Sellers Timeline


The team here at the Law Offices of Galanopoulos and Galgan strives to ensure the property-selling process is simple, efficient, and stress-free. Every real estate transaction is different, but here’s how the process generally looks when you work with our team: 

  • Contract Acceptance: Once the Buyer makes an offer, the Seller accepts and the parties work together to draw up a contract. 
  • Document Preparation: Our office will order a preliminary Title Commitment as soon as we receive the contract. This will give us notice right away as to what is needed to clear the title to the property. We will also send the Seller an engagement letter with a list of items our office will need from them to do so.
  • Home Inspection: Unless the home inspection is waived, the Buyer has the right to have the property professionally inspected. Typically, this must be done within five business days of the acceptance of the contract. If the contract is signed “As-Is,” the Buyer has the option of moving forward or canceling the contract based on the findings of the home inspection. If the contract is not signed “As-Is,” then the Buyer may ask to have any findings addressed by the Seller or to be provided a closing cost credit. Remember, the Seller does NOT have to agree to the Buyer’s requests, and at that point, the Buyer can still choose to cancel the contract. 
  • Attorney Review: Generally done at the same time as the home inspection, one of our attorneys will review the terms of the contract and will draft a letter to the Seller’s attorney proposing modifications to the contract. We will coordinate with the Seller’s attorney by letter until an agreement is reached or the contract is canceled because the parties cannot reach an agreement. 
  • Village Requirements: Many municipalities have requirements, such as inspections and final water readings, that must be met before they will allow a Seller to close on their property. Our office will reach out to you if you are selling in a location that has any unique requirements, giving you ample time to schedule the necessary appointments well in advance of closing time.
  • Signing Closing Documents:  While welcome to attend, Sellers typically do not attend the closing. Our office provides the option to sign the paperwork ahead of time – either at our office or via email and trackable direct mail. We will also coordinate how the Seller would like to obtain their proceeds from the sale at this time. 
  • Financing Contingency: Unless the Buyer is paying in cash, this is the final step that needs to be taken before closing the deal. The file cannot be scheduled until the lender provides the Buyer with a “clear to close” notice – meaning all requirements have been met by the lender and they are ready to close.
  • Final Walk-Through: The day before or the morning of closing, there is usually a “final walk-through” of the property. This is typically set up by the real estate agents unless it is a “For Sale by Owner” and agents are not involved. This is the time for the Buyer to make sure the property is still in the same condition as it was when the contract was signed and that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed. At this time, the Seller should have the property cleared out and in “broom clean” condition. Remember, the Seller should leave all utilities in their name until the closing is officially over
  • Closing: The final step is when the closing takes place, the long-awaited moment you’ve been looking forward to. Our office will call the Seller to notify them when the deal is officially closed and will send a folder with all the final paperwork. 

Sellers FAQ Section


What does Seller representation include?

Galanopoulos and Galgan Seller representation includes (but is not limited to)...
● Reviewing the contract and negotiating any modifications needed.
● Responding to the Buyer’s attorney review and inspection letter.
● Keeping in touch with the Buyer's lender and making sure all of the dates in the contract are current.
● Clearing the title.
● Preparing closing documents.
● Ordering the survey and association documents, if applicable.
● Arranging for transfer stamps.
● Representing you on closing day

What are some standard Seller costs?

While the exact costs will vary per sale, here is a list of common closing costs the Seller can expect to pay…

● State of Illinois transfer tax
● County/city transfer tax
● Property tax credit
● Survey
● Association fees (if applicable)
● Title fees
● Attorney fee
● Mortgage Payoff (if applicable)
● Realtor commission

What is Earnest Money?

Earnest money is a deposit made by the Buyer shortly after the contract is accepted, showing the Buyer’s good faith in a transaction. The money is held in an escrow account – typically with the Seller’s attorney, Buyer’s attorney, or real estate agent. In rare cases, the Buyer may forfeit the earnest money to the Seller if the Buyer breaches the contract.

If a credit is agreed upon, how is it received?

