The best way to ensure that a home is sold in a timely manner is to understand the entire process and follow the best practices throughout.

Guidelines for Selling Manhattan Real Estate

  1. Not only does a home need to be clean and in excellent condition, but touches like fresh flowers should be added to creating a welcoming atmosphere.
  1. You should give your agent the ability to show your house at the times of day when outdoor conditions make your property look it is absolute best.
  1. Arrangements should be made for pets so that they’re not in the home during showings.
  1. Prior to selling a condominium or co-op, be sure to ask the managing agent for a copy of all applicable regulations and rules.
  1. Three years worth of financials, the prospectus and an offering plan are all examples of documents that you should obtain from a managing agent prior to putting a listing on the market.
  1. Be sure to enlist the legal services of a real estate attorney with a proven track record.

How to Bid and Negotiate

  1. The bidding process begins when a buyer makes a bid/offer. The offer can be made in writing or orally. The offer is made through the real estate agent representing your property. In addition to submitting an offer, the buyer(s) will also present their qualifications.
  1. As the seller, you have the ability to accept the offer or begin negotiations by making a counteroffer.
  1. If you receive multiple bids, your real estate agent will help you review them. In this scenario, it’s important to not only look at price and terms but also at which a buyer is most qualified in terms of being able to close the deal.
  1. In order to come to a satisfactory closing date, price and terms, several rounds of negotiations may be necessary.
  1. The bidding and negotiating process is complete once you accept the full scope of an offer.

Details of the Contract Stage

  1. After you accept an offer, your real estate attorney will begin preparing a contract of sale.
  1. As the contract is being prepared, it’s standard for a buyer’s attorney to go through a due diligence process. Requesting the building’s bylaws, a statement about its financial status and any offering plan are all standard components of due diligence.
  1. If a buyer is satisfied with all terms once they receive the contract and review it with their attorney, they will sign it. In addition to the signing, it’s standard practice for the buyer to make a deposit in the amount of 10% of the sale price.
  1. Once your attorney receives the contract and deposit, they will have you sign the contract.
  1. The buyer’s deposit will remain in escrow until the sale’s closing date.

Obtaining Board Approval

  1. Prior to reaching closing, your real estate agent will obtain a number of documents from the buyer.
  1. Letters of reference, brokerage statements, bank statements, tax returns, signed financial statements, the application and contract of sale are all standard documents that the buyer will need to supply.
  1. Because board approval requires submitting numerous documents, the buyer’s agent will generally help the buyer compile everything into a package and then submit it to the building’s managing agent for review.
  1. It’s fairly standard for a board to request even more information. If a buyer isn’t turned down by a co-op, the buyer will be interviewed by the board. While it may take some time for the interview to take place, once it occurs, the building’s managing agent generally provides confirmation of approval within just a few days.

What to Expect During Manhattan Real Estate Closing

  1. Once a buyer receives approval from the board, the last step in this process is closing.
  1. Most buyers request a final property inspection right before closing. Unless otherwise stated, appliances and fixtures should be in working condition during this inspection.
  1. The most common place to hold a closing is in the building’s managing agent’s office. The managing agent, attorneys, buyer, any involved banks and yourself will be present at this event.
  1. Since a closing involves multiple parties, it’s standard practice to allow for a delay of up to thirty days from the exact closing date that is stated in the contract.
  1. Regardless of whether the sale is for a condominium, townhouse or co-op, it’s standard for brokers to take 6% and the seller’s attorney to charge at least $2,500. Because a sale will also involve other fees like the New York City transfer tax and managing agent fees, it’s important to review all stated fees with your attorney prior to signing any contracts.