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Read This Before Selling A House In New York

Recently updated on February 11th, 2023 at 02:18 pm


Your home is your castle. A place of refuge after a long day’s work and where you’ve no doubt made countless memories with friends and family. But there comes a time in many of our lives when selling our home is necessary.

Perhaps the kids have moved out and it’s time to downsize, or you’ve outgrown your first starter home and are looking to expand your family. No matter the reason, selling a house in New York can be a complicated process with numerous legal and other considerations to contend with.

For most New York residents, their home is the largest financial asset they have. Not to mention, it often holds a certain amount of sentimentality, from pleasant memories to the hard work you put into remodeling the kitchen.

Because of this, selling a house in New York isn’t a simple transaction. It’s ok to be hyper-cautious about making sure it’s done right, and in a way that benefits you and your family to the greatest extent possible.

While the process of selling a house in New York is similar to that in other states, New York does have its own unique local practices and real estate laws to contend with. Making yourself familiar with this process early on in the stages of selling your home can help you avoid major headaches and problems down the line.

This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of selling a house in New York, making sure you don’t get hit with any major surprises along the way. From working with a listing agent to legally required disclosures, we’ve got you covered.

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Best Time of Year to Sell a Home in New York


When it comes to selling a house in New York, timing matters. But it’s not just the month or season you need to take into consideration. Certain property types sell better at differing times of the year, and homes (on average) may sell faster or slower, or even at a higher closing price during particular months.

Best Time of the Year to Sell in NY

They say location is everything in real estate, but when it comes to selling a home, so is timing. For example, listing a home in mid-winter when movers and buyers have to deal with difficult road conditions and sub-zero temperatures isn’t exactly optimal.

The good news is that New York has a very clearly defined real estate cycle, with property prices both rising and falling like clockwork. Using actual real estate transaction data, we can easily chart the best time to sell your property in New York based on your goals. This makes planning to sell a home in New York an easier and more fruitful endeavor.

If you’re planning to sell your home in NY, let historical data be your guide.

For example, selling a home in September could end up netting you 8% more on the closing of your property, while selling in November or May might cost you around 4.5% at closing (as compared to the average sales price).

Best Time of the Year to Sell for a Profit 

Months Homes Sold at Above Average Prices (in order of highest to lowest):
  • September
  • August
  • June
  • February
Months Homes Sold at Below Average Prices (in order of lowest to highest):
  • November
  • May
  • March
  • April
  • December
  • July
  • January

PRO TIP: Remember, these figures are based on the moth the homes closed/sold in, NOT when they were listed. Depending on your local market, homes across NY on average sit on the market for around 68 days. However, this number can go as low as 30 and as high as 120 days. So, plan accordingly.

Best Time of the Year to Sell your House Fast in NY

Money isn’t always the primary motivator for selling a home. Life circumstances often dictate that you need to sell your home fast. Looking at actual data we can uncover which months are best for selling your home quickly in NY.

Selling a home fast is especially important for many New York home sellers. Job transfers, a death in the family, changing needs and other major life events may require you to move quickly. But oftentimes the one thing holding you back is the sale of your existing home (likely so you can purchase another).

For example, those homes closed in July or September were on the market 8-11 days less than average, while those closed in January were on the market for an additional 13 days on average.

Months Homes Closed Faster Than Average (in order of fastest to slowest):
  • September
  • November
  • October
  • July
  • August
  • December
Months Homes Sold Slower Than Average (in order of slowest to least slow):
  • February
  • April
  • March
  • June
  • January
  • May

PRO TIP: Remember, these figures are based on the moth the homes closed/sold in, NOT when they were listed. Depending on your local market, homes across NY on average sit on the market for around 68 days. However, this number can go as low as 30 and as high as 120 days. So, plan accordingly.

Buyer / Property Type Matters

Single-family homes are an ideal candidate for those with children. Buyers for these homes generally start looking in the spring, with an ideal “move in” date early June when the school year ends. Those with properties in the Lake Region often see more interest and action in the market between Memorial Day and Labor Day when interested tourists seek out the purchase of summer homes.

