Buying a house in CT? Here’s how to make stronger deals, according to real estate agents

“A good real estate agent will never tell you what number you should post,” she said. “It will be a balance between the price and the terms that you offer. Finding other ways to be competitive is extremely important on the buyer side at this time, and having a direct link to the interest of the seller and this that he wants to get out of it in addition to the number to sweeten the deal.


Along with the dollars and cents of an offer, Pat Prenderville, an agent with William Pitt Sotheby’s International at Westport said buyers should remember to look at the big picture of their home-hunting process. First, she noted that if a listing is posted as “coming soon,” buyers should use the time between its listing and its opening for viewings to conduct a fact-finding mission to the property.

“Take advantage of these days to research public records, zoning records, property history and try to walk past to view the home before your first visit,” she said in an email. “Focus your search and try not to give up on your criteria too much or you could have a very costly case of buyer’s remorse. Never assume you can add, build a pool or outbuilding, or fill in or re-level a sloped lawn.

Flexible closing date

Crafting an offer to appeal to sellers’ interests is an essential part of forming attractive offers, according to Prenderville. One way to achieve this is to have a flexible closing date.

“Ask when the seller prefers to close and try to accommodate that,” Prenderville said. “It’s critical to meet the seller’s closing deadline, whether it’s within 30 days or after the end of the school year. Buyers need to be sure their rate is locked [on their mortgage] can be guaranteed to any negotiated closing date.

Escalation clause

With multiple offers likely to increase a home’s potential selling price, Prenderville noted that the inclusion of a “indexation clausein an offer can appeal to sellers. Buyers can add these clauses to their offers to indicate that if a seller receives a higher offer, the buyer increases their offer by a pre-disclosed increment. However, Prenderville noted that some sellers would not opt ​​for an escalation clause.

Mortgage and inspection contingencies

In addition to escalation clauses, potential buyers can also consider putting certain contingencies in their offers that cover mortgages and home inspections.

A mortgage eventuality typically protects a buyer’s deposit if anything unexpected happens at the final sale. According to Forbesmortgage contingencies may also include a section that specifies whether or not a buyer must sell another property in order to qualify for a home loan.

Buyers can waive a mortgage contingency if they bid on a home for cash, according to rocket mortgage service, or if they have been pre-approved for the mortgage. Prendverville said those are two instances in which a mortgage contingency can be waived, but with caution.

“Many buyers are foregoing mortgage contingencies, but unless it’s truly a cash offer, buyers need to be sure their mortgage financing is solid and fully approved by a lender in order to protect themselves,” Prenderville said.

To further bolster their offer with a mortgage, Prenderville suggests buyers provide a copy of their loan commitment in the offer to prove they are ready to make and complete the home purchase.

Another type of provident home buyers should beware of the exemption relates to inspections. While it’s not uncommon in today’s market for buyers to waive inspection contingencies in their home listings, Prenderville said it recommends that its customers not waive them.

“I suggest that our inspection repair requests will be limited to structural and environmental issues only,” she said. “It’s not the type of market where buyers might expect sellers to deal with ‘do-it-yourselfer’ issues, but septic issues, wood-destroying insects and other unexpected hidden defects can and should always be negotiated.”

Megan Foggitt, a Wallingford-based estate agent who is part of the CT Property Sisters associated with Margaret Bennett Realty, suggested waiving some of the repairs that might be needed. By doing this, Foggitt said buyers can declare that they will not ask the seller to cover repairs discovered during the inspection process unless the cost exceeds a particular figure.

Compete with cash offers

While it can be difficult to keep up with cash offers made on homes, Prenderville said buyers with mortgages can better position themselves to compete with cash buyers.

“I can’t stress this enough: a well-prepared buyer already has a completed mortgage application and should only need an appraisal to secure their financing,” she said.

Appraisal — or the appraisal of the property that will help determine the final sale price — can be “scheduled to be completed at the same time as inspection contingencies,” Prenderville said, which “puts their timeline on same level as a real cash offer”.

This is when it comes in handy to know the seller’s desired closing schedule, according to Prenderville.

“When the seller prefers a longer closing time, the amount of the offer matters more than whether the offer is cash or subject to appraisal,” she said. “When the seller prefers 30 days or less, it’s much harder to compete with cash.”

Submit personal notes with offers

Buyers writing a personal letter to include with their offer on a home is not a novel approach to making an offer more emotionally appealing to a seller. However, Prenderville said the tactic of writing a “love letter” to a seller with reasons why they should choose their offer may not be the best way to make a more attractive offer.

“This is a very sensitive area fraught with potential ethical issues for sellers and listing agents,” she said. “They were much more common last year, but the current trend is for sellers to say they will not accept or read any personal letters submitted with offers to protect themselves against possible housing rights violations.”

the National Council of Estate Agents cautions against the decision to write these letters, stating that they “often contain personal information and reveal characteristics of the buyer, such as race, religion or marital status, which could then be used, knowingly or by unconscious bias, as an unlawful basis for a seller’s decision to accept or reject an offer.

If sellers don’t explicitly request that letters not be included in offers, Prenderville said that if a buyer chooses to include one, they should write a brief, well-drafted letter, and provide specific details about why. why the property suits them. For example, Prenderville said it would be appropriate to include a buyer “who has been looking for a charming antique with gardens and a barn for over a year,” when a family photo would not be reasonable to include.

Search for repairers

If buyers are consistently outbid, Prenderville said they should start viewing lower-priced homes where they should be the strongest buyer in that range.

“The homes that are sold at a premium are newer, turnkey, and staged to perfection,” she said. “If a buyer can be open to cosmetic upgrades (painting, refinishing floors, refinishing a basement, or updating a bathtub), they’re more likely to have less competition, and the bonus is that his improvements will actually create equity.”

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