You are preparing to buy a property in Illinois and are anticipating signing a contract reasonably soon. Now, you are wondering if there are specific terms that you should better understand before you sit down with the contract in front of you. Familiarizing yourself with some common terms can help you to more confidently understand each clause before you agree to them when you sign your name on the dotted line. 

A good rule of thumb is to have someone you trust and who is experienced in reading contracts, review and read the documents with you. They may be able to provide clarification on parts and give you a better understanding of what is being said. According to, some of the terms you may notice include the following:

  • Inspection: This process involves a third-party coming in to assess the condition of your property to determine that it is compliant with legal requirements. 
  • Appraisal: This process also involves a third-party coming in to establish a fair estimate on your property so the new buyer’s lender can be sure they are not going to be taken advantage of.
  • Contingencies: These requirements will need to be accomplished by either you or the buyer before the real estate transaction can be completed. 
  • Title search: This process verifies that you are, indeed, the owner of the property and have all of the rights on the title. 

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.