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In 1990, after having practiced law for more than a decade, I hired a lawyer to do my real estate closing. Why would a lawyer hire someone to do her own closing? Because, all I knew is that I wanted THAT house, as soon as possible. The contract that I signed did NOT contain some rather important clauses regarding such things as calling for a home inspection before the contract becomes final and allowing for a walk through of the home within 48 hours of the closing. However, I DID write "Subject to attorney approval" on the contract, and my attorney made some changes to the contract that covered MY rear end. When she and her husband bought their condo, I was their lawyer...
I have done over three hundred real estate closings. More than 95% of people in Illinois have lawyers involved in their real estate closings: buyer or seller, a lawyer represents them. I have noticed that the numbers are far fewer in Wisconsin. People seem to think that their bank will protect them or the title company will see to it that they bring down clear title. Well, here's the truth, the banks and title companies are protecting themselves. You need to have a lawyer protecting your interests. Can you imagine signing 10-20 pages of small print...without an attorney? An unnecessary expense? In all likelihood, you will never make a larger purchase than a house and the property under it. Is this really the time to save $250-$500 when you are making an investment of $200,000 or more?
Before you sign ANY contract, put "SUBJECT TO ATTORNEY APPROVAL" in the area near where you sign it. Fax that contract to me and I will, within 24 hours (weekends excepted) get back to you with my comments and proposed changes. If you have any sort of questions at all, please contact me by phone. I answer the phone most of the time. If you are forced to leave a message, I will return your call as soon as possible. You can also send email.