I have brought and sold houses in other states and generally this is the way things are done.
Just wish there was a std fill in the blank contract in New Canaan like in other markets and that the closing process was run by title companies instead of layers
In Darien, a Binder of Sale is common, and this is usually signed by both buyer and seller. However, most agents cross off the "binding" language on the form at the suggestion of many attorneys.
In other Fairfield County towns and cities, an Offer to Purchase Form is standard, and both the buyer and seller sign it.
For more helpful tips on real estate, including my monthly checklists for maintaining your home, please visit http://www.RachelWalshHomes.com.
William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty
New Canaan, CT 06840
I love direct contract with whatever contingencies are needed protected in the contract...I practice real estate in many towns and frequently encourage my buyers and sellers to go this route.
So don't be scared of going directly to contract, you may in fact wind up in a far more secure position in the early stage of the buying process!
Each area has some set of customs or practices that are the "norm". Wherever you are buying, ask your agent to walk you through the expected process in that locale.
Best of luck with your purchase!