Once you have an accepted offer, the contract review process begins. In an ideal world, this will take about a week but can often take longer, as the lawyers haggle over details of the contract like as is versus working condition or closing dates or what happens if there is a title issue…Once the contract is signed by the buyer and the deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price) is sent to the seller’s attorney, the seller can sign the contract.
At that point, the buyer will give their documents to their lender for their loan application. Within about a month, the buyer will have a loan commitment and from there the bank can be ready in about another month or so to close the transaction.
If this is a condo or co-op in Manhattan, there will be Board application to be submitted and reviewed first by management and then the Board. In the case of a condo, they grant a waiver of the right of first refusal which is the Building’s right to buy an apartment if they so choose. If it’s a co-op then they will review the application and first decide to interview or not, then interview and give an approval or rejection. This can add another 1-2 months total to the process.
Lastly, the lawyers will set the scheduled date for closing when all parties are available. From contract to closing, can average about 3 months, less if a cash transaction and more in the case of co-op.
The Author- Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.