HOME SELLING GUIDE

Selling your home or investment property is a big decision. There are many financial and legal consequences of selling a home, so it is important to discuss your plans with your accountant, lawyer, and real estate agent. We can be a great resource to a seller, as we know the market and understand the consequences of selling a home, so reach out to us if you have any questions about the process.

As Exclusive Seller Agents, or estate agents, we solely represent the seller in the sale of residential property in Manhattan. On your behalf, we will prepare and list your property for sale, market your home to other real estate professionals and buyers, and host open houses for both brokers and buyers. We use the latest cutting-edge technology in marketing our exclusive listings that combined with our international reach and customer base, provides your property with the greatest possible exposure.

Ultimately, the real estate business is built upon personal relationships and trust. We look to build each of our client relationships by providing our own honest, personal opinions that are backed up by facts and real-time information.  

ABOUT US

The agents of Manhattan Miami Real Estate have been  serving buyers and sellers for over 15 years. We have amassed significant knowledge of the Manhattan and Miami real estate markets that we constantly share with our clients who appreciate our honesty and integrity. 

STEP-BY-STEP

We have put together an in-depth Step-by-Step Home Selling Guide to educate sellers about the New York Real Estate selling process, so they know what to expect when they sell their home.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

STEP  1SELECT A BROKER

STEP  2SIGN AN EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT TO SELL

STEP  3DETERMINE A LIST PRICE 

STEP 4PREPARE THE APARTMENT FOR BUYERS

STEP 5QUALIFY POTENTIAL BUYERS

STEP 6MARKET THE PROPERTY FOR SALE

STEP 7RECEIVE OFFER AND NEGOTIATE

STEP 8PREPARE THE CONTRACT OF SALE

STEP 9SUBMIT BOARD PACKAGE 

STEP 10CLOSE THE TRANSACTION

STEP 1 SELECT A BROKER

We recommend choosing a broker or an agent you like. You don’t want to find yourself months down the line thinking: “Why did I ever hire this guy or girl?  I never liked them in the first place.” You know when you hit it off with someone and when you don’t. People that you hit it off with will work harder for you in the long run.

Watch out for red flags when hiring a broker, like telling you what you want to hear, such as coming up with an aggressively high sales price. This is a common practice among listing agents. If you fall for this tactic, you risk selling at a lower price than if you priced it correctly the first time. So, don't fall for this tactic. 

Keep in mind that your broker doesn’t always need to be an expert on everything, but they should be honest about what they know and don’t know and have a team of people to rely on to find answers to your questions. Of course, they need to have some experience. They need to know what inventory is on the market and in detail. But, on the other hand, if you hire someone with too many listings and $300 million in sales last year, they will never see you again and never show up at a showing. You need someone that is going to show up and do the work. Not just give you a pitch!

Your agent needs to be able to educate you about the process. Often agents get a listing, leave, and never tell an owner what to expect. 

Comparable Properties

STEP 2 SIGN AN EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT TO SELL

The seller will sign a listing agreement that provides our brokerage firm the exclusive right to sell the home. This formal contract will state the offering price, length of listing agreement, commission, etc.

Once we receive a signed exclusivity agreement from the seller, we will immediately co-broke the seller’s listing with all of the other brokerage firms in the New York City area. Co-brokering is the process by which real estate firms share their exclusive listings with other firms in their market. This will ensure that your home is exposed to as many buyers as possible. If the listing brokerage finds the ultimate buyer, then they will collect the entire commission. Otherwise, the commission will be split evenly between the buyer’s broker and the seller’s broker.

EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT

STEP 3 DETERMINE A LIST PRICE

The US real estate market is very transparent, especially compared to many other countries. Closed sales transaction data becomes publicly available within 60 days after closing. Therefore, coming up with a listing price shouldn't be that diffucult. 

ANALYZE PRICES OF COMPARABLE PROPERTIES

To begin the entire process of selling a home, a seller needs an objective valuation of the property. To obtain such a valuation, we will provide the seller with a comparative market analysis (CMA) that is comprised of:

  1. Current properties on the market.
  2. Properties that have recently sold.
  3. Properties that have recently sold, but haven’t yet closed.

Often we will be able to have comparable information within the same building, neighboring buildings or competing properties.

The properties used in this comparison must be comparable to the seller’s property in terms of location, size and type (i.e., Coop or Condo). This analysis will be the basis for the seller’s pricing strategy.

