Answering the Top 4 Questions About the Attorney Review Process

Real estate attorney Aaron Minkus joined me recently to answer a few common questions about the attorney review process. Here's what he had to say.

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Today I’m standing alongside real estate attorney Aaron Minkus, and he’s here to answer the top four questions people ask about the attorney review process.

First, what is the attorney review process?

In your contract, you’ll notice that both an attorney review and inspection period are part of the process—they usually go hand in hand. During the attorney review period, either party can request contractual modifications or repairs that arise out of the inspection. Think of this period as a chance to do some fact-finding and negotiate.

For a buyer, their decision to purchase a home or not is often contingent upon the attorney review and inspection period, so this tends to be where deals fall apart the most. Other buyer contingencies include mortgage contingencies, the right to review the condo association, and home sale contingencies.

Think of this period as a chance to do some fact-finding and negotiate.

How long does the attorney review last?

Typically, there’s a five-day window in which the buyer or seller can start the conversation, and then the attorneys will extend the review period until the parties come to a meeting of minds. Ideally speaking, that meeting of minds will occur in a fairly quick manner, but the review isn’t complete until both parties agree.

When is the earnest money due?

It’s important to note that there are normally two installments of earnest money: the deposit that’s given when the contract is signed and that which is given two to three business days after completion of the attorney review and inspection period.

While the attorney review is still in progress, the buyer’s earnest money deposit is refundable if they and the seller are unable to come to a meeting of minds. Assuming the attorney review is a success, the listing office will hold the remainder of the earnest money thereafter. However, the earnest money can also be refunded at this time if a mortgage contingency comes into play or the buyer is denied financing before the contract deadline.

Do I really need an attorney?

Absolutely. Here in the Chicagoland, you need an attorney to review your contract and guide you every step of the way. Depending on the type of deal, attorneys charge a flat fee of around $600.00.

If you have any questions about the attorney review process or would like more information, you can contact Aaron by phone at 312-858-6280. For any questions you have for me, give me a call at 773-312-7550 or email me at I hope to hear from you soon!