New York City is one of the most diverse and competitive real estate markets in the world, and we understand that making the decision to buy a home here can be a particularly overwhelming experience. From mastering the difference between condos and co-ops, to planning for closing costs, to approaching the board approval process, there’s a lot to learn.
That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide— to set you on the right course to owning a New York City home of your own.
Look for a licensed real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the neighborhoods you’re considering and ca help guide your search.
Before beginning your search, your first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan (unless you will be paying in cash for the full price of your home).
Your Compass Agent can connect you to a mortgage broker. Based on your income and credit history, the mortgage broker will determine how much the bank will lend you, which will help you determine the price range for your search.
Attend viewings and open houses spanning a range of areas and property types. Now is the time to consider your ideal home’s accessibility and amenities.
Reach an agreement with the seller on price and terms. Once you have seen a home you like, your Compass agent can submit an offer on your behalf, which is a non-binding agreement to pay a certain price for the home. If your offer is lower than the list price, the seller will likely return with a “counter offer” price, which you can choose to accept, reject, or make another offer. Your agent will provide advice on pricing throughout.
Analyze the contract of sale, building financials, and board minutes with your attorney. It’s best to work with an attorney who specializes in New York City co-op and condo sales. Your attorney’s job is vital to protecting your interests and they have an incredible amount of paperwork to review on your behalf. Therefore, you want to select an attorney who is familiar with these transactions.
Sign the contract and put down a deposit. The deposit is normally 10% of the purchase price.
Bank organizes an appraisal with the agents who will provide comps to show the property’s value.
(If you are purchasing a townhouse, skip ahead to Step 10.) Co-ops are run by a board of directors, who will require a board package in order for you to purchase an apartment. A board package generally consists of financial documents including tax returns, bank statements, mortgage commitment from your bank, and letters of reference. After reviewing your package, the board will set an interview date. Your Compass Agent will help prepare your board package as well as prepare you for your interview. While condos do not generally require board packages or interviews, you will need to present a purchase application that shows you are financially qualified to purchase the apartment.
I was fortunate to work with Lina to find the perfect apartment for me in Manhattan. Relocating from another country with a dog to the city is a challenging task. Lina made this process not only easy but fun with a perfect combination of professionalism, hard work ethics with a personal touch that makes you trust her blindfolded.
Jason was able to answer all of my questions about the neighborhood, nearby comps, and any questions I had about the developer and property I was interested in. I felt like he took a serious and sincere interest in me as a buyer (over just trying to make a quick sell) by offering me real advice on the process and answering any and all questions I had on the property.
Dearest Sam, words cannot express how grateful we are to have you as our real estate agent. You have invested a great deal of hard work and dedication to my family and I. You’ve been tremendously helpful, responsive, and supportive-making this experience enjoyable for us all. Thanks to you, we will be moving into our new home in a few days.
With over $500 Million in real estate transactions, the Philip Scheinfeld team is committed to bringing a bespoke real estate experience to each client.