowledgeable and diligent residential real estate attorney is essential in protecting the seller’s interests and bottom line. 

In Illinois, the seller’s attorney’s responsibilities also include the preparation of the deed conveying title to the buyer, affidavit of title and bill of sale and other documents required for the transaction. Depending on the nature of the transaction, the seller’s attorney may also have to order additional documents required by the municipality, such as the zoning certificate and full payment water certificate from the city of Chicago. For condominium properties, attorney for the seller must obtain various documents form the condominium association, such as the declaration, rules and by laws, 22.1 disclosures, meeting minutes, budgets, and paid assessment letter. For non-condominium properties, seller’s attorney must usually obtain a plat of survey for the property that shows the dimensions of the lot being conveyed, the location of the improvements on the lot, and any restrictions, building lines, easements, set-backs and other matters of record that affect the use of the property. The seller’s attorney is also charged with calculating the various prorations and charges in accordance with the contract and attorney review modifications, and providing the same to the buyer’s attorney for review. 

Since title to real estate property can be encumbered by liens, mortgages, unpaid taxes, and other defects, title insurance is utilized in most real estate transactions in the United States to guarantee that buyers receive good title to the property they are purchasing.  In Illinois, seller’s attorneys often act as agents for different title insurance companies, and are charged with procuring the policies protecting buyers and lenders. As title insurance agent, the seller’s attorney examines the public record related to the property, raises issues that can affect title, and is responsible for obtaining the necessary payoffs, releases, certificates and other clearance documents required to resolve the encumbrances, and provide insurable title to the buyer and their lender. 

In summary, given the central role Illinois attorneys play in representing sellers in residential real estate transactions, it is essential that your attorney have the experience and diligence to protect your interests in this complex process. The Law Offices of Vladimir A Uman, P.C. has over 12 years of experience representing sellers and buyers of residential real estate transactions in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Call us today at 773.521.7201 for a free consultation and proceeds estimate. Or email attorney Uman directly at

Vladimir Uman

Vladimir A. Uman, the principal attorney of our firm, has extensive experience in residential real estate transactions, financed transactions, cash deals, by-owner sales, short sales, and articles of agreement for deed/seller financing transactions. His vast litigation experience includes landlord - tenant disputes, Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance violations, suits for specific performance, and foreclosure suites. Mr. Uman is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School and has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2007. Attorney Uman is fluent in Spanish, Russian and Hebrew.