Tag Archives: buyers

First time buyer in Manhattan?

Here are some basic steps in purchasing a Manhattan apartment for the first time.

1- Decide on a Manhattan neighborhood

2- Get a pre approval

3- Co-op or condo?

3- Find a buyer broker

Also I would add to choose your real estate attorney well. Usually your buyer broker can help you with that. A real estate attorney usually chages around $2500 or so but some that do excellent work can be found for as little as $1700 depending on the price range of the property.

Additionally, beyond getting the pre approval make sure that the bank will finance in the building that you choose. Some buildings have sponsors that still own more than 10% of the shares(co-ops) or the apartments(condos) or a higher than usual percentage of tenants. This can complicate financing and is an area very often overlooked by many real estate brokers. This as a buyer can cost you time and money and add stress. So vet the building with your lender to avoid all of that! What are your tips for a first time buyer?

Closing costs for Manhattan property

by  Brian Silvestry

For the Seller:

Coops,Condos,residential 1-4 family
Brokerage Commission negotiable typically 6%
NYC Transfer tax:
1% of price for purchases up to $500,000
1.425% of price for purchases over $500,000
NYS Transfer tax
$2 per $500.00 of sales price
Attorney fee $1500 and up
Flip tax (depends on building) 0-5% COOPS*** Continue reading Closing costs for Manhattan property

Real estate representation simplified

So you walk into an open house and there is a broker at the open house, who does he represent? What should you tell him or not tell him? You meet an agent who you emailed through streeteasy about a loft in Soho, who does she represent? In whose interests is she working? An email through trulia.com yields a flurry of calls from agents wanting to “work for you”, are they really working in your best interests?

A real estate transaction is complex and can be made even more challenging by ambiguous representation. Legally, the agent has to disclose to you in writing who they are representing be it for a purchase, or a rental.

NYS agency disclosure form with explanation

For Manhattan real estate, typically, the agent represents the buyer, seller or both. Huh? How can an Manhattan real estate broker represent both the buyer and seller? Well, they can not give undivided loyalty to either but they can practice what is called dual agency.

The broker can represent the buyer in which case she negotiates on the behalf of the buyer, trying to convince the other side as to why the terms of the buyer are appropriate and should be accepted. Represent yourself as a buyer? Usually, this is a mistake because the agent at the open house likely is representing the seller and will negotiate the terms most favorable to the seller.

In the case of the agent at the open house, most likely they are representing the seller and will secure the best terms for the seller. For example, if you tell the seller’s agent that you will offer a price but are prepared to go higher, by law, the broker must tell the seller that. So be careful what you say to a seller’s agent. It is the same if you tell the seller’s agent that you need to move in a one month because of a job transfer, they will tell the seller that information and that may weaken your ability to negotiate a better sale price.

In all cases, the real estate broker that represents you will among many other things owe you confidentiality. So anything that you disclose can be kept to himself unless you instruct him otherwise.

So next time you meet an agent for the first time, see if they disclose to you who they represent and if they do not, ask them. It is the law.

How to find a NYC apartment before it goes on the market

There’s many ways to find property that is on the market or will be on the market. For example, streeteasy allows you to save buildings and save searches so that when an apartment comes to the market you can pounce on it. You also have your broker who watches out for property on the market for you in case you are too busy.  However, in the event that you don’t want to compete with 20 people at a crowded open house, then there’s off market deals or “whisper listings“.  Continue reading How to find a NYC apartment before it goes on the market