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Archive for May, 2018

Should You Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

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Buying or selling a property is certainly a big deal, and will come with big prices. So cutting expenses anywhere possible sounds like a great idea, until you find that you are responsible for the hidden mold infestation in your new basement. Suddenly paying a few extra dollars for a real estate attorney doesn’t sound so bad.

Here are some additional reasons why you should hire a real estate attorney:

  1. They are experienced and will review all the documents
  2. They can guide you through the real estate transaction process
  3. They will be with you during the closing meeting
  4. They will make or review any amendments
  5. They will save lots of time
  6. They will ensure fair deal and smooth process

1. Experienced and Will Review All Documents


After reading these benefits, you may find that working with a real estate attorney is in your best interest.

Especially if you are buying or selling your first property, the details of real estate paperwork can look like a foreign language. It’s tempting to just skip the entire thing and jump ahead to the signature, because you will finally either have the property or get rid of it, and that’s all that’s important, right? Not entirely.

An experienced real estate attorney will review each document carefully and will know exactly what to look for in the fine print. They will then inform you of all important details, ensuring you understand them entirely so you know exactly what it is you are signing.

2. Guide You Through the Real Estate Transaction Process

A regular real estate transaction is difficult, but a home sale contingency just makes everything a hundred times more complicated. Negotiating the price both before and after seeing the home can quickly get stressful, and even spur some regretful decisions whether you’re buying or selling.

But having a real estate attorney available to answer all questions and fight for your rights can make everything run as smooth as butter. They will also accompany you at the closing so you won’t have to worry about that part either.

3. Attend the Closing

Even when you are sure that you have a handle on everything before showing up at the closing meeting, many buyers and sellers will tell you that there will be surprises. The other party can include any requirements or inform you of any problems at the last minute that will leave you to make some quick, difficult decisions.

This is another common situation that real estate attorneys know very well. They will be by your side to fight for your rights and finally provide you with a recommendation based on years of experience, even if it means walking away from the transaction.

4. They Will Make or Review Any Amendments

Life happens. For this reason, amendments are common in real estate transactions, whether it’s pushing back the closing date, additional repairs are needed, or another last-minute event. The contract may need to be updated with a new price, closing date, or other terms.

All of these amendments will be handled by your real estate lawyer, whether it is drafting or reviewing the paperwork. The new terms will then be negotiated with the other attorney and explained to you in layman’s terms.

5. They Will Save Lots of Time

Real estate transactions can be extremely lengthy as both the buyer and seller have various obligations to meet before the closing date. In addition, you and the other party will also have to work with one or more of the following:

  • Title companies
  • County tax assessor
  • Local municipality
  • Lenders
  • Homeowners associations

Although these 3rd parties still don’t work faster with experienced attorneys, a lawyer can ensure a smooth process. This way you will be able to avoid mistakes that can set the process back a few months and even cause the deal to fall through.

6. Ensure a Fair Deal and a Smooth Process

When the realtors prepare real estate contracts, there is generally a modification period of 5 days that allows the attorneys on either side to make amendments. But what they can also do is revoke the contract if an agreement is not made.

With an attorney, they will explain the terms in their most basic format while ensuring they match your agreement. But if the deal still falls through even during the closing, your lawyer will protect your interests, even save you more money than the fees they charge.

Additional Real Estate Law Tips

Aside from the benefits of working with a real estate attorney, it is best to be knowledgeable of the conditions of real estate transactions and aware of the situations that can occur all before, during, and after the closing date. So here are some tips to keep in mind before even entering the real estate market.

1. What Illinois Law States

Every state will have it’s own laws regarding real estate transactions, but in Illinois, it is not required to work with a real estate attorney. They will also not be able to collect any commission from the transaction itself.

On the other hand, real estate attorneys can handle all legal tasks that agents will not touch. This can include creating the home purchase contract, performing a title search, and closing the deal. So if you are not familiar with the transaction process, you may want to consult with a real estate attorney.

2. Never Use the Seller’s Agent

Many home buyers make the mistake of thinking they can save money by using the seller’s real estate attorney instead of hiring their own. This way, you will only see the deal leaning towards their best interests, and then some.

In fact, their agent may even pressure you into letting them represent you; however, the deal will still end up in the seller’s favor due to the high commission they receive. Overall, it’s best to have your own agent – or even no agent – than settling for dual agency.

3. Maintain Control Over the Process

If you are looking to buy the property, make sure that you maintain control of the process at all times. You will be the one to make decisions while your agent scouts the market and your attorney handles the legal side for you.

If you feel that your agent doesn’t understand your needs or won’t take you to view the for sale by owner listings, don’t hesitate to reach out to another agent.

4. How Attorneys are Paid

Real estate attorneys usually charge by the hour, around $150 – $350, depending on experience. Although there are some that charge flat rates, depending on the transaction. You can also hire an attorney to cover specific parts of the transaction, such as only reviewing the documents or drafting amendments at a negotiated price.

5. Real Estate Agents Have a Conflict of Interest

Even when you don’t use the seller’s real estate agent, keep in mind that your agent may be battling an internal want to ensure that the deal goes through no matter what, because of their commission.

But if you read their reviews, a reputable agent will not insist on making the highest bid or recommend home inspectors make light of potential problems. Some food for thought.

Work with a Reputable Real Estate Attorney

After reviewing all these benefits, you may find that working with a real estate attorney would be in your best interest, especially if you are buying a property. But finding an experienced lawyer is extremely important to ensure that the deal is fair, there are no problems with the property, and the process runs smoothly.

