Cook County, IL real estate law is a very complex area that not all lawyers know about. Whether you are buying a home or trying to sell a land, or simply need to solve a problem of proximity, the assistance of an experienced Chicago real estate transaction lawyer is important to ensure that your interests are being protected.
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What is an escrow and an escrow agent? What does it mean to have funds or documents in escrow?
An escrow agent is typically a third party designated to hold an item (usually funds, but sometimes certain documents, such as a deed and/or mortgages) for a certain time or until the occurrence of a condition, at which time the escrow agent is to hand over the item to another party. Typically the escrow agent will be the title company, and the funds and documents that they are holding include any deposits made under the contract to purchase the property, as well as the deed and the mortgage instruments. In many home purchase contracts, the initial deposit or earnest money will be held by an escrow agent until the closing. In some states, the entire closing happens through an escrow agent, with all funds and documents being collected and distributed in the manner required by specific and detailed written escrow instructions.
How does the buyer know how the land surrounding the property will be used?
Typically, the seller does not guarantee how the area surrounding the property will be used. Some purchase agreements ask the seller to warrant what the seller knows about surrounding property uses that might interfere with the use of the home, but many do not. If a buyer is concerned, he or she should contact the property appraiser or tax collector for the county in which the property is located and determine who owns the surrounding land, or speak to the zoning or planning department of your local municipality prior to purchasing the property to understand how surrounding uses may affect you. The title commitment only discloses information about the property being purchased and does not attempt to inform the buyer about surrounding uses. Sometimes a survey will identify the owners of any immediately adjacent parcels. The purchaser needs to take responsibility for finding out what uses may affect him or her. The buyer can ask the neighboring property owners if they know of plans to develop land surrounding the property. The buyer may also wish to talk with the building or zoning office of the local municipality to confirm the zoning of surrounding property so as to know what kinds of uses might be made in the future, although zoning can be changed.
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What is the difference between a General Warranty Deed, Special (Limited) Warranty Deed, and Quit Claim Deed?
- General Warranty Deed. A general warranty deed guarantees the grantor’s good title before the conveyance, and that warranty continues after the conveyance. The usual guarantees or warranties by the seller are: good title, freedom from encumbrance other than as specifically identified, and right of possession to the buyer as against all others. The warranty includes any claims arising during or prior to the grantor’s ownership.
- Special (or Limited) Warranty Deed. A special warranty deed, sometimes referred to as a limited warranty deed (and some states may have a different name for this form of deed), provides less extensive warranties than the grantee receives from a general warranty deed. Under a special warranty deed, the grantor warrants only against claims arising during the period of the grantor ownership but does not warrant against any claims arising prior to the grantor’s ownership of the property.
- Quit Claim Deed. A quit claim deed contains no warranties of any kind and conveys only the interest, if any, held by the grantor (for example, if the grantor actually had no interest to convey, the quitclaim deed would not vest any ownership in the grantee). The quit-claim deed is not typically used for residential real estate purchase transactions.
- Sheriff’s Deed. A sheriff’s deed is a deed granted at the end of a mortgage foreclosure, in which the sheriff, under the order of the court in the foreclosure case, grants ownership of the property to the successful bidder at the sheriff’s sale. These deeds are quitclaim deeds and carry no warranty because the bidder at the sheriff’s sale takes title “subject to all legal encumbrances” including any flaws in the foreclosure procedure.
- Fiduciary Deed. A fiduciary deed is a deed granted by a trustee or other fiduciary (often a court-appointed individual or entity) who conveys title to property pursuant to that grantor’s authority under a trust agreement or as the result of a court-supervised proceeding.
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El derecho de bienes raices es una area muy compleja que no todos los abogados conocen. Ya sea porque usted esta comprando una casa o tratando de vender un terreno, o simplemente necesita resolver un problema de colindancias, la asistencia de un abogado experimentado es importante para asegurar que sus intereses estan siendo protegidos.