If you’re buying or selling a home, or working on any sort of real estate deal, hiring a real estate lawyer is the best way to ensure everything goes as planned. Illinois real estate law can be confusing, but a lawyer can guide you through any tricky process. So, what exactly do real estate lawyers do? They handle a myriad of topics and situations, starting with drafting documents.  

Drafting Documents

Real estate lawyer drafts documents

Lease Agreements – You may be familiar with lease agreements. If you’ve ever rented a space from someone or rented out a property as a landlord, you will have signed a lease agreement. Leases are between a tenant and landlord and protect both parties through a set of terms and conditions laid out in a written document. A real estate lawyer can help you determine the stipulations and responsibilities laid out in a lease agreement, or review the agreement to make sure it is fair and legally sound. 

Renters Agreements – Many people assume this type of agreement is the same as a lease. It is not, and a real estate attorney can explain to you why. Rental agreements are much shorter than lease agreements; as short as one month. These are set up on a month to month terms. There is also more room to alter the agreement as each term ends, and before the next time period begins. This differs from lease agreements which are much stricter in editing or changing the rules outlined in it. 

Purchase Contracts – A purchase contract is just what it sounds like; a contract about purchasing real estate property. You need to have a real estate lawyer to draft this document for you, whether you’re a buyer or seller. It is signed at the end of negotiations and covers a broad scope of details such as mortgage financing and home inspection, and any accompanying documents needed. 

Financing Agreements – As opposed to borrowing from a traditional bank or government loan, financing agreements can offer an array of benefits. A financing agreement for real estate law is a contract between a lender and a borrower that specifies how the borrower will receive funding for their investment and how they will repay their debts to their lender. The main benefit of a real estate financing agreement is that it allows the lender the opportunity to ask for specific payment options and low-interest rates that are often more agreeable than traditional institutional loans. 

Legal Traps

Hiring a real estate lawyer can save you the headache of falling into a legal trap. It’s extremely easy to fall into one of these, so having a trusted lawyer to go over all the details with you is crucial to a successful real estate deal.

There are various types of legal traps out there and each situation is different. One common trap people fall into is an unclear or misleading entire agreement clause. An entire agreement clause is an inflexible agreement that lays out exactly what the deal is and what both parties are agreeing to. Anything that was agreed to outside of the clause is no longer valid if it isn’t included in the entire agreement clause. These can be intentionally misleading in their wording and are therefore very easy to fall victim to. A real estate lawyer will read through the agreement with you multiple times to ensure you aren’t missing anything. Without an attorney, you’re likely to miss something and get stuck in an agreement you’re unhappy with. 

Another legal trap is patent vs. latent defects. A patent defect is discoverable via inspection from both the buyer and the inspectors they hire. A latent defect is something that isn’t discoverable but is known to the seller. If they do not disclose this information to you, you can take legal action against them. 

Real Estate Litigation and Settlement

When a buyer or seller falls into one of the diverse legal traps that exist in the real estate world, legal action is usually needed to resolve the issue. Some issues can’t be resolved, but that’s why you need an experienced real estate attorney – to ensure you put up the best fight for resolution. Anyone involved in real estate may have to go through litigation at some point from brokers to sellers and buyers, and agents and tenants to landlords. No one is exempt from the many pitfalls of the real estate world. 

If you live in the Chicagoland area and are in need of a real estate attorney for litigation, Mark Schottler can help you with your case. Set up a free consultation to get started. 


Foreclosures take place when a borrower stops making payments on a loan, usually due to challenging economic times. The lender (often a bank) will force a sale in an attempt to collect the cost of the loan. A real estate attorney can represent a borrower or a lender in a case. In a foreclosure, the borrower is often unable to pay off their mortgage. An experienced real estate lawyer can help mitigate legal repercussions of a foreclosure and can even help in avoiding it altogether. 

A house with a SOLD sign in the yard after a foreclosure

Real estate lawyers cover a vast array of services from drafting documents to avoiding foreclosure. They can help you avoid all kinds of legal trouble. Consider hiring an experienced attorney before making any real estate dealings. You can set up a free consultation with Chicagoland based attorney Mark Schottler here. 

Mark Schottler is a Chicagoland attorney with over 20 years of experience working both in probate and estate planning law and in real estate law. He puts his extensive knowledge on these subjects into easily consumable articles that will help and advise the public. Mark Schottler has a passion for probate and uses this to create relevant articles that are informative and entertaining. *While these posts may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.