Buying a home in NYC is more challenging than
in other parts of the country. This is due to a combination of factors including
greater buyer competition, the added complexity of co-op apartments and the intensity of the
real estate agents who operate in the city. Here are four tips for buying a home in NYC: Find a Great Buyer’s Agent Who Offers You
a Closing Gift This is the typical first piece of advice
you’ll find online when googling tips for buying a home in NYC. Most articles online will encourage you to
ask friends and family for a referral or to look online for public reviews of great buyers’
agents in your area. The primary flaw of this advice, much to the
detriment of all home buyers, is that it doesn’t mention to you the fact that you can reduce
most if not all of your buyer closing costs by receiving a closing gift discount from
your buyer’s agent. The key for buyers to understand is that even
though the services of buyers’ agents are pitched as being free, you along with every
other buyer are paying for it collectively in the form of higher sale prices. Just because sellers have to pay the broker
fee (which is typically split between the listing broker and buyer’s broker) does
not mean they don’t markup sale prices to account for this cost. Working with a seasoned buyer’s agent who
also offers you a buyer closing credit can give you the best of both worlds: strategic
advice throughout your deal plus the advantage of monetary savings at closing. You can request a buyer closing credit in
NYC by visiting Prepare Your Offer Documentation in Advance Preparing your offer documentation early in
your search will show sellers and listing agents that you are a ready and able buyer. Serious buyers who submit fully documented
offers typically have greater leverage in negotiations compared to buyers who appear
unprepared and unorganized. Preparing your offer docs in advance will
also help you compete more effectively against other buyers, especially those who are receiving
this same advice from experienced buyer’s agents. Certain properties in NYC can sell in a matter
of weeks, so the last thing you want is to be outmaneuvered by other buyers who have
done their homework. The first step we suggest is to request a
pre-approval letter from a mortgage broker or banker. It’s also a good idea to prepare a REBNY
financial statement, especially if you’re thinking about buying a co-op. You can download a sample REBNY financial
statement and view instructions at Don’t Reach out to Listing Agents Directly
in NYC Assuming you’ve decided to work with a buyer’s
agent, you’ve got to respect industry conventions for buying a home in NYC and not make the
“substantive first contact” directly with the listing agent. Doing so may give cause for the listing agent
to refuse to work with your buyer’s agent because you are arguably a direct buyer. We realize this can be tough sometimes as
you are eager to buy, looking at homes yourself on the internet and want to have your questions
answered immediately. However, resist the urge to hit “Contact
Agent” on a listing and instead send a list of your questions and listings you want to
see to your buyer’s agent. Your buyer agent will reach out, schedule
showings, sign you up for open houses and get your questions answered. It may seem cumbersome to have to work through
a middleman, but the upside is you’ll have a loyal, dedicated agent who does have better
data than you do who will help you schedule, negotiate and be with you every step of the
way when buying a home in NYC. Understand the Differences Between Condos
and Co-ops At this point, you should have an idea of
whether you want to buy a condo, co-op or townhouse in NYC. Generally, condominiums are more popular but
priced higher because they are “real property” with all the traditional rights of real estate
ownership. This means you can rent out your apartment
to whomever you want for as long as you want. Co-ops on the other hand usually have restrictions
on how often you can sublet your apartment. However, buying a co-op is a popular choice
for many working families because they are generally much cheaper than comparable condos. Co-ops also have lower buyer closing costs
of 1% to 2% on average compared to around 4% for condo apartments. Looking to buy or sell a home in New York? Learn how you can save on commission and closing
costs at