Southern Illinois Real Estate Law

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At Lawler Brown Law Firm, we represent both owners and buyers in residential and commercial real estate transactions. We handle all issues from the preparation of contracts, ordering of title commitments, preparation for closing, representation at closing, as well as post closing matters. Our firm works directly with our clients to negotiate transactional matters and resolve matters with governmental entities and private land owners.

Since our inception, we have been developing strong working relations with clients that include some of southern Illinois’ most successful land developers, builders, and property management companies. Our relationships with area title companies benefit both commercial and residential real estate clients.

Our commercial real estate practice will assist clients in matters such as:

  • Commercial purchase and sale transactions
  • Title insurance procurement and review
  • Commercial leasing
  • Commercial contracts
  • Real estate financing
  • Real property taxation issues
  • Commercial landlord tenant matters
  • Zoning and land use disputes
  • Construction contracts
  • Quiet title actions
  • Foreclosure of mortgages on behalf of banks, financial institutions, and private lenders

For clients who need representation in residential real estate matters, we offer assistance with:

 

 

  • For sale by owner (FSBO)
  • Purchase and sale contract drafting and review
  • New construction contract and document review, and builder negotiations
  • Post-closing warranty issues
  • Title examinations
  • Breach of contract
  • Failure to disclose defects
  • Quiet title actions
  • Specific performance (forced closings)
  • Installment sales contracts (contract for deed)
  • Construction lawsuits
  • Boundary disputes
  • Adverse possession

 
To be certain that you get the outcome you need and expect in your real estate transactions, you want an attorney who understands the intricate details of real estate transactions, including all of the risks involved and resources needed. Let Lawler Brown Law Firm assist you with your real estate legal needs.

Marion, Illinois

If you are buying or selling a home, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your interests. The sale or purchase of a home is the single largest investment that most people make. To make certain that you get the outcome you need and expect, you want an attorney who understands the intricate details of real estate transactions, including all of the risks involved and resources needed.

Our Residential Real Estate Practice:

For purchasers of residential real estate, we meticulously review your contract, make appropriate modifications to your contract that will be most beneficial to you, and otherwise focus our efforts on contractual matters dealing with the sale of your existing real estate (if applicable), financing and home inspections aspects of the transaction. Our goal with all buyers is to protect your rights and interests as well as all unsatisfied contract contingencies, including:

  • Mortgage contingencies. This contingency makes the sale dependent on your ability to obtain a mortgage. If you are unable to gain approval for a mortgage, you have no contractual obligation to purchase the property.
  • Home Inspection contingencies. This contingency makes the sale dependent on your satisfaction with the condition of the home. If your inspection reveals material defects that are unacceptable to you and that the Seller will not remedy, you do not have to complete the closing or purchase the property.
  • Home sale contingencies, if applicable. Under this contingency, your obligation to purchase the new property is dependent upon your ability to sell your existing home. If you cannot sell your existing home, you do not have to close on the new house.

 

We can also help you work with the seller to modify contingencies without waiving them. Waiver (including involuntary waiver) of a contingency can lead to many legal problems, including breach of contract, loss of earnest money or liability under the buy-sell agreement.

For sellers of residential property, our primary goal is to ensure that you comply with contractual obligations to convey clear title and fulfill all of your existing obligations with respect to the property you are selling. We will also ensure that you have made all appropriate disclosures to the buyer, including information about lead-based paint, radon and mold. We will work to minimize closing costs, so that you maximize the proceeds of the sale while limiting any potential liability to your buyer.

We also represent sellers in actions for breach of contract or specific performance, where a buyer has breached a purchase contract by refusing to go forward. In these instances, we strive to have the court compel the buyer to fulfill all obligations under the purchase agreement or pay you money damages that make you whole.

In most situations, a real estate agent will complete a form contract. You need to make sure an experienced real estate attorney reviews that contract (or drafts it initially) and makes appropriate modifications to change the terms of the agreement so that it will benefit you most and not leave you in a position you will regret at the closing table. There is normally a limited time to do this. We can help both buyers and sellers with all of these issues, including approving or disapproving of the contract as drafted, modifying the contract appropriately, negotiating and resolving home inspection issues, and keeping and protecting any unsatisfied contractual contingencies, including those mentioned above for buyers, i.e. mortgage, home inspection and home sale contingencies.

Referrals

We often receive referrals from other attorneys who may not practice, at least to the extent we do, in regard to certain areas of the law, including real estate matters. As a result, this has increased our volume of cases and expertise in this area of the law.

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Mineral Rights in Oil and Gas: What You Need to Know

The traditional conception of real property ownership was that a landowner owned his plot of land along with a column of dirt down to the center of the earth and a column of air up to the sky. This conception no longer holds true. It is now common, especially in Southern Illinois, that when one purchases a piece of real property, the purchaser obtains title to the surface of the land, but not the column of dirt beneath it. Very often, the mineral rights to a piece of property have been severed, and the owner of the mineral rights has the authority to mine them. When mineral rights are severed in the conveyance of a piece of property, the severance creates two distinct and separate interests in the land—a surface estate and a mineral estate, either of which can be conveyed, devised, or leased. When this occurs, the owner of the surface estate is subservient to the owner of the mineral estate. This means that he may not interfere with the activities reasonably necessary to extract the minerals from underneath his land. While title to metallic minerals vests2 at the time of conveyance, title to oil and gas does not, due to the tendency of these types of minerals to move around under the earth. Rather, mineral rights in oil and gas do not vest until they are actually discovered. Thus, mineral rights to oil and gas are better conceived of as rights to exploration and, very often, they are mined pursuant to a mineral lease rather than outright ownership. These leases are subject to the same rules as...

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land?

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land? There is a concept in real estate law that is little known outside the legal world, whereby a trespasser can gain legal title to someone else’s land. The “trespasser” in these cases is usually a neighbor but, nonetheless, someone who does not own your property can become the legal owner by his use of it through a concept known as adverse possession. Claims of adverse possession are creatures of common law in Illinois, and require a showing of several elements. In order to legally take title to land, a person’s use and possession of the land must be: Hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission) Actual (he or she exercises physical control over the property) Exclusive (In the possession of the trespasser alone and no one else) Open and notorious (the trespasser must use the property as the true owner would without hiding the occupancy) Continuous for a period of 20 years Adverse possession claims are especially common in rural areas (like most of Southern Illinois) as opposed to towns and cities because it is often more difficult to determine where one piece of property ends and another begins. Example of Adverse Possession Let’s take a look at how a hypothetical adverse possession case might play out. Assume there are two property owners—the Smiths and the Joneses—who own neighboring farms. Mr. Smith erects a barn that he believes is on his property, but is actually 15 feet over the property line on the Jones’s farm. Mr. Jones says nothing about this, and Mr. Smith uses this barn as...

Why You Should Never Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is very common and occurs any time a person interferes with or obstructs an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. In Illinois, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, if there is an injury to the arresting officer, the offense rises to a felony. The charge of resisting arrest is defined at 720 ILCS 5/31-1:1 “A person commits the crime of resisting arrest if they knowingly resist or obstruct the performance by a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his or her official capacity.” While the most classic examples of resisting arrest are fleeing from the scene or engaging the arresting officer physically, the statute is worded broadly and encompasses a wide variety of behaviors. For example, you can be arrested simply for refusing to put your hands behind your back, refusing to lay on the ground, refusing to put your hands on the squad car, or refusing to clear the scene of a crime when ordered to do so. Resisting arrest is also a difficult charge to escape; even if the underlying charge against the defendant is dropped, resisting arrest is an independent charge and will remain. Thus, it is not a defense to resisting arrest that the underlying charge was dismissed. Further, a conviction for resisting arrest can even lengthen a person’s sentence if they are ever convicted of a future offense. Possible punishment for resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. If the police officer is injured during the incident,...