Real Estate Closing Process

Buying or selling a home can be a stressful but exciting process. These real estate transactions involve paperwork, verification, underwriting, and signatures that happen between the day your offer is accepted and the closing day.

By having a general understanding of these real estate closing steps, you’ll be a more informed buyer or seller.

Below is a step by step guide on the home closing process in the Chicagoland area and Illinois:

Purchase and Sale Agreement  

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your home, the terms of the agreement are memorialized in a contract.

If you have a real estate agent, chances are your agent used a commonly contract format known as the “Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 7.0” or the “Chicago Association of Realtors Residential Real Estate Purchase and Sale Contract.”

While these are just the two most common in the Chicagoland area, contracts can also be drawn up from scratch.

Title Search Packet (TSP)

When representing sellers of a property, Circle Closings attorneys perform a title examination to ascertain the status of title.

Circle Closings will then act to cure or resolve all title defects, encumbrances, or issues (ex. mortgages, liens, pending legal actions, etc.).

Title Commitment

Once Circle Closings attorneys complete the title examination, the title company will produce what is called a “Title Commitment”.

Subject to a few exceptions, this is ostensibly a commitment from the title company to insure the real estate transaction. Circle Closings attorneys will work with you to clear these exceptions.

Examples of common exceptions include mortgages, liens, surveys, and HOA paid assessment letters. Our attorneys have seen and resolved just about everything that can possibly come up – you’re in good hands with Circle Closings.   

Conveyance Documents 

The conveyance documents are typically referred to as the “Notary Documents” because they require original signatures before a notary public. These documents typically include:

  • Deed
  • Affidavit of Title
  • Bill of Sale
  • Power of Attorney

Since some counties will only process accurate and original deeds, Circle Closings will take great care to prepare the necessary conveyance documents.

We’ll also schedule a quick and easy remote notary appointment for you through our affiliate remote notary partnerships. Circle Closings is leading the transition into a fully remote closing process!

Title Insurance Documents/Closing Statement 

Where a title company is being utilized to provide a title insurance policy (this is the case for about 99% of transactions), then there will also be Title Insurance Documents for the seller to sign.

Circle Closings will review these documents with our clients and, at the same time, we’ll review the Closing Statement. This real estate document contains the itemized costs, fees, and service charges, so our clients clearly understand how we’ve arrived at their bottom line.   


When selling a single-family home (SFH) or a townhome that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), a survey will likely be required as a pre-condition of obtaining a Title Insurance Policy. Circle Closings has experience ordering Surveys and can provide guidance.

In some cases where a homeowner has a copy of an old survey – and if no improvements have been made to the property since the plat of survey was created – then the old survey may be acceptable for use in the current transaction.

To save the seller money, Circle Closings attorneys will prepare the necessary affidavits to facilitate usage of the old survey.   

Association Documents   

When a property is part of a community association, Illinois transfer rules require that a seller obtain a Paid Assessment Letter (PAL) and a Resale Disclosure. Buyer’s attorneys also typically request other association materials during the attorney review process.

Circle Closings is powered by Kovitz Shifirn Nesbit; a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations for nearly 40 years. Through Circle Closings we’ve taken our experience and innovation in representing condo associations and HOAs to the individual owner during their buy or sell process.

Coordinating Figures

Each transaction has many moving parts and parties involved. Circle Closings will take into account of all the parties, draft a Settlement Statement (to satisfy all invoices, fees, taxes, costs, etc.), and present the final figures to you for review prior to closing.

We’ll help you make sense of all the numbers so you can feel confident about your bottom line on closing day.   

Municipal Requirements

Every city, township, or village has different transfer requirements. Depending where the property is located, you’ll be required to:

  • Pay taxes
  • Fill out property transfer forms
  • Have final transfer inspections performed
  • Have final water readings completed

Municipalities are trending in the direction of requiring more from sellers and buyers. No need to worry; Circle Closings has you covered.

We’ll contact the municipality where the property is located and jump through all of the hoops so you don’t have to.   

Closing Day

As a buyer, you will have pre-signed your documents before the closing day has even arrived. Circle Closings will also make sure all the transfer requirements have been satisfied.

As a seller, there’s nothing for you to do on closing day but wait for final confirmation that the transaction has funded. Circle Closings will attend the closing on your behalf and we’ll send you a message once the closing is complete. If you opted to receive your proceeds via wire, we’ll confirm the wire has been sent. If you opted for overnight mailing of your proceeds check, we’ll send the parcel tracking number.   

Tax Documents 

You’ll receive all tax related documents on the date of closing. if you lose or misplace these documents, simply contact Circle Closings and we’ll forward you the documents.   


Are you buying or selling a residential or commercial property? Click here to contact Circle Closings.

Our attorneys can walk you through the real estate closing process, pay attention to the details, and protect your interests during this important transaction.