If the Seller agrees to provide the Buyer with a credit at closing (either per the contract or during the inspection period), the credit will be applied to the Buyer’s closing costs. The credit will essentially reduce the funds the Buyer has to bring to closing.

What does “As-Is” mean?

If the contract states that the property is being sold “As-Is,” the Buyer may (and should) conduct a home inspection of the property. If the Buyer finds the property unacceptable in “As Is” condition, the Buyer may terminate the contract within a specific time period – typically five business days from the contract’s date of acceptance. When a property is sold “As-Is,” the standard inspection provision of the contract does not apply and the Buyer should not request repairs from the inspection report.

If the home inspector finds things wrong with the property, does the seller have to fix them?

No. The Seller is not required to make the repairs. The Buyer may request that the repairs be addressed by the Seller, but the Seller is not required to agree. The Buyer and Seller have the opportunity to cancel the contract after the home inspection. NOTE: If the parties do not come to an agreement about the requested repairs and the contract is canceled, the Buyer’s earnest money should be returned.

How do I handle the utilities?

If you are the Buyer, contact the utility companies to confirm the final reading date (your
closing date) and change the name on the account.

If you are the Seller, order and pay your final water bill and contact all other utility companies to
have the bill transferred out of your name on the closing date. Do NOT shut off the utilities, as
this can delay closing if the utilities are not on during the final walk through

If I am Selling, do I need to attend closing?

No. You do not have to attend the closing discussion if you are selling. We always give our
Sellers the option to sign the closing documents – including a Power of Attorney – ahead of time
so they do not have to be present at closing. The majority of our Sellers do not attend.

If I am the Seller, when should I be out of the house?

You should have all personal property out of the house before the final-walk through, which
usually takes place the day before or morning of closing. If you have a real estate agent, you can
coordinate the timing with them. By the walk-through, the property should be left in
“broom-clean” condition, and any agreed-upon repairs and/or replacements should be completed.

What is the attorney review and inspection period?

 The Attorney Review contingency in the contract is a timeframe – typically 5 business days from the date of the contract’s acceptance date – in which the Buyer’s attorney may submit contract modification requests to the Seller’s attorney. The Home Inspection happens according to the same timeline as the Attorney Review. However, this provision in the contract allows the purchaser to request repairs and/or credit for items they found as deficient in the inspection report. 

Typical info we need from our sellers


When Galanopoulos and Galgan represent your property sale, our team will manage ALL the nitty gritty details to keep the process efficient and hassle-free.

We will coordinate with real estate brokers, the Buyer’s lender, and the attorney representing the Buyer. We will handle the ordering of the survey, title commitment, mortgage payoff letters, and associated documentation (if applicable). We will prepare all official closing documents and represent you on closing day.

In order to do our job, first, we need some information from you! Below is a list of the items we typically need from the Seller: 

  • Home, work, and facsimile phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  • Marital Status and Social Security Number(s).
  • Current mortgage(s). Please provide us with the name of the lender, account number, due date, and Customer Service telephone number.
  • Home Equity Loan (s). Please provide us with the name of the lender, account number, due date, and Customer Service telephone number.
  • Land Trust or Living Trust information, if the title to your property has been deeded to a trust (include a copy of trust agreement).
  • Water service. Is your property served by municipal water and sewer, or do you have a private well and/or septic system?
  • Sanitary District that serves your home, if any.
  • Association information. If your property belongs to a Homeowner’s Association, please provide the name of the Homeowner’s Association, as well as the name, address and phone number of the management agent, and amount of the current assessment.
  • Death Certificate, if applicable
  • Notification from any governmental entity regarding any liens or outstanding costs that you may owe.
  • All information regarding any recent bankruptcy or foreclosure notice.
  • Senior citizen qualifications Please notify us if you are a senior citizen and currently have a senior citizen real estate tax exemption or senior citizen freeze. Please confirm if you will qualify, and maintain any applicable exemptions for the year of closing. 
  • Confirmation of your primary residence and mailing address.
Typical Info we need from our sellers