The Differences Between Illinois & Indiana Regarding Attorney Review Periods

When buying or selling property, you might not think much about the legal processes involved—especially the attorney review period in real estate transactions. We are examining how significantly the law varies between Illinois and Indiana and what that means for you as you buy and sell real property. 

The Attorney Review Period in Illinois 

The attorney review period in Illinois is a clearly defined timeframe that begins once the buyer and seller have signed a contract. This period typically lasts five business days. During this time, the attorneys for each party have the right to review the contract. They can approve the agreement, reject it, or suggest amendments. If either party chooses not to proceed with the transaction based on the attorney’s advice, they can withdraw without facing any penalties. This process ensures that both parties fully understand and agree to the terms without being pressured. 

If the attorney finds any issues, they may request modifications to protect their client’s interests. These modifications might include adjustments to the purchase price or the terms of occupancy. During this period, the buyer’s attorney can request additional documentation, such as pertinent Association information (if applicable), as well as information about any prior water damage or past insurance claims. If the seller’s attorney responds identifying potential issues affecting the sale, all can be addressed during the review period. Ultimately, this period is a safety net, ensuring all legal aspects are thoroughly vetted before finalizing the deal.

Indiana Differs Significantly 

Indiana, unlike Illinois, does not have a mandated attorney review period for real estate transactions. In fact, in the vast majority of Indiana residential real estate transactions, the parties proceed without an attorney.  Instead, the emphasis is more on the use of standard contracts and the due diligence of each individual party. While parties in Indiana can still choose to have an attorney involved in their real estate contracts, no specific period is set aside by law for this purpose and the contract is usually signed and done before an attorney can get involved to protect a client’s interests.. Ask your real estate agent to add an attorney review period prior to signing the contract. Otherwise, the lack of a formal review period means that the parties’ terms are set in stone upon signing and they rely heavily on real estate professionals (think agents and title companies) that have no legal experience to ensure that contracts are fair and comprehensive. This can lead to problems and potential disputes if issues arise after the fact. Thus, having a lawyer review the documents ahead of time in Indiana and/or building in an attorney review period), although not required by law, is advisable to protect your interests. 

Without an existing review period, buyers and sellers must proactively seek legal counsel to review contracts before signing the contract. Attorneys in Indiana will not be able to assist effectively (like their Illinois counterparts), without the benefit of a specific review timeline. The lawyer’s role is to safeguard the client’s interests, from the property description’s accuracy to the title’s legitimacy.

Real estate transactions involve significant financial and personal commitments, and the laws that govern them can affect you significantly. Whether in Illinois, with its structured attorney review period, or in Indiana, where such a period isn’t standard practice, understanding these differences can help you navigate your real estate transaction more effectively. 

Choosing An Attorney Now Protects Your Long-Term Interests

If you’re buying or selling real estate in Illinois or Indiana, you need a professional who understands the specific legal landscape of these states. Contact us for a free consultation to ensure your real estate transaction is handled with the care and thoroughness you deserve.

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Auricchio Law Offices

Auricchio Law Offices in Chicago provides a complete range of real estate services. We facilitate residential and commercial real estate transactions, advise and represent condominium associations, and represent property owners in real estate litigation. Whatever your real estate issue, we will work diligently to achieve your goals in a timely and efficient manner.

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