How Can I Sell My House Using ISoldMyHouse.com? Learn more.

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Cost of Selling your Home in New York


Selling a home comes with costs. Let’s take a look at what costs you can expect when selling your New York property.

1. State and Local Transfer Taxes

The New York Transfer tax is a tax paid for by the seller that is levied against any transfer of real estate property. The exception is if the home is part of a “new development” project and you are the sponsor of that project.

The state’s current rate of transfer tax is calculated at 0.4% (almost ½ of one percent) for any sale up to $3,000,000. As of March 31, 2019, sales of property above $3,000,000 are subject to a conveyance tax of 0.65% % by the state. Further, it is not uncommon for the town or city the property is located within to charge their own local conveyance tax. For example, NYC has a “New York City Real Property Transfer Tax of 1% of the sales price up to $500,000 or less and 1.425% if the sales price is over half a million dollars.

2. Costs Associated with Remedying Title or Survey Issues

In the event that issues surrounding the title or survey emerge, contacting a local real estate attorney is the advised route to obtain counsel on your options and cost of resolution.

3. Local Government / Municipal Costs 

Generally, there are localized costs associated with the sale of a New York house. These may include local stamp taxes, recording fees, community association estoppel fee, or other fees imposed by the county, city or town such as those for utilities or local taxes.

4. Seller Attorney Fees

It is important to note that in the state of New York it is required that a licensed attorney bet at the close all real estate transactions taking place within its borders. This is contrary to many other states in the US in which title companies are allowed to handle escrow and closing matters. Most attorneys charge by the hour, however, you may be able to find New York attorneys offering “flat fee” real estate closing services.

5. Real Estate Agent Commission

While there are other ways to sell your home than going with the traditional real estate agent listing, if you do hire an agent, they are paid based on a commission rate calculated against the sale price of your home. We’ll cover the costs associated with hiring a real estate agent later in this guide.

For now, understand that real estate commissions in New York are defined as a percentage of the sale price of a home and that while standard rates do exist, they are negotiable.

6. Home Warranty Fees

Some New York home sellers opt to offer a home warranty to cover components or systems of a house that may pose a risk of failure for the buyer. Although optional, offering a home warranty is a way to sweeten the deal, attract more buyers and remain competitive during months when the real estate market heats up.

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Legal Requirements and Considerations


Do You Need a Lawyer?

Similar to many states, New York does not require that you hire an attorney to sell your home. However, it is highly customary to have legal counsel represent you in the sale, and it is less common for anyone in NY to not hire a real estate attorney to assist with at least part of the process.

Having a lawyer in your corner is also never a bad idea for contract review or to assist in negotiations. Real estate attorneys may also be useful for assisting with unconventional circumstances such as with a lease-to-own or owner-financed deal, and with any issues that might arise with contract disputes or title issues.

 New York Real Estate Disclosure Requirements

Historically, the state of New York has taken a “Caveat Emptor” approach to real estate sales. Meaning, “buyer beware”, with sellers obligated to share very little about the condition of the property prior to sale. Under Caveat Emptor the buyer was largely responsible for uncovering any defects or issues through their own due diligence and inspections.

However, over time, NY began to adopt exceptions to this rule, adding to the seller’s legally obligated responsibilities, as well as placing additional risk and liability on those sellers as it relates to defects in the property.

For example, any seller who has a “special relationship of trust” to the buyer (say as a relative, guardian, attorney or trustee) could be held liable under New York law for any undisclosed benefits. Further, under current laws, a seller who actively attempts to hide or conceal any material defects of the property could be found liable to the buyer for such defects.

Concealment under NY law is defined as a defect that the seller had prior knowledge of but failed to disclose and interfered in some manner with the buyer’s efforts to have the property inspected (See Laxer v. Edelman, 75 A.D. 3d 584 (2d Dept. 2010).

Disclosure Requirements Under the Property Condition Disclosure Act

The Property Condition Disclosure Act (the PCDA) (N.Y. Real Prop. Law § § 460-467) having gone into effect in 2002, imposes a fine of $500 payable to the buyer at closing if the seller fails to make certain disclosures.

Under PCDA, the seller is required to fill out and deliver to the buyer a standardized disclosure statement prior to the signature of the final purchase agreement. Interestingly, it is not uncommon for sellers to bypass this step and instead simply opt to pay the fine/credit the buyer at closing.

Who is Required to Make Disclosures Under PCDA?

Disclosure requirements apply to the sale of any property defined as “residential real property”. Residential real property, under NY law, means any 1-to-4 family dwelling that is to be used as a place of residence or home by one or more individuals.

  • Cooperative apartments
  • Condominium units
  • Vacant land
  • Property as part of a homeowner’s association not owned by the seller
  • Transfers ordered by the court (such as in foreclosure)
  • Transfers to your lender to satisfy a mortgage
  • As a distribution of the estate in a trust or will to an heir, or made as part of the administration of a conservatorship or guardianship
  • Transfers to a spouse, blood-related relative, or another co-owner of the property
  • Transfer as part of a settlement of legal separation, annulment or divorce
  • Transfer to a governmental agency
  • Transfer of new construction that has never been lived in
Types of Disclosures Required
  • General information: such as the age of the property, ownership, utility costs, etc.
  • Environmental: known issues such as being on a flood plain, presence of hazardous substances, etc.
  • Structural Issues: structural damage such as that from insects, fire, water and more. Common areas of the home impacted are the foundation and roof.
  • Issues with Major Home Systems: such as heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, etc.
How to Deliver the Disclosure Statement

The listing broker (real estate agent, or attorney) has a legal duty to remind you of PCDA requirements and will provide or point you to the standardized document. In the event that a buyer is not “represented” by an agent or legal counsel, your “listing broker” will be required to inform the buyer of this requirement as well.

Completion of the statement can be done by answering the questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. Space is provided for any additional information needed. You may also attach additional pages for further explanation.

You will then sign and deliver the disclosure to the buyer PRIOR to them signing the final purchase agreement. Delivery is generally made by way of your listing broker, however, you may deliver this directly to either the buyer’s agent or the buyer themselves. Upon delivery, the buyer must sign to acknowledge both the receipt and their understanding of the contents.

In the event that you (the seller) later become aware of any inaccuracies to your original disclosure statement, or you later discover or become aware of any material defect to the property, you are required to revise the statement and provide an updated version to the buyer. However, under N.Y. Real Prop. Law §464. You are under no obligation to revise this statement after closing.

Seller’s Federal Disclosure Requirements

In addition to the aforementioned disclosure requirements set forth by the New York statute, sellers must also abide by federal disclosure requirements.

  1. If the home you are selling was built prior to 1978 you must disclose any lead-based paint hazards in the property
  2. You must provide any inspection reports relating to lead-based hazards in the home
  3. Provide an EPA-approved informational pamphlet to buyers
  4. Allow buyers to conduct their own lead-based assessment
  5. Include specific warning language relating to lead-based hazards in the sale agreement

Purpose/Benefits of Disclosure

Although the state’s mandates regarding disclosure are pretty standard, there are a number of long-term benefits that can be had from or by making such disclosures for sellers.

Benefits of Disclosure Include:

  • Improved negotiations at the deal table
  • Early discover of issues leads to better valuation
  • Opportunity to make improvements on the home
  • Ensures a fair deal from both sides of the table
  • Legal compliance
  • Reduced liability
How Can I Sell My House Using ISoldMyHouse.com? Learn more.

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Options for Selling a House in New York


Selling With a Real Estate Agent

When most New York residents think about selling their home, they think of listing with a real estate agent. In the state of New York, you may also see seller real estate agents being referred to as listing agents.

Not only does a real estate agent handle the listing and marketing of your property, but they also aid in helping you through every step of the process from showings and staging to contract negotiation and closing.

Listing agents will provide you with a comparative market analysis (referred to as comps), and provide pricing recommendations and strategies tailored towards your specific goals.

Real Estate Commissions in New York 

Commission paid out to a seller’s agent is generally calculated as a percentage of the final sale price of the home. The percentage of commission can vary, with lower levels of service usually corresponding to less robust services.

Full-service agents handle the listing, marketing, showing, staging, negotiation, and closing of your home. Marketing expenses are handled by the agent out of their own pockets. These agents on average charge between 5-8% in New York. This commission rate is split with any agent that may be representing the buyer’s agent. Commission rates with your seller agent may be negotiable.

The commission is paid out as part of the sale price upon closing and is not required upfront.

New York’s Multiple Listing Service

Developed by REALTORS®, the multiple listing service, also known as MLS, is a multimillion-dollar real estate technology. The fundamental principle behind the MLS is that it helps brokers and real estate agents share information on the properties they represent for sale through a singular network.

Sellers benefit by exponentially increased exposure for listed properties, while buyers benefit do to the ability to quickly identify ideal properties on the market for their clients to purchase.

This system facilitates cooperation between competing agencies, brokers and agents, leveling the playing field and providing value for every party involved.

As a consumer, you can access MLS listings published on brokers’ and agents’ websites, but the MLS itself is a private database created and maintained by licensed real estate professionals.

Listing Agreement

After interviewing and selecting a real estate or listing agent of your choosing, you will sign what is known as a “listing agreement”. This agreement grants the agent the legal right to market and coordinate the sale of your home on your behalf.

Listing Agreements Generally Cover the Following Terms: 
1. Commission Rate

The rate of commission you agree to pay as a seller (usually ranges from 5-8% in NY). This fee, as mentioned earlier, gets split between the buyer’s agent and your agent at closing.

2. The Type of Listing

Listings can either be “exclusive” or “non-exclusive”. Exclusive listings are the most common type and require you to pay a commission to the selling agent no matter who or where the buyer comes from. With open or “non-exclusive” listings, on the other hand, you pay whichever agent brings the seller the commission.

3. Listing Duration

Each listing agreement will cover a specific time-frame, after which the contract expires and you are free to hire another agent to do the job, handle the sale yourself, or extend the existing contract.

4. Listing Price

Your agent should provide you with an in-depth market analysis and a detailed breakdown of comparable sales in your locale. Based on the data, their experience as an agent and your goals, the listing agent will provide you with advice on pricing strategy. The agreed-upon price will be included as part of the listing agreement.

5. Any Items NOT Included as Part of the Sale 

In some cases, there may be instances where certain items are not part of the home’s sale. For example, perhaps you plan to take the refrigerator with you when you leave, or an heirloom chandelier. Any such items you wish to take with you must be included in the listing agreement.

6. Detailing of the Obligations and Duties of Both the Seller and Listing Agent

Each listing agreement should (in detail) spell out the obligations you have as a seller to the agent and the obligations the agent has to you as the real estate agent representing your property. For example, the listing agreement will specify the ways in which your agent will market your property, the type of insurance that must be maintained on the home, and the disclosures you are required to make.

Selling Without a Real Estate Agent or By Owner

Although most New York residents opt to sell with the help of an agent, non-traditional options offer a range of benefits of their own, with a growing number of sellers NY flocking to these opportunities in lieu of paying out high commission rates to an agent.

DIY or For Sale By Owner

Selling your home going the DIY or For Sale By Owner in New York route has its challenges, and is certainly more work, but the payoff can make it more than worthwhile if you do your homework and put in the effort.

In fact, on a $250,000 home with a 6% commission fee, you can save $15,000. Further, according to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, homes sold by their owners also often sell more quickly, sometimes in as little as two weeks.

But before you decide to dive off the deep end and handle your home’s sale on your own, bear in mind that the process isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Apart from marketing, staging and negotiating the sale, you’ll also be responsible for both the financial and legal paperwork associated with the transaction, something you’ll no doubt want to hire an attorney to help with.

Tips for Selling the DIY Way:
  1. Prep your home for the market. This means professional cleaning, removing any clutter, and staging the property both inside and out for viewing.
  2. Competitively price your property. With real estate platforms and data readily available online from sites such as Zillow and Redfin, you can do your own market research to find comparable properties and price your home similarly to those that best represent your home and sold within a timeframe that you are comfortable with.
  3. Invest in a flat fee MLS listing service in New York in order to exponentially expand your reach to prospective buyers both in the area and nationwide (more on this below).
  4. Get a marketing plan together. Definitely list your site online, in classified ads and platforms, your local newspapers, social media, and even starting a website where you can digitally showcase pictures, videos of the property and more. The key is to target buyers who are going to be moving to New York.
  5. Know your home’s best-selling points and put a “pitch” together to “sell” them both in person and in print or online.

Flat Fee MLS Listings

As previously mentioned, MLS is short for “Multiple Listing Service”. The MLS consists of a network of over 900 individual MLSs nationwide in the USA. Each MLS is separate from each other, meaning that a real estate agent in Hartford, CT cannot view listings in San Diego, CA. This makes it critical to ensure you are listed in the proper MLS.

Why is Paying for a Flat Fee MLS Listing Worthwhile?
  • The MLS essentially represents the entire “real estate market”
  • In the US, over 90% of all sold properties are the result (at least in part) of MLS listing exposure
  • Listing in the MLS means that all local Realtors®, agents and brokers will be able to find and promote your listing to their clients
  • Potential buyers can find your home listed on hundreds to thousands of public MLS websites
  • Those properties listed on MLS tend to sell faster and at a higher price
  • You can avoid New York’s high real estate agent commission rage (on average 6%)
  • You retain the right to sell your house yourself
  • You have full control over your listing
  • Qualified buyers will call you direct
  • You set the terms of the contract offer and negotiate conditions directly
  • Your MLS listing can be canceled at any time if your situation changes

We put together the video below for you to watch that shows you everything you need to know about how to use flat fee MLS to list your house without a Realtor.

YouTube video

Get Started Listing Your Home On The MLS Without A Realtor

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New York Residential Purchase and Sale Agreements


In simple terms, a home purchase agreement, also called a sale agreement or purchase contract, is a contract that details the conditions of the sale to which both the buyer and seller agree to. This agreement is legally binding, and it is advised that the agreement be both drafted and reviewed by an attorney you trust.

NOTE: The majority of clauses within the purchase agreement are designed to protect the buyer.

The agreement will cover such aspects of the sale such as

1. Sale Price

This will include both the actual sale price of the home as well as how much the buyer agrees to put down at the contract signing date, what amount will be financed and any balances due at closing.

2. Financing Contingency

Financing contingencies are a common rider included in many purchase agreements, unless the sale is a cash deal. Generally, they define a timeline during which the buyer must qualify for adequate financing in order to purchase the home.

Similarly, a rider may be included to protect the buyer, stating that the purchase is contingent upon them obtaining financing at favorable terms (such as within a specified interest rate rage).

Other Financing Clauses May Include:

  • Dates by which the buyer must have applied for a mortgage
  • Dates by which the buyer must have obtained pre-qualification, pre-approval and/or final approval by the lender

3. Property Description

Unlike some states, New York is not a “buyer beware” state as it relates to residential property. This means that the rule of “Caveat Emptor” does not apply to homes and residential property. As such, sellers are required to meet full disclosure requirements.

NOTE: Caveat Emptor, is still the rule of law in New York as it relates to commercial property, where it is the buyer’s, not the seller’s, responsibility (in large part) to do their own due diligence on the property.

The property description should accurately describe the property including:

  • Size of the home’s square footage and any additional structures such as a detached garage
  • Lot size
  • Number of lots included
  • Frontage on a road or body of water
  • Number of living units
  • Finished basement
  • Rights of way, easements or appurtenant rights
  • Etc…

4. Inspection & Repairs

Under the agreement, an inspection clause may dictate that the buyer has the right under the terms of the contract to inspect the property by hiring one or more contractors or licensed inspectors to look at the property.

The contract will need to specify which, if any, repairs the seller agrees to make as a result of the inspection prior to closing.

5. Title and Survey

The agreement will outline which party is responsible for title insurance and the duration of time the buyer has to review and/or object to the results. In the event that you, as a seller, provided a survey or the buyer ordered one themselves, the agreement will specify how long the buyer has to identify any issues. In the event that a resolution to a problem is required, a timeline for this solution will need to be established and incorporated into the contract. IN the event that you cannot or do not want to resolve the problem (due to finances or other considerations), incorporating a clause that states you have the right to cancel the agreement and return the deposit should be included.

6. Personal Property / Excluded or Included Items

Just because you are selling your home does not mean you have to sell everything in it. From furniture, to appliances, and even light fixtures, you get to decide. But, you must specify in the agreement which items are staying behind and which are not part of the deal. Both you and the buyer should make a list of the property they expect to sell/purchase. From there you can both negotiate a deal.

7. Closing and Move in/out Dates

Dates are very important with regard to the process of selling a home. Generally, the closing date for New York properties lands around 30 days. However, this date is largely dependent upon the lender and may require an extension.

8. Other Riders

New York Real estate forms also have a range of optional riders that cover such circumstances as those that involve:

  • Owner financing
  • Homeowners’ associations
  • Condominiums
  • And more…

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Negotiation Process – Offers, Counteroffers & Acceptance


Real estate deals are an evolving process with lots of moving parts, contingencies and more. All of which means that a lot can change between the point at which an initial offer is made and closing day.

Rarely is selling a home as simple as getting paid your list price without some form of concession and negotiation. These negotiations can go on for weeks until both parties reach (or don’t reach) an amicable deal.


A counteroffer is the medium in which this negotiation is dealt with. Counteroffers are generally handled by either your real estate agent or attorney (unless you are selling DIY). Think of selling as a process vs a transaction.

Counteroffers arise when the terms of the initial offer are not agreeable. The counter-offer provides you with the opportunity to take a hard look at what items you are willing to compromise on and which are potential “deal breakers”.

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Escrow Process in New York


When a buyer decides on a property they are interested in buying, they first make a purchase offer. As part of this purchase offer, they most often provide “earnest money”. This earnest money is a deposit made as a consideration to be held in escrow by an escrow agent.

The role of an escrow agent is to ensure the transaction closes on time and without a hitch. It is the duty of the escrow holder to validate that all conditions and terms of the buyer’s and seller’s agreement are met prior to the finalization of the deal.

This process ensures that all funds, required forms, documents are accounted for and that any loans or liens have been paid off as part of the transaction, and that the new buyer will have a clean title prior to the purchase of the property.

Money is held in what is known as an “escrow account”. Think of this account as a type of “holding tank” for the money a buyer will use to pay for your home.

Escrow Agents May Collect the Following:

  • Tax statements
  • Insurance and fire policies
  • Loan documentation
  • Title insurance policies
  • Terms and conditions of the sale
  • Any requests for payment of services to be covered by the escrow funds

Common Elements of the Escrow Process

The Offer:

At this stage, the buyer will make an offer on your home. Generally, this is done by signing a formal “binder agreement” or an “offer to purchase”. Accompanying this offer is a payment of 1% of the purchase price.


An inspection is often conducted by the buyer “post-offer” acceptance. This inspection is generally conducted by a licensed home inspector and is used to uncover any potential issues that need to be resolved prior to the signing of a purchase agreement.


