How to buy a property in New York

Member news | December 15, 2022

The New York market is characterized by its uniqueness. Its strength lies in its ability to overcome the successive crises that might affect it.

Indeed, there has been constant growth for the last decades. The New York real estate market is currently a buyer’s market and interesting opportunities for new developments are multiplying. As a result, New York remains one of the most popular destinations for expatriates or foreigners wishing to invest in real estate.

However, buying an apartment in New York can be daunting. It is thus wise to know the most important details beforehand. This is why BARNES New York and its team will assist and advise you in your real estate search, and throughout the buying process.

Discover the different steps of the buying process in New York:

The search for a property

First, the New York real estate market has a common database, the Residential Listing System, in which most of the properties for sale are listed. This centralized system is in free circulation, which is a major advantage for buyers who can access all the properties available for sale without having to contact several real estate brokerages. Once you have identified your agent/agency, they will be able to present you with the entire inventory corresponding to your criteria and needs.

Presenting an offer

Once you have chosen your property, it is time to make your offer. BARNES New York will advise you in defining the terms of the offer, notably by presenting you with an exhaustive history of similar sales and comps in the neighborhood, then present and negotiate your offer with the seller. This is followed by negotiation through successive counteroffers until a preliminary agreement is reached. Presenting an offer requires proof of funds or a loan commitment.

Turning it over to the lawyers

A New York real estate attorney represents you in the following steps. The attorney receives the drafted sales agreement and any condominium information from the seller’s attorney. They analyze the whole document and get back to you with their observations and, possibly, renegotiate certain elements with the seller’s lawyer. During this “due diligence” period, it is possible to carry out a professional inspection of the chosen property; this is particularly relevant in the case of a single-family house or building.

Signing the contract

Once your lawyer’s findings are satisfactory, it is time to sign the contract and to put a deposit in escrow, usually around 10% of the purchase price. The contract is then transferred to the seller for signature.

Intermediate steps before closing

If the buyer is financing from within the United States, the process for obtaining a loan can take six to eight weeks. In the meantime, with the help of your agent, your application is submitted to the building. For a condominium purchase, there is usually no formal interview. This can be very different when it comes to a Co-op. Once your application is properly addressed, an approval is almost always guaranteed and is obtained within a month.

Finalizing the acquisition – Closing

Once the approval from the building has been received and financing has been secured, the transaction is ready to be finalized and the property can be transferred. It is not necessary to be physically in New York City, just grant your attorney or a trusted person power of attorney beforehand. The entire process takes 30-45 days for a cash transaction, but can be extended to 60-90 days for a financed transaction.