About the Real Estate Binder

About the Real Estate Binder

What is a Binder? 

A real estate binder is an agreement that is commonly drafted by real estate agents. It is a document that contains all the terms of a proposed real estate transaction and usually contains the names of both parties, who their real estate agents are, who their attorneys are, the address of the subject real estate property and of the course the purchase price.

What is the Purpose of a Real Estate Binder?

A binder serves two main functions: to outline the basic terms of the agreement and to commemorate the intent of both buyer and seller to enter into the deal.

However, is the real estate binder a binding contract? After all, it is in writing and signed by both parties, it identifies the property and the sales price. Sometimes there is even an earnest money deposit that is made. Isn’t that enough to bind the two parties, as the ame binder implies?

Whether the binder is a binding contract depends on the customs of your area and the language of the binder. Even within Connecticut, there are very different customs between say Fairfield County and the Hartford Area. In Fairfield County it is custom for attorneys to draft the final contracts. Therefore, it is common to find binders with language that calls for a further “superseding contract between the parties to incorporate the details stated herein”. In northern parts of Connecticut, some real estate agents specifically draft binders that are meant to binding real estate purchase and sale contracts, with language that allows for an attorney review period that is often 7 or 14 days from date of signing.

The three factors to look for when deciding when a binder is meant to be the contract are (1) does the language indicate intent to be bound without further contracting, (2) due the circumstances of the transaction indicate an intent to be bound, and (3) was the purpose of signing the binder to bind the parties to a final deal?

What Are the Real Estate Binder & Contract Customs in Fairfield County, Connecticut?

With the Fairfield County custom being that the attorneys draft the real estate purchase and sale agreement, how does this process with binders play out? It all starts with the real estate agents.

The real estate agents in Fairfield County know the custom and therefore, they use binders that call for a superseding contract. Many realtors do not use a binder, per se, but chose instead to use an “Information Sheet”, which has all the same contents as a binder, but does not have the signatures of the buyer or seller.

The binder or information sheet need to find their way to the Seller’s attorney. The Seller’s attorney then drafts a proposed contract using those terms and sends two unsigned copies to the Buyer’s Attorney. The Buyer’s Attorney reviews the contract, negotiates any changes that may be necessary, and has his client sign both originals, as well as provide a check for any deposit amounts due at contract signing. Both originals and the deposit funds are sent back to the Seller’s Attorney, who has the Seller sign both originals, and returns one original to Buyer’s Attorney and keeping one original for their file.

Get A Real Estate Attorney ASAP

Please understand that the sooner you get a real estate attorney involved in your transaction the better. You should have somebody to call and ask questions about the documents you are expected to sign BEFORE you sign them. After you sign, all we can do as your real estate attorney is explain what it says and means.

 

Multi-Family Disclosure

New Connecticut Fair Housing Notice Disclosure for Purchase or Sale of Multi-Family Real Estate

CT Multi-Family Purchase Disclosure Requirement

Connecticut Creates Mandatory Disclosure Place Buyers of Multi-Family Real Estate On Notice of Equal Opportunity Housing Laws

We live in a heavily regulated legal landscape. Often we perform a task we think is relatively simple, but it may expose us to a host of legal issues, some of which we may not even be aware of. However, as the old saying goes, “ignorance of the law is no excuse”.

In an attempt to weed out some of the lack of understanding in housing laws, the Connecticut Senate passed Public Act No. 16-16, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AND FAIR HOUSING LAWS, which went into effect on September 1st, 2016.

The law creates a mandatory disclosure that must be PROVIDED BY THE SELLER and SIGNED BY THE BUYER any time a multifamily property is bought/sold.

What is a Multi-Family Property?

A multifamily property is any piece of residential real estate containing two or more units. These are very popular in cities and big towns such as Danbury, Waterbury, Stamford, Norwalk, etc. They are often bought by real estate investors who rent the individual units out to tenants.

What is in the Multi-Family Disclosure?

The disclosure places the Buyer on notice of State and Federal fair housing laws. It notifies the Buyer that race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, creed/religion, disability, family status, source of income, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age and marital status are all Protected Classes for which it is illegal to discriminate against in the housing market.

Further, it gives examples of fair housing violations based on those protected classes:

  1. Refusing to rent, sell or show the dwelling;
  2. Steering towards certain neighborhoods;
  3. Increasing security deposits;
  4. Requiring “employment” when other legal sources of income exist;
  5. Failure to negotiate or refusal of rent based on source of income;
  6. Refusing to waive “no pet” policies for tenants with disabilities; and
  7. Refusing to allow tenants with disabilities to build a ramp.

What needs to be done with the Multi-Family Disclosure?

Idealy, the Multi-Family Disclosure will be attached by the Seller to the Purchase and Sale Agreement, Exchange Agreement, or Lease with Option to Buy. The Multi-Family Disclosure is then signed by the Buyer when signing the agreement/contract. However, the Public Act specifically protects the validity of Agreements where the Seller does not attach the Multi-Family Disclosure; those contract with still be enforceable.

If the Multi-Family Disclosure is not attached to the contract, it must be signed before or at closing on the multi-family property.

Where Can Realtors and Sellers get a copy of the Multi-Family Disclosure?

The Multi-Family Disclosure can be found on the Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities website, and is also attached hereto in JPEG format.

What is the CFPB Closing Disclosure Addendum to Real Estate Purchase & Sale Contract

What is the CFPB Addendum and Why is it Necessary?

