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5 Things to Know About Buying in NYC

Learn More About Buying in NYC

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    Hey everyone I’m Erin Wheelock, an associate broker here at Keller Williams in New York City with the Wheelock team. We are here to help people who are relocating or buying and selling today we are going to talk about five things that you need to know before you buy here in New York City.

    Number one, we don’t have an MLS here or multiple listing system. The most commonly searched sites are going to be StreetEasy and Zillow however if you’re looking to buy, do not go on there and start clicking because StreetEasy is not really a search engine, it’s nothing more than a money making lead generation machine for StreetEasy. What they do is when I go get a listing, I’ll put the listing on there right, because this is what people do search on, and it’s going to put some other agent’s face on my listing. That’s how StreetEasy makes money. So, if you are a serious buyer I highly suggest you find one agent, no, but one really good agent, and then just work with them because you can start clicking and you’re going to get about 20 phone calls when one agent who’s really good can just show you everything.

    Number two, you gotta know about our timelines. This is not California, Texas, Florida, we are not closing things in two weeks or even a month. Unless you’re buying a townhouse all cash then maybe you’re going to close in a month. Either way, we’re seeing commitment letters taking about 45 days, after we get that commitment letter your board package will go in and if you aren’t financing then of course we can just get the board package ready, send it in so that’ll maybe take off about two weeks depending upon how quickly we get your paperwork, then it’s going to go through management, then it’s going to go to a board and if it’s a condo it’ll go straight to close. If it’s a co-op they’ll ask for an interview but we still need approximately five to seven days to schedule that closing between the attorneys, the management, the bank if there is one, transfer agent, buyers, and sellers. We agents are last which is totally fine but it takes a while so we always tell people that when you’re looking to buy New York City be prepared to have from accepted offer to actual close be at least three months, maybe give yourself a little bit of wiggle room for four months.

    Number three, New York City is a dual attorney City. What does that mean? That means when it comes to the contract, the little bits and pieces that are negotiated are going to be done between two attorneys. One of them for the seller and one of them for the buyer. Your attorney as a buyer is not only going to work on the little details and details that are very important in the contract, but they’re also going to be reading the building’s financials, they’re going to be reviewing all of that with you, the house rules, letting you know you can’t Airbnb this is what the sublet policy is etc. so they’re going to go over all of those legal things with you before you sign the contract. But, we are dual attorney City so before you buy just make sure you know you need one and you should be able to get a few recommendations from either people you know that have bought or the agent you’re working with.

    Number four, when you’re putting in the offer a lot of times things come up right? Inspection, no inspection, here’s the deal. We will never tell you not to do an inspection, right, it is not my home it is your home. If you’ll feel more comfortable with an inspection absolutely do an inspection. One of the reasons why it’s not the most common thing inside condos and co-ops is because generally what’s inside of the walls like between this wall and the other wall is going to be the responsibility of the building, so if something were to happen again it is generally the responsibility of the building your attorney will go over that with you.

    Also in New York City before you close you’ll have a final walkthrough which means we’re going to go through, test all the electricity, make sure that all the appliances work, make sure there’s no crazy holes anywhere. Units do need to be left in room swept conditions so make sure that we have that all ready to go in your final walkthrough and if there is anything that’s broken, not working etc then the attorneys will either hold some money in escrow for it to be fixed or they’ll have it fixed before the closing or they will have some sort of a credit that is agreed upon between buyers and sellers given to the buyer to have whatever isn’t fixed, fixed. It’s not like a townhouse which we always say do an inspection where you are looking into the roof and all the different aspects of the building to make sure that it’s structurally sound etc or if you have something that you’re going to do a complete renovation to you might want an inspection right, see when the electricity was last put in but either way the decision is always yours but again it’s just not the most common thing inside condos and co-ops in New York City.

    Number five and this one I think throws people off the most and I apologize I don’t make up the rules. We’re going to submit an offer with a closing date, that closing date is going to go on the contract but we’re not going to close on that date. I have yet in my 10 years of experience a close on the actual date that is on the contract. Why? I don’t know, it’s just how it works here, so when you have that closing date it’s always a 30-day grace period so you have on or about the closing date and then you or the seller has up to 30 days that you can push that out in order to close. It’s probably because there are boards, management, so many people involved in this transaction it would probably be pretty hard to time out a closing date to a specific day and as I say that yes, it is, that’s why we usually don’t close on that closing date.

    Anyways I hope that this was helpful for you, we are always going to be here for all of your purchasing needs and of course if you have any other questions because New York City is a different Beast we would love to help you out make sure that we are guiding you accordingly on your way to purchasing your first or next home!