VISIT HOMES FOR SALE LIKE YOUR OWN TO DETERMINE VALUE

We suggest that the seller visits other homes on the market to gauge the competition’s pricing. The seller must look at each property objectively and through the eyes of a buyer, leaving emotion out of the equation.

PRICING IS REALLY DETERMINED BY THE MARKET

Pricing a property is not an exact science, however, because pricing is very transparent in the US. The market, which is rather well educated about current home prices, will ultimately decide what the price of a particular home is worth.

It is important to accurately price the home at the outset, otherwise the property will languish on the market. If this happens, brokers and potential buyers will take note. Without seeing the property, these brokers will make judgments about why it hasn’t sold. For example, they will likely infer that there is something wrong with the property and, therefore, steer their clients away from it based on this blind assessment.

It is also very important for the seller to watch the market’s reaction to the home once it is listed for sale and adjust their expectations accordingly.

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STEP 3 MARKET YOUR PROPERTY

To be certain that the seller’s property is marketed in the most effective ways possible, we will ensure that the seller’s listing reaches the broadest audience possible. We do this by networking with other brokers, developing attractive and effective electronic and printed marketing materials, hosting open houses for both real estate brokers and buyers, developing direct-mail campaigns and most importantly gaining maximum web exposure through various prominent websites including our own site, www.ManhattanMiami.com.

LOCAL AGENT AND BROKER NETWORKING

The seller’s property is co-brokered with every single real estate firm in Manhattan and will be made available to all 28,000 real estate agents licensed to do business here in New York.

In over 90% of sales, an agent other than the listing agent will bring the buyer. Therefore, it is critical for the seller’s agent to reach the entity responsible for finding you a buyer: the brokerage community.

OPEN HOUSES

We will host open houses targeting the brokerage community to which we bring in real estate brokers to view the home.

We will also hold regularly scheduled general open houses to inform and educate the general public about the seller’s property.

DEVELOP MARKETING MATERIALS

We only use professional photographs and floor plans of the properties that we market. We will also develop other professional promotional materials, include virtually staged photos if the apartment is vacant. We find this is important in helping a potential buyer understand what the apartment would look like fully furnished. 

WEB EXPOSURE

90% of buyers use the internet as an integral part of their home search process. Therefore, every listing will be prominently displayed on:

And, if the seller’s property is priced over $5,000,000, it will automatically be placed on the most prominent luxury real estate websites:

DIRECT MARKETING

Direct Marketing is an effective method of generating interest in a seller’s property. We have proprietary mailing lists with hundreds of thousands of potential buyers to whom we will distribute the seller’s listings.

MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY

STEP 4 QUALIFY THE POTENTIAL BUYER

We will be vigilant in ensuring that potential buyers who we bring to your property are financially qualified to purchase so as to minimize wasted time. We will ask the necessary questions in determining whether the buyer is a good fit for our clients. For instance, we will:

  • Request mortgage pre-qualification letters from potential buyers.
  • Ask pertinent questions about the potential buyer’s income and assets.
  • Inquire as to whether the potential buyer is selling their home to assess readiness to buy.
  • Inquire as to whether they own or have owned property in the past.
  • Obtain proof of funds for the deposit if the potential buyer is obtaining a mortgage, and proof of funds for the total purchase price if the deal is all cash.

We would never allow our sellers to sign a contract with a potential buyer until we could prove that the buyer is financially qualified.

QUALIFYING THE POTENTIAL BUYER

STEP 5 RECEIVE AN OFFER AND NEGOTIATE

In New York, offers are made verbally between buyers and sellers. In Florida, offers are made in writing and a 10% deposit is submitted with the offer. In New York, therefore, since the offer was made verbally, the offer is not binding on the buyer. In Miami, however, since the offer is made in writing and accompanied by a deposit, the Florida offer would be binding on the buyer.

  • We will field all bids or offers from buyers and buyers’ brokers and immediately relay them to the seller.
  • We are legally obligated to present all offers to the seller.
  • Once an offer is received, we will discuss with the seller not only the price being offered but also the other terms of the offer and the qualifications of the potential buyer, such as the likelihood of closing, closing date, financing contingencies, etc.
  • Our job is to get the best price and terms possible for our client, so we would likely encourage the seller to make a counteroffer and begin the negotiation process so that both parties agree on the price, terms and the closing date.

