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Don’t make your offer on the fly, using an offer to purchase or binder of sale in CT.

May 18, 2010

Don’t make your offer on the fly, using an offer to purchase or binder of sale in CT. New Milford CT, Litchfield County and Fairfield County Real Estate Information.

Inspect your offer to purchase or binder of saleYou found the house of your dreams and are ready to make that all important offer. I have had many a phone call from a buyers agent with a verbal offer on my listings, which I kindly remind the agent that until I have it on paper I have nothing and neither does their client. Sit, read, re-read, check and re-check your offer with your agent. If there is a mistake on your offer it could be accepted as it is, and you may not be the wiser until you get to the closing table.

Connecticut is a real estate attorney state, which means that you will be using an attorney to close the deal. After it is signed by both parties it will go to the sellers attorney who will write up the contract and send it to the buyers attorney. Sometimes agents will use a “Binder of Sale”. In this type of offer there is language that makes this the contract after a period of time. It could be 5 days, it may say 5 days with attorney review, it depends on which type of form your agent uses.

When I write up an offer to purchase I am very careful to write down what my clients expect, for instance, washer/dryer/dishwasher/refrigerator/stove/range hood/shed/all lighting fixtures/etc., as per <insert multiple listing number>. The reason I do this is to make sure the seller knows exactly what we are making the offer on and then to let the attorney know what we are expecting and what needs to go on the contract. (This does not include personal property, that should never be included on any offer to purchase or binder of sale.)

Real Estate New Milford CT Contract woesIf you are not careful you can get some pretty nasty surprises, this goes both ways, for both buyer and seller. The buyer may not get something they wanted, the seller may lose something they didn’t want to include in the sale. It can be an item, or it can be a concession of some kind.

Particular case in point. The seller was offering to pay association fees for the first year for the buyer. Of course it did depend on the price, if they negotiated a lower price the seller could have stricken it from the offer to purchase or the binder of sale, the buyer could have agreed, they both initial and it is no longer something the seller will be doing for the buyer.

But what if… what if the buyers agent never put it on the offer or worse, on the binder of sale? Both parties sign, they all move to close. Now what? It is not a pretty picture for the buyer, that much I can tell you. It happend, I knew that it was left off, it was not a happy surprise for the buyer to learn of his loss because they didn’t go over the forms with a fine tooth comb before signing.

Read and re-read your offer to purchase or binder of sale. Take the offer seriously, don’t do it on the fly. I sit with my buyers for a long time to discuss the pros and cons, to go over the offer to purchase or binder of sale more than once. It takes time to prepare a good offer, not only to do the paperwork but to prepare yourself! I also sit with my sellers and go over everything on the offer or binder of sale. If they are not here physically I send them the offer and go over it item by item on the phone. I don’t do it “on the fly”.

Also note that within the state of CT there are areas which practice differently when it comes to making an offer. But after the offer is made, no matter how it is made, it will still go to an attorney. I practice mostly in the lower Litchfield, upper Fairfield county of CT, within these areas there are different customs.

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