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Advice & Reports

Buying Process Timeline

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life. We’ll help to make the purchase of your home as easy as possible so you can Live Who You Are.

Step by step timeline for purchasing

Once you’ve started your search and are working with your agent to preview different properties, it’s important to be aware of the timeline of events that generally take place when you’ve found that perfect home. In most cases, once you decide to make an offer, it can take an average of 60 - 120 days to complete the closing process.

  • Prepare the Offer: 1 day
  • Negotiate the Offer & Acceptance: 2-5 days
  • Loan Application & Appraisal, Loan Approval and Commitment Letter, Sign Contract/Escrow Deposit: 2-4 weeks
  • Co-op Board Package & Interview/Condo Application: 4-6 weeks
  • Bank & Attorney Prep Closing: 1-2 weeks
  • Final Walk Through: Day of Closing
  • Transaction Closing: 3 hours
What paperwork do I need?

To complete your board package (not applicable for townhouse or condo purchases), your agent will provide an application which varies from building to building. This typically must be completed and returned to your broker (who will deliver it to the appropriate party) within 10 days of receipt of the fully-executed contract or three days for the date you receive a bank commitment letter, whichever applies. Generally, a co-op board package requires at the minimum several Personal and Business Reference Letters from friends and colleagues (your agent can provide samples), employment verification letters and/or pay stubs, bank verification and brokerage statements, net worth statement (this mirrors the information requested by your bank), two years of tax returns and the mortgage loan application and commitment.

How are closing costs determined?

For many homebuyers, closing costs are a mystery. If you are purchasing you need to be aware of these costs well in advance of the closing date. Typical closing costs associated with the purchase of a cooperative, condominium or townhouse include but are not limited to: attorney fees (which vary); fees associated with your mortgage loan such as origination costs (0 – 3% value of loan), application, credit check, etc. ($500 and up), appraisal ($600 and up); move-in deposit ($500 and up, usually refundable if no damage); various taxes including mansion tax (1% of total purchase price when $1 million or more), insurances and other items, plus your remaining down payment. Condos and townhouses also require title insurance, title search and recording fees (approximately .5-.8% of purchase price). Buyers should consult their real estate attorney or financial advisor for specifics. Those buying in new development projects should pay particular attention to these numbers as you will likely be paying NY City and NY State transfer taxes (usually 1.825% of the purchase price) as well as other seller fees and expenses like the cost of the seller’s attorney.

The Buyer’s Checklist
  • Determine your budget for a down payment and amount you are able to spend monthly. Consider monthly expenditures such as your mortgage, maintenance or common charges and real estate taxes, utilities, parking etc.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage, look into credit report, FICO score, type of mortgage, shop for best rates, and programs.
  • Identify your timeline for moving.
  • Find a real estate agent who specializes in New York City real estate.
  • Determine your needs and prioritize your wants: style of home, size, location, building amenities, condo, co-op or house.
  • Explore different neighborhoods to determine which ones suit your needs.
  • Evaluate access to transportation and commuting time to work in selected neighborhoods.
  • If applicable, research schools and review school reports in selected neighborhoods.
  • Evaluate building amenities and house rules in terms of your needs. (e.g. washer/dryer permitted, doorman, gym , pet policy, storage facilities, etc.)
  • Discuss with your agent how much to offer and leave room to negotiate. Your agent will be able to advise based on how long the property has been on the market, condition of home, other offers that have been presented, and how the asking price compares to recently sold similar properties.
  • Let your agent prepare your offer and apply trained negotiating skills during the buying process. Your agent will advise you of any final negotiating factors that may benefit you in the purchase.
  • Once you have chosen an apartment, have both your agent and your attorney evaluate the building’s financial statements.
  • Once your offer is accepted work closely with your agent to gather materials for your mortgage application and/or board package.
  • Find a local real estate attorney to prepare the purchase contract before you sign and represent you at the closing.
  • Before you move in, obtain homeowners insurance. Get quotes, compare and secure an insurance policy with appropriate coverage.