Monday, October 27, 2008

Real Estate Publication

If you're an Illinois real estate practitioner you must subscribe to the ISBA Real Estate Law Section Council newsletter. And I'm just a humble ISBA member myself but for $20 a year you get a good newsletter that is published nearly monthly. As a former editor of an ISBA publication, I'll be the first to say some of them suck and aren't worth $20 but the real estate newsletter is excellent!

Speaking of the above, October's edition had a couple good refresher articles on both condominium resale representation and navigating short sales. Here's the link (you must be a member) or find a hard copy. My commentary...

First, regarding condominium resales, I agree with the author for the most part but would make a couple additions. He hedges a bit on the attorney's review of condo declarations, bylaws, and rules/regs. You must review these! And quite frankly even though the documents are thick, once you get experienced you just need to find the use and occupancy part of the declaration generally and the rules/regs. That's where it will address things like pet restrictions or rental restrictions...those are the two I look for. I got a client out of a deal once with earnest money returned because she didn't like the fact that her dog couldn't use the building's elevator. Second, among the documents that you must request and make deal contingent on, you should also include 1-2 years worth of Board of Manager meeting minutes. See what they've been talking about in terms of building issues and repairs.

On the short sale topic, my only addition would be that yes if you have the Seller you need to modify the K to be contingent on Seller's lender approving the transaction but also add, "without Seller's taking on additional personal liability." I've been speaking to a bank on a transaction lately about a possible short sale and they're always mentioning the possibility of the Seller signing a separate note. Don't get hooked into this one.

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