Such attorneys include those at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. In addition to 50 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys will review all documents carefully, reading all fine print, and will ensure that all deadlines are met. We are also offering a $195 special on all selling transactions!

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 to inquire more about this deal or schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

9 Divorce Planning Tips

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Divorce. The mere mention of the term triggers a rollercoaster of negative factors, including a drain on finances and a seemingly unending toll on the emotions. The presence of children can make child custody battles exactly that—an important but exhausting fight.

Prepare for an impending divorce so you’re well-equipped with the armaments of combat. Divorce proceedings differ markedly, however, with some divorces being amiable, while others teeter on the brink of war. The type of divorce you will be involved in can determine how smoothly the process will go.

But overall, here’s how to prepare for divorce so there are no dreadful surprises along the way:

  1. Prepare financially
  2. Expect a lengthy process
  3. Seek emotional support
  4. Inventory property
  5. Close joint accounts
  6. Choose your divorce team
  7. Prepare for custody battles
  8. Find a good attorney

1. Prepare Financially

Spouses can expect to spend thousands of dollars on divorce. On average $15,500 covers the cost of attorney’s fees. At the lower end, spouses can get divorced for $1,000. Partners have even been known to spend $100,000 to legally split from their spouses.

The more elements that are involved in the divorce, the higher the cost of the divorce will be. Examples that drive divorce expenses upward include child custody, child support, spousal support or alimony, property division, and reimbursement claims.

Adequately plan to finance your divorce by setting aside a hefty portion of your earnings. Estimate your monthly budget. Cut unnecessary expenses. Ensure you have enough monetary assets to maintain your standard of living through a possibly lengthy divorce.

2. Expect a Lengthy Process

Aside from eating away at your expenses, a divorce might draw out for months. The estimated time it takes for a divorce to be completed starts with filing the petition and ends with settling or receiving a court judgment. Battling spouses can fight out a divorce over the course of 11 months on average. When several issues are involved, a divorce is likely to be resolved in 17.6 months. Couples who settled took about nine months to finalize the divorce. Whether your divorce is messy or straightforward, plan to spend time managing your part during the legal process.

3. Seek Emotional Support

A divorce can speed through several emotions, from anger and guilt to frustration and relief. Prepare for this emotional journey by seeking support from friends, a divorce support group or therapists.

Remember that during a divorce, intense emotions can lead to poor decision making. A circle of positive support can help you maintain a level head and help you approach divorce negotiations with calmness. Find a reliable network to support you through this life-changing event.

4. Inventory Property

Marital property can be identified as personal belongings, heirlooms, real estate, income, tools, jewelry and financial assets. During a divorce, marital property will be divided. Prepare for the division of property by documenting your belongings with digital photos. Photographic evidence of your personal property should be dated to prove ownership.

Keep all evidence of your belongings in a safe place away from your spouse. Examples of places to store evidence of marital property can be at work, a safe deposit box, with friends or family, and electronically. You’ll protect your marital property in the event your spouse attempts to claim that the items are not lawfully yours.

5. Close Joint Accounts

While married, spouses commonly share bank accounts. Open an individual financial account and close any joint accounts as soon as you make the decision to file for divorce. Electronic account statements sent to a new email address will offer you added security and protection from your spouse.

6. Choose Your Divorce Team

Carefully select reliable people to take you through the stressful duration of a divorce. A divorce team might consist of a mediator, judge, financial planner, mental health professional to assess child custody situations, and a dependable divorce lawyer.

Navigating a divorce successfully requires the help of others. Trust your team of intelligent and experienced people, who are on your side to help you achieve the best outcome.

7. Prepare for Custody Battles

When you expect custody disputes, prepare well in advance. Show the court how involved you are in your children’s lives. Note who takes the children to appointments and extracurricular activities. The children’s school can provide documentation for who attended parent-teacher conferences.

When relevant, drug evaluations and police reports can demonstrate why a spouse should not have custody of the children.

9. Find a Good Attorney

As a legal process, divorce requires the services of a lawyer. Divorce proceedings may even be accomplished with a mediator. Complicated divorces especially, however, require the expertise of a divorce attorney. Negotiations can be complex, and an experienced lawyer can help you navigate through the paperwork and processes.

Experts recommend interviewing at least three attorneys who are experienced in family law and the specific type of divorce you need before settling on one to represent you. A lawyer who is a good negotiator, who is knowledgeable about the changing laws and who communicates well is invaluable during the divorce proceedings. Plus, an ideal lawyer will educate you on the divorce process and creatively solve arising issues.

A trust or estate lawyer can offer recommendations for reputable divorce lawyers. Local attorneys also can be found via online websites that feature valuable client reviews.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

A local divorce attorney is essential to ensure the lawyer is experienced in the judicial system in your area. If you live in the Oak Lawn, IL community and are planning for a divorce, contact the area’s most trusted law firm, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

Our experienced divorce attorneys have successfully worked on cases revolving around spousal support, child support, domestic violence, division of property and numerous other aspects of divorce, like post-decree issues and visitation. The lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are thoroughly knowledgeable in the various current laws to offer the best solutions possible for each unique case.

Once you are ready and prepared for divorce, you can count on the legal team at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. to thoroughly answer any questions you have about the legal process.

Every Case is Unique

Fill out the form below to submit your case for a free consultation.

5210 West 95th Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453



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