Q. I just signed a contract to sell my house or condominium. What do I do now?

A. Ask your real estate agent to e-mail or fax the signed contract to our office for review. Our fax number is 708-331-8018. Contracts can be e-mailed to Most contracts provide a limited time for attorney review. The attorney review period starts when you sign the contract and both buyer and seller have agreed on the terms.

Anything permanently attached to the house usually is sold with the house. If you intend to take anything that is permanently attached (light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc.) make sure this is noted in the contract. Let our office know immediately if you must close by a certain date or if you have signed a contract to purchase another residence. Closing dates often change, so it is best to be as flexible as possible.

Most contracts allow the buyer a limited time to have your home professionally inspected. We recommend that you be present during the inspection.

If you have a mortgage, provide our staff with the name of your lender, your account number, contact information, and your loan balance. Even though you are going to sell your home, we recommend that you continue to make your mortgage payments until the closing is completed. The remaining balance will be deducted from your sale proceeds. Provide our office with copies of the deed, title policy, or similar documents that you received when you purchased the property.

Do not cancel your homeowner's insurance until the closing is completed and you have given possession of the property to the buyer. Request final readings from all utility companies when you are giving possession to the buyer.

Provide our office with an address where you can be reached after the sale. Let our office know immediately if you receive notice of any building, zoning, or property maintenance violations from the municipality. If your municipality requires an inspection prior to sale, make sure this is completed well before the closing date so you can make any required repairs. Local towns with this requirement include Calumet City, Dolton, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Harvey, Hazel Crest, and Country Club Hills. If you are not sure whether your town requires an inspection, contact our office to confirm.

The buyers have a right to walk through the property before closing. Your obligation is to have the house in the same condition at closing as when the contract was signed. Make sure the appliances still work, the toilets still flush and the lights still come on. Put the window screens back in, replace burnt-out bulbs and take out the trash. This is the buyer’s last opportunity to raise any issues about the condition of your house. The better condition your house is in, the easier the walk-through – and the closing – will be. On the date, you are giving possession (usually the closing date) the house must be cleared of everything other than the appliances and fixtures that are listed in the contract. If you are unsure what you must leave and what must be out, contact our office for clarification. Leave the house as you would like to find it.