1. To provide legal advice. Your listing agreement (the contract between you and your realtor) and your real estate contract (the contract between seller and buyer) have dozens of pages of legalese. Your properties lawyer will answer your questions regarding the agreements and point out important provisions that you would otherwise surely miss.

  2. To negotiate the terms of the listing agreement (“Agreement”). The Agreement is a contract between you and your realtor. The most important thing to remember is not to sign the Agreement before your attorney reviews it. Typically, there is no grace period or attorney review period to have an attorney review it for you. Once you sign it, you are stuck. You will probably not know what is reasonable or unreasonable and the pitfalls that await you.

  3. To negotiate the terms of the real estate contract (“contract”). Most people do not have the expertise necessary to know what to ask for when negotiating a real estate contract. What is a reasonable request and what is not? Your real estate attorney will determine what the opposing attorney allows and what is not allowable. Your closing attorney will make sure the contract is acceptable and mutually agreeable to both the seller and the buyer.

  4. To order ancillary services and prepare documents. Besides providing consultation and advice, your closing attorney will prepare all documents needed for the closing and order ancillary services, such as title insurance, survey, and HOA inspections. Your attorney will also make sure that the entire process of selling or buying your dream home runs smoothly by coordinating the transaction with lenders, title companies and any other professionals required during the sale or purchase of your real estate.

  5. To provide home inspection advice. Once a property inspection is complete, your real estate closing lawyer is invaluable in advising you on how to handle the supposed defects found during an inspection. Do you fix the defect or offer a credit or inform the buyer to take it or leave it? Your real estate attorney can advise you on how to best approach defects found during a property inspection period.

  6. Your real estate closing lawyer will make certain your real estate transaction moves forward so that there are no delays in the closing process. A closing attorney makes communication among the various parties easier throughout the transaction. A real estate transaction may involve: buyers, sellers, attorneys, real estate brokers, inspectors, lenders, title companies, banks, homeowner associations and other experts. Your closing lawyer will coordinate your real estate transaction to successfully close the deal.

  7. To order title insurance. Most real estate attorneys in the Chicago Metropolitan area are also agents for various title companies. Since the title company pays your closing attorney for the title services he or she provides, a real estate attorney can represent a seller for a nominal, flat fee of $200-$450 even though the real estate transaction may involve many hours of work. Having a real estate closing attorney who is also an agent for the title company benefits the seller. They help in researching the ownership of the property and find title defects in the real estate being sold. The title company pays the closing attorney for services they perform. Most closing attorneys charge a nominal flat fee for the many hours they put into the transaction since they already receive a fee from the title company for their services in clearing title.

  8. Last but not least, your real estate attorney serves as your advocate to protect your interests, whether the deal closes or not.