Presuming you accept the buyer’s offer, the buyer will sign the contract of sale. Your legal counsel will need to review the documents, negotiate any elements that need adjusting and so forth. Once the contract has been legally executed, the rights and obligations of you as a seller and them as a buyer become set in stone. Generally, neither party can back out of the deal from this point forward, except for as provided for under certain contingencies such as a “mortgage contingency”.


At the time of contract signature the buyer will provide a deposit on the property of around 10% based on the agreed upon sales price. This deposit is held “in escrow” and is non-refundable. In the event that the buyer backs out for reasons other than those allowed under any contingency in the contract, the seller (you) will get to keep the deposit.


Due to the lengthy and complicated nature of obtaining a mortgage, the buyer will have likely began this process as early as possible.

Title Search:

Search and review of the title in order to verify and confirm that you have a clean title to the property free from liens or other restrictions.

Title Insurance:

As previously mentioned, title insurance protects the lender and buyer against any potential monetary losses due to exposed title defects or other claims against the property.


Unlike some states, in New York, a survey is not often required by lenders. It is both a costly and time-consuming ordeal. Because of this most buyers waive their right to a survey.

Homeowner’s Insurance:

An often-mandated requirement by lenders and paid for by the buyer.

Final Walkthrough Inspection:

Just prior to “closing” the buyer usually conducts a final walkthrough of the property with their attorney or real estate agent to ensure nothing has substantially changed and that the condition of the property is that guaranteed in the contract.


Adjustments refers to the alteration of the final sales price in order to take into consideration expenses incurred during the periods they owned the property (such as prorated taxes, water and sewer charges, condominium fees, etc.).


The final stage of the process. At this stage, the buyer will sign all required bank documents and pay any balance of the purchase price to you the seller. As the seller, you will also execute any documents necessary such as a deed and paying conveyance taxes. The buyer’s attorney will file the signed deed and the buyer will take the keys and ownership of the property.

How Can I Sell My House Using ISoldMyHouse.com? Learn more.

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Closing Process in New York


The closing is the time at which you formally transfer ownership of your home to the buyer. This process can take place anywhere both parties agree to. In New York, when the lender notifies that everything is ready, the closing attorney will coordinate with all involved parties and their respective agents to schedule the “closing ceremony”.

Generally, within three business days of closing the lender will provide the buyer with what is known as a “closing disclosure” that outlines and details the terms of the loan, and subsequently provides the funds the buyer needs at closing in order to make the purchase.

The closing ceremony itself takes around an hour or less. During the ceremony, the closing attorney will explain to each party what the closing documents mean and answer any questions either party may have. Presuming everything is agreeable, the attorney will collect and distribute funds from their trust account.

Once closing has come to an end, the attorney will record the deeds. One deed covers conveying the property and the other and the other the lender’s security deed. In New York it takes approximately one month for the original deed to be returned to the buyer.

The Closing Process in Detail:

  1. Title Search: ran just prior to the closing ceremony in order to uncover any assessments or liens on the title. If the title comes back as “clean” the closing can proceed unhindered.
  2. Attorney prepares paperwork for the transfer of the title/deed and will file the application for title insurance presuming the lender requires such.
  3. A final closing date will be scheduled that is amenable by both parties.
  4. Calculation of the total amount (in the form of a cashier’s check) that the buyer needs to bring to the closing.
  5. Final walkthrough, usually performed the day of or the day before the closing ceremony
  6. Buyer and seller, at closing (settlement table) sign all requisite closing documents and any final loan documents.
  7. Buyer remits remaining funds in their down payment to the attorney via cashier’s check
  8. Attorney records the transaction and deed with the local municipality
  9. Buyer receives keys and legally takes possession of the property

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Final Thoughts


We hope that you have found this guide informational and beneficial. Selling a home can be an emotional and exciting time in one’s life. But it can also be a stressful one as well. Knowing what to expect and how to best prepare for the process can help you remain calm and in control throughout.

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