The 1966 Illinois Supreme Court decision in the case of Chicago Bar Association, et al v. Quinlan and Tyson, Inc. placed certain limitations on Real Estate Licensees in drafting a contract. The court ruled that Licensees are authorized to fill in the blanks on printed form contracts that are customarily used in the Real Estate community. Real Estate sales contracts that fit the “customarily used” requirement typically have been drafted by local bar associations and approved by the local REALTOR® associations.

All insertions and deletions must be at the direction of the principals; based on the negotiations.

 Advising a Buyer or Seller of the legal significance of any part of the contract or writing any change to the form language constitutes the unauthorized practice of law by a Licensee.

A Licensee may not request or encourage a party to sign a contract or document that contains blank spaces to be “filled in later” nor can the Licensee make changes to a signed contract without the written consent of the parties. If changes are made by the agreement of all the principals, the Buyers and Sellers must initial any changes they agree to add. All Licensees are required to give each person signing or initialing the contract an original “true copy” within 24 hours of the time of signing.

A Licensee also must not prepare or complete any document subsequent to the contract or related to its implementation, such as a deed, bill of sale, affidavit of title, note, mortgage, or other legal instrument.

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