Your Timeline For SellingThe typical time to sell your home in NYC is about 90 days
Hire a Real Estate Agent
Selling your home is a full time job. It requires a detailed plan and a comprehensive understanding of the New York City real estate market. As you will see below, there are several moving pieces to selling your apartment or townhouse, and one slip up along the way can cost you valuable time and considerable money. As your real estate agent, I’ll represent your interests and guide you from the get go.
Choose an Attorney
Your lawyer needs to specialize in New York City real estate. This isn’t the time to hire a relative or friend who practices law somewhere else. What you need is a qualified attorney in your corner long before it’s time to draw up a contract.
As your real estate agent, I’ll evaluate the competition and comparable prices of similar properties on the market.
Fix it up
In order to sell fast, your apartment needs to look the best it possibly can. Before we hit the market and list your property, we need to whip your apartment into shape. Nearly every apartment requires at least a minimal amount of sprucing up to prepare for your first showing… and some need more sprucing than others.
Professional photographs and floor plans are an absolute must. Depending on the marketing strategy we chose, creating a video for your home may be in order as well. Anything that showcases and presents your apartment in the best possible light online ultimately brings more people in the door.
Within one hour of listing your property with Compass, I’ll have it featured on corcoran.com and across a comprehensive and strategic network of well-targeted and highly-visited sites, hand-delivering your listing to buyers. Depending on our target, I’ll decide which of the following sites we should feature your home on:
trulia.com | zillow.com | wsj.com | luxuryestate.com | nytimes.com | realestate.yahoo.com | streeteasy.com | curbed.com | homes.com | nymag.com | realtor.com | brownstoner.com | homefinder.com | nytimes.com | olr.com
Showing the Apartment
Once your apartment is listed and advertised, I’ll begin to schedule and host regular open houses for potential buyers. Based on the response we’re getting, this is how we evaluate how well the property is priced. Statistics show that if priced properly, an offer should be presented within the first twelve showings. Pricing your property competitively will help you sell in the shortest time possible.
* ‘Activity’ is defined as the average number of showings. ‘Weeks’ is defined as the average length of time a property is on the market. Data is based on Compass exclusive seller and buyer activity.
Adjusting the Strategy
If we’ve had your apartment on the market for a few weeks and received no offers, we’ll implement a different approach. Often times simply reducing the price, staging the apartment, or changing the decor makes all the difference. If you don’t have offers in the first two weeks, something is wrong.
Accepting an Offer & Negotiation
Negotiating the deal could take 24 hours to a couple of days, depending how long it takes everyone involved to decide on the terms. If there is a lot of interest in your home and a bidding war ensues, this process may take a little bit longer.
Drafting a Deal Sheet
The deal sheet is a summary of the terms of the transaction (price, closing date, any specific clauses like a mortgage contingency) and the contact information for the the buyer and seller, attorneys, building management, and the brokers who put it together based on their negotiations.
Signing the Contract
As soon as the deal sheet is drawn up, your attorney can put together the contract itself. Meanwhile, the buyer’s attorney is conducting due diligence on the property, reviewing the offering plan, board minutes, building financials and other information. Typically, it takes about a week to get the contract signed. If you or the buyer are in a rush, it can go as fast as a few days or take as long as two weeks. The contract will specify a closing “on or about” date, which gives both you and the buyer the right to delay the closing up to 30 days.
Once the contract is signed the major responsibilities shift to the buyer who will get a mortgage commitment letter from the bank (unless they’re paying all cash) and secure approval from the co-op or condo board. However, as your agent I’ll still stay on top of the process and have their broker check in with the relevant parties to make sure everything is moving along.
Order the Stock and Lease
If you took out a loan on your co-op, you likely handed over your stock and lease to the bank and you’ll have to get it back ahead of the closing. Your attorney should ask the bank to track down the document from their files well in advance of the closing. It can take some lenders 30 to 60 days to get it.
Monitor the Buyer’s Bid to Get a Mortgage
If I bring you an all cash deal you can skip this step. If the buyer is financing, they will have to get a commitment letter from the banks before the board will approve any sale, even with a preapproval letter. The whole process can take a few weeks or even a few months, depending on a few factors: the bank’s experience with NYC apartments (especially co-ops), the managing agent’s ability to quickly supply the bank with information, the buyer’s preparation, and all sorts of other factors. In all likelihood, your contract will specify how much time the buyer has to get a mortgage ; you could also require them to use a specific bank that’s familiar with your building to help speed things up.
Clear Up any Title Problems (If Necessary)
In condos and co-ops, respectively, the buyer’s attorney will order the title report or lien search to verify that there are no issues with the ownership of the apartment. As your agent, I’ll be on top of the process to clear up any issues before the closing costs. Sometimes in co-ops, for example, an old loan against the apartment will be listed in property records even if it’s been paid off, and then your attorney will have to work with the lender to remove it. In other cases you may have unfinished business with the Department of Buildings if the agency never signed off on a renovation you made.
Submit to an Appraisal
If your buyer is financing, their mortgage lender will order an appraisal as soon as the contract is signed. Generally, it will be done within a week or so.
Monitor the Board Approval Process
Although it’s the buyer’s responsibility to get the green light from the board, I’ll be keeping in touch to get things moving along.
- Condo The buyer submits a purchase application to the building’s management agent, who will approve it and send it to the board – a process that takes about a week and a half. The board has to waive their right of first refusal, essentially saying that they won’t exercise their right to buy the condo, which typically takes a few days. If the deal is good, condo boards are usually pretty quick to waive their right of first refusal and let the deal close.
- Co-op This is a lengthy process: plan on four to five weeks from start to finish. As your agent, I’ll submit the buyer’s board package to the building’s management agent who then reviews it. This can take anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks, depending on how busy management is. The package then gets delivered to the board. Generally, the board will spend a couple of weeks with the documents before scheduling an interview with your buyer. A couple of days after the interview, you’ll get the approval (fingers crossed). Keep in mind that this can vary widely, depending on the board’s schedule. Some boards only interview buyers during their regular board meetings, which might be only once a month. If that’s the case, you may have to wait until then while they collect other applications for a few co-ops at a time (so they can interview the buyers in a single day).
The Buyer's Final Walk Through
The day of the closing, (or sometimes the day before) the buyer will inspect the apartment for damage or other issues. This is also when any furniture you rented to stage the apartment goes back to the stager – they tend to leave it to the last minute just incase the deal falls apart. The industry standard for furniture rental contracts is 90 days.
Scheduling the closing usually takes a week or two – the main hurdle is aligning everyone’s schedule: the buyer, their attorney, your attorney, your bank (if you have a mortgage), the bank’s attorney, the brokers, and the managing agent (for co-ops). The closing itself usually takes a couple hours.
Congratulations, you just sold your apartment.