Selling your home can be very exciting, but it can also be extremely intimidating since it can be difficult to see the big picture. Hopefully the timeline below will take some of the mystery out of the process.
Speak with a real estate agent.
- As discussed in a previous post, once you’ve decided that you’re ready to sell, you should bring in a real estate agent to assess the value of your home, based on recent and current sales in the area. You can then work together to determine the best listing price for your home.
Hire a real estate lawyer.
- Remember – real estate is key here and they need to be well versed in residential New York City real estate transactions.
Prepare for listing.
- Get your home into showing shape. Clean, paint, declutter, re-organize – do whatever you can to make your home as appealing as possible for photographs, open houses and appointments. If you need to make major repairs, get these done as soon as you can (preferably before your listing goes live or before you start showings!).
- Get photos taken and have a floor plan prepared (your agent will coordinate this for you).
- Gather diligence documents, in particular, the offering plan and the most recent building financial statements.
- You should work with your real estate agent to determine whether or not there are any current or pending assessments or capital improvements occurring within the building so that it may be communicated to the buyers.
List the apartment; hold open houses and private showings.
- The timing for this can vary widely due to market conditions. Some sellers could see offers roll in within 1 to 2 weeks if they have a highly desirable property in a low inventory market. While other times, it may take quite a while longer to be seen by the right buyers.
Negotiate on the apartment.
- Your agent will negotiate the terms which will form the backbone of the contract – sales price, financing terms (if any), timing to close, inclusions and exclusions, among other things.
- If there are any items in the apartment that need to be repaired, you should clearly communicate to your agent which items you’re willing to fix and which ones you are not.
Sign your contract.
- Your attorney will draw up the initial draft of the contract for review and will negotiate with the buyer’s attorney over the precise terms, conditions and contingencies. During this time, the buyer’s attorney will also conduct due diligence. This is the time when any issues with either the apartment or the building may come to light.
- Once all terms are agreed to, the buyer signs the contract and returns it to the seller’s attorney along with a deposit. Once the deposit is received, the seller executes the contract.
- A contract is binding only after both parties have signed it and value has been rendered (e.g. escrow monies).
Buyer Applies for a Mortgage and Receives Their Commitment Letter from the Lender.
- Once you have a fully executed contract, the buyer will begin the formal process of applying for a loan, if they need to obtain financing. The co-op or condo board will require a commitment letter from the lender as part of the board package.
Buyer Completes The Co-op Board Package or Condo Application.
- Concurrently with their mortgage application, the buyer will begin the process of putting together the co-op board package or condo application. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to gather the information for the purchase application and the requested documentation.
- There will be a few sections of the application for you, as the seller, to complete, so be sure to review the application yourself with the assistance of your agent.
Submit Board Package or Condo Application for Managing Agent’s Review
- Once the buyer’s board package is complete, it will go to the managing agent for review. If deemed complete, it will then be forwarded to the board members for review. In a co-op, the board members will decide if they want to meet the buyer after reviewing their application, and in a condo, the board will decide if they wish to exercise their right of first refusal or approve the purchase.
Buyer Attends Co-op Board Interview & Awaits Approval
- 30 Minutes to 1 Hour for the Interview; approval time varies widely
- The managing agent will reach out to the buyer to schedule their interview which will often occur at the board’s monthly meeting or at a special meeting. It all depends on each individual board’s procedures.
Schedule a Closing
- Managing agents generally set the closing date, and the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys will coordinate with the appropriate banks, title company, brokers, etc., for available dates and times.
Overall, the total amount of time from accepted offer to closing is 2 months for most condos and 3 months for most co-ops. But remember your time frame could vary significantly from what’s noted above depending upon the circumstances surrounding your sale.
If you think you might be ready to take the plunge, check out this post to learn what you need to do to get ready to sell your home.
Have more questions about selling your home? Feel free to contact me to discuss further. I’m always happy to help!