Selling your house in New York – an in-depth guide
While the process of selling a home is almost similar in all US states, New York’s real estate practices are unique in their own might. Also, selling a house by owner can be tricky in New York if you don’t have the correct exposure. So it’s better to equip yourself with the basics early on to avoid any problems later. We provide an overview of the process of selling a house in New York by owner.
Benefits of selling a house in NY
Most New York sellers sell their house as is i.e. not making any repairs or renovations. Moreover, the New York legal system is favorable towards the sellers in this respect and houses are sold under the principle of caveat emptor i.e. buyer beware.
Hence, the seller does not have to give a signed property disclosure form like in other states. Instead, they can give the buyer a standard $500 closing credit. The logic behind this is that sellers are not expected to be engineers who can identify hidden defects in the property.
Moreover, because of the high demand for properties in New York, especially in cities like NYC, sellers can get more money in their pockets. There are usually several interested parties for one of them to demand repair work from the seller.
Steps to selling a house by owner in NYC
Market your home:
It is only wise to expose your home to every potential buyer via a For Sale By Owner website. This means listing your property on the local Flat-fee MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and other property search websites like Houzeo, Zillow, Trulia, etc.
If you use a flat-fee MLS service, you will have to make a provision for the buyer’s agent commission. It is through MLS that real-estate agents find houses for their clients and a buyer’s agent commission incentivizes them to show your house to their parties.
Once you are done listing, hold plenty of open houses. Only someone who has actually seen your home is likely to give an offer. So get as many people in the door as you can.
You can also use social media, platforms like Craigslist and yard signs to let people know that your house is available.
Price your home correctly:
Price your home too high and you might not end up with many offers. Price it too low and you wouldn’t have much in your pockets while leaving the table. Hence, it is always advisable to price your home competitively. Scan around your locality to find how other similar properties are priced. You can even look online to check the same.
Once you identify the comparative pricing, then adjust yours accordingly.
Appoint a real-estate attorney:
In the state of New York, an attorney’s presence is legally required for real-estate closings. A good idea is to hire an attorney who is specialized in real estate because a general practice lawyer won’t know the nuances of such transactions.
An attorney is likely to charge $2,000 to $3,000 at closing.
Take an offer and negotiate the contract:
If you have nailed your pricing strategy, you are likely to get multiple offers. You can weigh in the different offers and choose the one that best suits your bill. Now is the time to focus on the real game – negotiation.
An important thing to remember here is that a great deal is not where only one party moves away with everything it wants. Instead, it is one where both parties walk away satisfied.
When negotiating, keep your tone cordial and try to find a middle ground if there are issues that are may hamper a successful closing. Objectively analyze every request from your buyer.
Once you have successfully negotiated the contract you sign a purchase & sale agreement. After that, you move on to the escrow stage. Don’t let the deal fall through in this stage.
If your buyers are undertaking a home inspection, be prepared to have it thoroughly checked & deal with any hidden issues.
If the buyer is getting a loan, their lender will want to do an appraisal to make sure that the purchase price corresponds with the market value.
So, prepare for renegotiation if the home inspection unearths major defects or the appraisal figure is low.
Another key thing to remember is that in absence of a realtor, you will have to wade through all the paperwork by yourself. Here are a few key documents needed for all New York property sales:
- 2 IDs
- Copy of purchase agreement
- Closing statement
- Signed deed
- Affidavit of Title
- Bill of Sale
Once the deal is closed and all documents are signed, you can give yourself a pat on your shoulders for selling your home without a realtor and saving significantly in the process.