Timeline for Buying an Apartment in NYC

Use the timeline below to help take some of the mystery out of the process of buying an apartment in NYC.

Speak with a Mortgage Professional

1 to 3 weeks

The very first thing you should do is speak with a mortgage professional to get pre-approved. This will ensure that you’re looking at properties that fit your budget.

Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

1 to 3 weeks

Real estate is key here and they need to be well versed in residential NYC real estate transactions.

Hunt for an Apartment

1 to 3 months

This process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months for many active buyers. But some people will find their homes much sooner or later than others. Have a lease coming up soon? Consider extending it so that you have more time to look. The more flexible your time frame, the better!

Negotiate on the Apartment

3 days to 2 weeks

Be clear with your real estate agent and attorney about items in the apartment. Some items are usually included with an apartment. But other items (window treatments, special light fixtures, etc) may not be.

Always ask if something is or isn’t included. Do NOT assume.

Sign Your Contract

3 to 10 days

The seller’s attorney will create a first draft of the contract. The attorneys will negotiate over the precise terms and any conditions and contingencies. During this time, the buyer’s attorney will also conduct due diligence. This is the time when you find out if there are any issues with either the apartment or the building.

Once the contract is ready, the buyer signs the contract. The contract then returns 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).

Apply for a Mortgage

3 to 6 weeks

Once you have a fully executed contract, you can begin the formal process of applying for a loan. The co-op or condo board will need a commitment letter from the lender as part of the board package.


Complete Your Purchase Application

10 to 20 business days

You’ll start on the purchase application (a/k/a “board package”) at the same time as the mortgage application. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to gather the information and the requested documentation.

Submit Your Board Package

1 to 4 weeks

Once your board package is complete, it will go to the managing agent for review. The managing agent will send the application to the board members for review. In a co-op, the board members will decide if they want to meet you after reviewing your application. And in a condo, the board will decide if they wish to exercise their right of first refusal or approve the purchase.

Co-op Board Interview & Approval

30 Minutes to 1 Hour for the Interview; 1 day to 1 week for approval

The managing agent will contact you to schedule your interview. The timing of the interview will depends on each individual board’s procedures. It is critical to make yourself available for this interview.

Schedule a Closing

2 weeks after approval

Managing agents generally set the closing date. The lawyers will coordinate with the appropriate parties for available dates and times.


The average time from accepted offer to closing is 2 months for most condos and 3 months for most co-ops. But your time frame could be different. It all depends on your personal circumstances. Hopefully this timeline for buying an apartment in NYC has been

Have more specific questions about the purchase process? Feel free to contact me. I’m always happy to help!




Sign up for my newsletter

Get my NYC First Time Home Buyer Guide FREE when you sign up for my monthly newsletter

Subscription Form

By clicking Sign Up you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.

Related Posts

How to Get a Mortgage If You’re Self Employed in NYC

Read more

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Studio in NYC? (May 2024)

Read more

Should You Buy a Starter Home or Forever Home in NYC? 

Read more

April 2024 NYC Monthly Sales Market Update

Read more

How Much Does It Cost to Own a 3 Bedroom in NYC? (May 2024)

Read more

NYC Real Estate Market Update Q1 2024 – Manhattan & Brooklyn

Read more

March 2024 NYC Monthly Sales Market Update

Read more

Downsizing or Upsizing? Here’s How to Coordinate Your NYC Move

Read more