Real estate can be a tricky business, especially for people in Illinois who are unfamiliar with how buying and selling property typically goes. Because there are so many unique contingencies based on each buyer’s varying circumstances, it is critical that people take adequate time to familiarize themselves with the purpose and effect of a real estate contract before they sign their name on the dotted line. 

According to, a real estate contract is a formal agreement between both the buyer and the seller about who will maintain which responsibilities throughout the sale process. If there are contingencies that must be met, these are listed within the contract. Once the buyer has negotiated any terms they wanted to modify and signed the documents, the property will be listed as “under contract” meaning that the process of transferring the title is underway. Usually, the property will not be removed from real estate listings until the title is transferred and the new homeowners take up occupancy.

There are several sections within a contract that each address important aspects of the sale of a piece of property. When negotiated fairly and articulated clearly, a well-written contract can provide clarification and support to both parties. suggests that some of the aspects that may be included in a contract include how much of a down payment will be owed by the buyer. Other components include an agreed upon condition of the home, the method for obtaining a certificate of occupancy, the requirements for a mortgage and any penalties that will be levied against either party who fails to uphold their agreement.