HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE OFFER IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CONNECTICUT (2023 EDITION)
Are you in the market to buy a home in Connecticut in 2023? You are probably all too aware of the challenges that await. Inventory levels are down approximately 80% from pre-covid levels and while Spring generally leads to more houses coming on the market, it seems demand will still far outpace supply. Before making an offer, buyers should be educated and prepared.
Anything you can do to make your offer stand out will give you a leg up in the process. In the heart of the pandemic, I wrote an article on this subject to help to position someone as a strong buyer and hopefully make an offer more appealing to a seller. You can read the article here.
There is an emerging trend, involving the mechanics in how an offer is made, which buyers should be aware of. Traditionally, in Fairfield County, offers have initially been made through the use of a binder form. A binder is similar to a memorandum of terms, setting the basic parameters of a deal, which then are incorporated into a formal contract of sale. (See What Do You Mean My Binder Isn't Binding?! (2021 Edition) for a more detailed explanation). With many homes now receiving multiple offers, the initial step of using a binder is frequently being skipped with sellers favoring buyers willing to sign a contract of sale at the outset.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that a buyer understands what is being agreed to and what obligations are being undertaken with that initial document. Most of the form, realtor prepared, contracts leave a buyer under-protected if the offer is accepted and the contract becomes binding. The most important thing to do BEFORE signing a contract is to make sure the contract has a contingency for attorney review. The most important thing to do AFTER signing, is to IMMEDIATELY get the signed contract over to an attorney. This will assure that you are protected from waiving any rights or waiving your ability to withdraw prior to being fully committed. It is advisable to have an attorney in place prior to signing a contract so as not to lose valuable review time.