The CFPB Closing Disclosure addendum is a document that is often attached to standard form real estate purchase and sales contracts after October 1, 2015. It became necessary because the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passed TRID, TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures, a law that changed the settlement practices for real estate purchases and sales.

The purpose of the CFPB Addendum is to set forth the respective responsibilities of Buyer and Seller, and to specify the consequences of failure to comply.

How does the CFPB Addendum modify the Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement?

Due to the strict requirements of TRID, lenders for Buyers have strict time line requirements. Since they have to have the Closing Disclosure acknowledged by the Buyer at least 3 business days before closing, most Lenders are requesting final figures from all parties 10 days and sometimes even 14 days before closing.

The CFPB Addendum contains terms that:

  1. Make parties aware that CFPB regulations of the Lender may cause delays ;
  2. Make parties aware that any delay in getting the Lender figures may result in financial hardship for the other party, and lists the information that must provided to the Lender;
  3. Waive any “time is of the essence” requirements in the contract;
  4. Seller to provide figures 10 days before closing or waive their right to collect the adjustments;
  5. Address discrepancies in real estate adjustment figures;
  6. Seller agrees to meet Buyer requirements for any discovered condition issues during walk through;
  7. Waive any Seller damages that may result from Closing Disclosure acknowledgement delays.

It should be noted that the CFPB Addendum is heavily in favor of the Buyer and drafted against the Seller. It protects the Buyer from Seller delays and Protects the Buyer from Lender delays, however, it places the burden of Buyer or Lender delays on the Seller without compensation.

real estate closing attorney danbury ct

Do I Need a Real Estate Closing Attorney to Sell My Home?

Selling a Home in CT? You Need a Real Estate Closing Attorney

If you are looking to sell your home, you may or may not want to hire a real estate agent, but you will definitely want to hire a real estate closing attorney. While the marketing of your home to potential buyers is something you might be able to handle yourself, the services of a seller’s real estate closing attorney are essential to a legally compliant real estate sale.

What does a seller’s real estate closing attorney do?

A seller’s real estate closing attorney provides many services to the Seller that legally legitimize the sale and make it binding, while at the same time protecting the liability and financial interests of their client. A seller’s real estate closing attorney performs the following closing tasks:

  • Reviews Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement and Dual Representation Waiver with real estate agent/broker (if hired early enough);
  • Reviews and assists with Listing and Mandatory Disclosures (once again, if hired early enough);
  • Negotiates with buyer’s attorney and drafts Purchase and Sale Contract;
  • Works to resolve any inspection, appraisal or title issues to meet buyer’s needs;
  • Prepares closing documents such as power of attorney, Deed and affidavits;
  • Obtains payoff statements for outstanding liens or mortgages;
  • Attends the closing with, or on behalf of, the client;
  • Handles cash flow in escrow, receiving purchase funds and making any payments or disbursements; and
  • Secures and records releases for mortgages after closing.

When issues arise in real estate deals it is the attorneys that defuse situations and save deals by coming up with solutions that are acceptable to both parties. A seller’s real estate closing attorney can save a seller of real estate property a lot of stress and worry.


 

If you are looking to sell a house or condo in Connecticut, let us handle your real estate closing matters. We charge flat rate fees on closings, and we offer FREE phone consultations, so you can make sure we are the right attorney for you.

SCHEDULE A CALL WITH OUR REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY

buyers real estate closing attorney

Why Do I Need a Real Estate Closing Attorney to Buy a House in Connecticut?

Buying a House in CT? You will need to hire a Real Estate Closing Attorney

If you are looking to buy a home in Connecticut, you will need the services of a real estate closing attorney. A buyer’s closing attorney’s job is to protect their client legally and financially. This includes handling all of the contracts, clearing title and securing title insurance, and meeting all lender requirements.

What does a buyer’s real estate closing attorney do?

A buyer’s real estate  closing attorney helps coordinate the purchase of the property by making sure all laws are followed, his client is getting the property as promised, and by managing the finances. A buyer’s closing attorney performs the following functions:

  • Review the Exclusive Right to Buy or Sell Agreement and Dual Representation Waiver between the buyer and their real estate agent (if hired early enough);
  • Review preliminary title report Seller ownership issues;
  • Review and negotiate Purchase and Sale Contract with seller’s closing attorney;
  • Review mortgage commitment issued by the mortgage company and any conditions;
  • Order and review the title search to find any liens, mortgages, judgments or other issues;
  • Prepare buyer’s closing documents such as power of attorney;
  • Review seller’s closing documents including Deed;
  • Review loan documents and meet all lender requirements;
  • Attend closing with, or on behalf of, the client;
  • Act as Settlement Agent for the Lender;
  • Handle all funds through escrow and make all necessary payments and disbursements;
  • Provide an accounting of funds to the client; and
  • Record all documents at Town Hall such as Deed, Mortgage and any Power of Attorney.

A buyer’s real estate closing attorney can minimize the stress and anxiety of buying a home by giving you somebody you can turn to with literally any question throughout the process. This is perhaps the biggest benefit.


 

If you are looking to buy a house or condo in Connecticut, let us handle your real estate closing matters. We charge flat rate fees on closings, and we offer FREE phone consultations, so you can make sure we are the right attorney for you.

SCHEDULE A CALL WITH OUR REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY