To begin, we must have a written contract and everything has to be in the written contract. Otherwise you will have problems in exercising your agreements.
Realtors often get potential buyers contracts where they add specific information: address; the names of the buyers and sellers; all that is included in the sale which is not attached to the walls, floor or ceiling (eg oven, fridge, curtains, etc.); the commission of the agent; the date the seller will pay the price and receive the keys (the “closing” is comparable in some measure to what happens in other countries when it comes to the notary to sign the Act); some conditions precedent to the buyer; etc.
Something more and more prevalent in the US is the ability to leave some time to the different parties (usually 10 days) to review the contract with their lawyers. The lawyer will have the opportunity to cancel the contract for legal reasons only – it will not be to negotiate a better price. Also, we add other things to simplify the transfer: acceptance of documents by fax and in counterparts; a way to put money into an escrow account; etc.
In Illinois and other states, the seller has the obligation to know beforehand if serious problems arise with the real estate property. But also, the buyer can choose to include in the contract the right to do visit by an expert to verify that there is no serious problem. If there are any, it can cancel the contract without losing its provision.
As opposed to what happens in other countries, in america the lawyers prepare the documents for the sale: the transfer of title of the property and assets included; explaining, taxes, taxes, and fees; forms to register the transfer with the authorities; etc. The lawyer for the seller is responsible for writing most of the documents and must see them by the lawyer of the buyer few days before the “closing”.
The lawyer or occasionally the agent or seller, also has the obligation to obtain a letter from the company that the mortgage showing the amount to be paid, a letter from the city that all the property taxes are paid, a letter that the house is legal for its area, or, if the property is from a co-ownership, information on co-ownership as well as a letter stating that the seller does not have any money to the board.
There are no notary, as we know it in Europe for example, in the US system. This is the “Recorder of Deeds,” which deals with the transfer of the recording.
Of importance for these transactions is the company that ensures the legality of the transfer (“title company”). It looks geodesy recently by the seller, privileges, old titles and the contract to ensure the buyer that he will receive what he signed for. In addition, he is responsible for purging the mortgage, the calculation and payment of taxes, the current record of the new owner, etc.
In the usa, the seller usually pays the preparation of documents, examination and title insurance, taxes the state and county for the transfer, and some other small expenses. The buyer pays the premium for the mortgage, the costs of the company that will complete documents, registration of the title and the mortgage and some other small expenses. The city tax for transfer is often paid by the buyer, but not always.