Main Content

Condo & Home Sale Process, Chicago Real Estate


The Home Sale Process in Chicago

The first and most important step when selling your home is selecting a real estate agent. If you are considering selling your home and searching for realtors in Chicago, let’s talk!

Some questions you may have:

  • What are closing costs in Chicago?

  • What are realtor fees in Chicago?

  • How long does it take to sell a home in Chicago

  • What is the best time to sell a house in Chicago?

  • How much is my home worth?

I am happy to answer these questions and any others you may have:


Required fields are marked *


What are the steps when selling a home?

Once you have selected your real estate agent and the listing agreement is signed, the marketing of your home or condo begins.

Below is an outline of the sales process going forward, after you have received one or more offers. I assist my clients the entire way through these next steps.

1) Negotiate and agree on terms (price, closing date, etc). Buyer and seller sign the sales contract.

2) Once the terms a have been agreed upon by both parties, the buyer will deposit the initial earnest money (Usually $1,000- $2,000). This can done with a personal check or a wire transfer. The money is held in an escrow account until closing. It will eventually be applied towards the purchase price at closing.

3) Home inspection. Unless otherwise agreed upon, the buyer will have the home inspected to determine if there are any issues. Plumbing, appliances, windows, electrical, etc. Depending upon the results, the buyer may request repairs or a credit for repairs that are identified in the home inspection report. Typically these items can be resolved relatively inexpensively with a handyman for a couple hours. It is up to the seller to decide if they want to fix the issues, give a credit at closing for the repairs or decline to make any concessions.

4) Attorney review period. This starts as soon as the contract is signed. The inspection takes place during the attorney review period and any issues arising from the inspection are ironed out by the attorneys. If the sale is for a condo, your attorney will also provide the buyer with the applicable condo association documents at this time. Once both parties are satisfied with all aspects of the sales agreement, the condominium documents have been reviewed and the inspection items are resolved, the attorney review ends.

5) After the completion of attorney review (10-14 days typically), the earnest money deposited by the buyer typically gets increased. The amount of earnest money is negotiated before the contract is signed along with the sales price and closing date. It can be a set dollar amount (i.e. $15,000) or a percentage of the sales price such as 5-10%. Along with the initial earnest money, this new amount is also held in an escrow account until closing and goes towards the purchase price.

At this point, unless the buyer has requested a mortgage contingency, the earnest money can be retained by the seller in the event that the buyer defaults on the contact and does not close as agreed.

If the buyer has requested a mortgage contingency, the seller may still keep the earnest money if the buyer defaults, but not until after the mortgage contingency has expired. Until the mortgage contingency expires, the earnest money is refunded to the buyer if they are not able to obtain financing. For this reason, most sellers will accept a cash offer over an offer with a financing contingency if given the choice.

6) Final walk-through. The day before or morning of closing, the buyers will have a final walkthrough to inspect the home before closing. At this point the seller should have already removed all personal belongings, the home should be “broom clean” unless otherwise agreed to and the negotiated repairs should have been made.

7) Closing. This takes place at a title company selected by the seller’s attorney. Both the buyer and sellers attorneys attend to ensure the paperwork is signed correctly. Seller’s often don’t attend the closing and can pre-sign their portion of the documents. The closing process normally takes about an hour and once everything is signed, the seller will receive the proceeds from the sale via check or wire transfer from the title company.

If you are considering selling your home or condo, let’s talk!

Let's Talk