How To Sell in New York

Selling your New York City property is one of the single most important financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. There are a lot of things to consider, and in order to make your NYC selling experience as stress free as possible, here is a basic break down of the NYC selling process:


After you have chosen a broker to represent you and your property, you will be expected to sign an exclusive agreement. This is a contract whereby you, the owner of a property will grant your chosen agent and his or her firm, the right to market the property. The length of time for a typical agreement is 3 to 6 months.


At this stage of the process it is important, for your own piece of mind, to do some of your own research, but your agent should provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA), which consists of closed and pending sales of the properties currently on the market in your neighborhood and building. Since pricing is one of the most critical success factors in selling a property, your agent will give you their opinion of the fair market value of your property and suggest a selling price. Once you and the agent agree upon a selling price, your property will be placed on the market.

Throughout the marketing, listing and showing process your agent should be in regular communication with you to provide feedback and keep you appraised of the  market conditions. This will allow you and your agent to fine tune the marketing plan to more quickly and efficiently sell your apartment.


a)    Promotion and Advertising:
Your property should appear on your agent’s firms’ website with a description, color photos and a floor plan, providing the viewer with an opportunity to easily identify your listing. A mail advertisement should also go out to the selected buildings to announce your apartments availability, and your apartment should also be placed in appropriate publications, such as the New York Times Real Estate section.

b)    Showings and Open Houses:
When your property is ready for showing, you and your agent should arrange the best times for both private showings and open houses to show your apartment to any potential buyers. Your agent should be present at each showing to properly acquaint the potential buyers with the amenities of your apartment and building. Again, your broker should constantly be updating you on the feedback from brokers and their customers in case any changes should be made in order to make the process of selling your NYC property more efficient.

c)    Co-Broker Support:
A co-broke is a term used when a broker shares their listing to the brokerage community. Your property will immediately be co-brokered to all New York real estate firms and their agents, in order to give your property as much exposure to potential buyers as is possible.

(Note: The commission that is being paid by you will now be split evenly between your broker and the firm if they provide the buyer)


a)    One of the benefits to having a good broker is that it is their job to qualify all buyers to minimize traffic through your apartment. Your agent should fully qualify each buyer that submits an offer.

b)    In New York City, all offers are made verbally, and your agent has the fiduciary responsibility to present you with each offer that is made on your apartment. Once an offer is made you and your agent will discuss the validity of the offer, and as the seller you may counter through your agent.

c)    This will begin the negotiation process, which will eventually lead to a meeting. At this point, price and terms are agreed upon, and you can move on to preparing the contract.


a)    After you accept the offer, your real estate attorney is responsible for the preparation of a contract of sale, while the buyer’s attorney will begin his/her due diligence. After the buyer’s attorney concludes his due diligence, the contract is must be signed by the buyer and the down payment is then required.
This money will be held in your attorney’s escrow account until the closing. Until the contract is counter-signed and received by your attorney, you, as the seller can still entertain other offers.

b)    In addition, if you are selling a co-op, your agent should work with the buyer’s agent to ensure that the best possible board package is prepared and submitted to the building managing agent for review. If the potential buyer is approved by the board, the managing agent will alert your broker and you can move on to closing. (For more information see our article, What You Need to Know to Buy and Sell an NYC Co-op)

6) Closing!

The end is in sight! Managing agents generally set the date for closing, and lawyers for sellers and buyers coordinate with the appropriate banks on available dates and times. Your agent should attend the closing to ensure a smooth transition for buyer. After all that is done, congratulations! You have successfully sold your NYC apartment!!! Time to celebrate!!!