Guide for Selling Your NYC Apartment


Selling your home is a big deal and It's ok to be cautious about it. That's why choosing the right real estate agent is one of the most important steps in your selling process!

When selling a home, please keep the following in mind:

1. Before Going on the Market


Prior to putting your apartment on the market, you will need to obtain a few documents and gather some information from your building management:

  • Building's rules and regulations (only for condo and co-op)

  • Prospectus/offering plan

  • Three years' financials

  • Co-op/condo guidelines

  • Co-op/condo board meeting minutes

  • Find out if your building has a "flip tax" or working capital deposit and whether the buyer or seller is responsible for paying it.

2. Keep In Mind

  • Your home should be clean and in top condition.

  • Consider using a professional stager to make sure your home is presented in its best form so it will sell more quickly.

  • Communicate to your real estate agent the time of day when your property looks its best so they can schedule showings during those times.

  • Displaying fresh flowers can add an element of warmth and welcome to the space for prospective buyers.

  • Remove pets and arrange to be elsewhere when your home is being shown.

3. Bidding​ and Negotiating

During the bidding process, the following can be expected:

  • You will receive an offer through your real estate agent, along with a presentation of the buyer's qualifications.

  • You may accept or counter the offer as part of a price negotiation.

  • In the case of multiple bids, you and your agent will execute a strategy to obtain the best price and terms from the most qualified buyer. Frequently, the strategy will involve sealed bids or a deadline for the highest and best offers from various bidders.

  • You will work closely with your agent to identify the offer that best satisfies your needs. 

  • The conclusion of the process will result in agreement upon the price, terms and closing date.

  • Your attorney will prepare a contract of sale and submit it to the buyer's attorney for review.

4. Going Into Contract

Once you have accepted an offer, you will enter the contract stage.

  • While your attorney prepares the contract of sale, the buyer's attorney will exercise due diligence by asking for certain key papers from you or your managing agent. These typically include:

    • The offering plan​

    • The building's by-laws

    • Statement of the building's financial condition​

  • With the approval and agreement of the buyer's attorney, the contract of sale is signed by the buyer. At the signing, the buyer typically​presents a deposit of 10% of the sale price.

  • The contract and deposit are forwarded to your attorney, who will obtain your signature.

  • The buyer's deposit is usually held in your attorney's escrow account until the closing date. Normally, any interest earned follows the principal.

5. Board Approval

  • Your real estate agent will present the buyer with the building's board requirements and application forms, which may include:

    • Application​

    • Signed financial statements

    • Tax returns

    • Bank statements

    • Brokerage statements

    • Personal and financial letters of reference

    • Professional letters of reference

    • Contact of sale

    • Banking financing documents (if financing)

  • The buyer's agent will compile the ​board package and then sends it to your agent. They will review it prior to submission to the building's managing agent, who will present it to the building's board of directors.

  • Upon review, the board may or may not ask for addition information. in a co-op the buyer may get turned down, but if not, the board will arrange an interview. Unlike co-ops, condo boards generally do not interview buyers.


***It's important to note that the time frame between the submission of a board package and scheduling of the interview varies from building to building and from season to season.***

6. Final Walk-Through

Immediately before the closing, the buyer's agent will schedule a final walk-through inspection of the property. It is not necessary for you to be present at the walk-through as your real estate agent will be there to ensure everything is completed before the closing.

7. Closing

Once the buyer is approved by the board, the final step is the closing. Usually this occurs in the office of the building's managing agent. The exact date should be flexible to accommodate everyone (you, the buyer, the attorneys, the banks and the managing agent). It's best to allow for a potential delay of 30 days from the closing date specified in the contract.

***When it comes to condos, the entire process moves rather quickly, and assuming a loan can be secured in a timely fashion by the buyer, one can expect about a 60 day period from contract to closing. For Co-ops, the processes a little more involved and 60-90+ days from contract to closing is not unusual.***

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