The steps you’ll take to find and purchase the apartment of your dreams.
Seek pre-approval for a mortgage: Typical time frame: 1 – 2 days
You must know how much you can spend before you spend it. Condominium apartments require at least 10% down. Cooperative apartments generally require at least 25% down, however, every building is different. An estimated 25% of Manhattan’s buildings are condominium buildings and the other 75% are cooperatives.
Sale of your current apartment:
If you need to sell your current residence in order to buy your new home, you should put your apartment on the market as soon as possible. Engel & Völkers has extensive experience selling NYC coops and condos. Our advisors will explain how the entire process works from hiring a broker, to marketing, negotiating and accepting an offer, all the way through closing.
Find an apartment: Typical time frame: 3-6 months
Depending on what you are looking for, the length of your search will vary. The average person sees 20-25 apartments before deciding on one. Internet-savvy buyers save time by doing some “homework” before their search with a broker begins. Our buyers who begin their search online view an average of just 4-5 apartments before making a purchase.
Negotiate on the Apartment: Typical time frame: 3 days to 2 weeks
Everything is negotiable so inquire about assessments, fixtures, window replacements, air conditioners, rugs, floors, curtains, appliances, working fireplaces, washer dryers, etc. Apartments are delivered ‘swept clean’. Our advisors will advise you and lead the negotiations.
Sign a Contract: Typical time frame: 1-3 weeks
Generally in a sales transaction, the buyer and seller are each represented by a New York City real estate attorney. The seller’s attorney draws up the contract for the buyer’s attorney; the buyer’s attorney does “due diligence” reading building offering plans, financial statements and even meeting minutes. First the buyers sign the contract and return it with a 10% deposit; then the sellers execute the contract. Likely contingencies include: financing, board approval, closing dates. The faster the contract is signed the better. It is binding only after both parties sign it.
Always contact an attorney who specializes in New York Real Estate before signing a contract!
Apply for a mortgage and Obtain a Commitment Letter: Typical time frame: 6 – 9 weeks
Mortgage applications cannot be processed without an executed contract. If an apartment is being financed, the board requires a commitment letter from a lender. These letters are generally the last items to complete a board package/condo application.
Complete a Board Package or Condo Application: Typical time frame: 3 – 9 weeks
Cooperative apartment buildings require board approval before a closing can take place. Condominiums require an information packet to be completed before a closing can take place. In order to review a potential purchaser, the board of directors for a Coop demand extensive information in a board package. Most boards request the following: full financial disclosure (net worth) with supporting documentation, employment history, current salary, personal and business references, tax returns for the previous 3 years, credit history and more. If a purchaser cannot or does not want to supply this information, he/she should buy a condominium. Board packages or Condo applications are provided to potential purchasers to fill out after a contract has been executed. If there is no financing, it usually takes about 2-4 weeks to gather the information for a condominium application.
Submit Board Package/Condo Application to the managing agent: Typical time frame: 1-4 weeks
After the buyer’s real estate agent completes the board package, he/she will forward the it to the managing agent of the building. The managing agent will inspect the package to ensure that it is complete. The package will then be forwarded to the board of director’s of the Coop. After the board reviews the package, they will decide if they would like to meet the potential purchaser.
Meet the Co-op Board for an Interview: Typical time frame: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Coop boards typically meet once a month, and some boards do not meet in August. Every board is different, but generally a board meeting will be held in the evening on a weeknight. Although a board interview may be granted, this does not guarantee board approval.
Receive Approval from Board: Typical time frame: 1 day – 1 week after board interview
The managing agent will typically alert the seller’s broker whether the potential purchaser has passed the board.
Schedule a Closing: Typical time frame: 1-2 weeks after board approval
Managing agents generally set the date for closings, and lawyers for sellers and buyers coordinate with the appropriate banks on available dates and times.
The typical time frame from an accepted offer on a property until closing: 3-5 months