Keep in mind that, while an offer can be a great thing, an offer means nothing if the buyer is not qualified to purchase or pass the Board Approval (especially in the case of a Coop).

RECEIVING AN OFFER AND NEGOTIATING

STEP 6 PREPARE THE CONTRACT OF SALE

A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY WILL PREPARE THE CONTRACT

It is customary in New York City for buyers and sellers to engage a New York real estate attorney for the transaction. While it is less customary in Florida, our clients always engage a Florida real estate attorney for their transactions. We always advise our buyers and seller to have legal representation in every transaction so they are well protected throughout the process.

We have many attorneys that work in both Manhattan and Miami, so we can connect you with very competent attorneys to represent you in the transaction. We suggest staying away from the big law firms, as they may charge tons of money to have one of their paralegals do a simple closing.

Once you have come to terms with a buyer, your attorney will begin preparing a contract of sale. After the buyer’s lawyer concludes that the building’s financial condition is satisfactory and that the by-laws of the building and contract of sale are acceptable, the buyer’s attorney will allow the buyer to sign the contract.

BUYER'S DEPOSIT WILL BE HELD IN ESCROW BY SELLER'S ATTORNEY

When the buyer signs the contract, he or she will also be required to present a deposit of 10% of the purchase price. The contract plus the deposit will then be forwarded to your attorney for signing. The deposit will be held in your attorney’s escrow account until closing.

It is important to note that until the contract has been delivered and signed by all parties, you can still entertain and accept other offers.

If financing, the buyer should move forward with his or her loan application. It is advised that the buyer pre-qualify for a mortgage prior to beginning the housing search.

PREPARING THE CONTRACT OF SALE

STEP 7 SUBMIT THE BOARD PACKAGE

The application materials can be similar for a cooperative and condominium. The buyer will need to prepare the Board Package, which is similar for both Condos and Coops.

Completing the Board Package entails preparing an application and submitting a financial statement signed by the buyer’s CPA, documents to support the financial statement including banks statements and the like, three years of tax returns, letters of personal and financial reference, letters of professional reference, the contract of sale, and a bank commitment letter stating that a mortgage has been approved, if financing.

While the buyer’s agent will actually prepare the package, we will work with the buyer’s agent to ensure that the best possible Board Package is prepared and submitted to the Managing Agent for review.

Once completed, the Board Package will be forwarded to the building’s Managing Agent for review. Once the Managing Agent determines that the buyer’s application is complete and all credit checks are approved, the package will be forwarded to the Board of Directors.

THE BOARD PACKAGE

STEP 8 OBTAIN BOARD APPROVAL

n the case of a Condo, there is generally no formal interview. The buyer’s application will be reviewed, and if all required materials are included and in order, an approval is typically granted.

In the case of a Coop, if the Board likes what it sees from the information presented in the application and the supporting documents, the buyer will be invited to meet with members of the Board for an interview.

The Managing Agent generally will inform us when the potential buyer has been approved by the Board. After approval by the Board, all parties are ready to begin planning for a closing.

The entire process can move quickly in a Condo and, assuming a loan can be secured in a timely fashion, the process can move from contract to closing in about 60 days. The Coop process is more involved and may take longer than 60 to 90 days.

BOARD APPROVAL

STEP 9 PREPARE FOR CLOSING

In the case of a Condo, there is generally no formal interview. The buyer’s application will be reviewed, and if all required materials are included and in order, an approval is typically granted.

In the case of a Coop, if the Board likes what it sees from the information presented in the application and the supporting documents, the buyer will be invited to meet with members of the Board for an interview.

The Managing Agent generally will inform us when the potential buyer has been approved by the Board. After approval by the Board, all parties are ready to begin planning for a closing.

The entire process can move quickly in a Condo and, assuming a loan can be secured in a timely fashion, the process can move from contract to closing in about 60 days. The Coop process is more involved and may take longer than 60 to 90 days.

THE CLOSING

STEP 10 CLOSE THE TRANSACTION

THE CLOSING, OR SOMETIMES CALLED THE SETTLEMENT, IS THE FINAL STEP IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION.

On the closing date, the parties consummate the purchase contract and transfer ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.

  • The buyer (or the buyer’s bank) delivers payment for the balance owed on the purchase, which is usually the remaining 90% of the purchase price plus closing costs of 3.5% (without a mortgage) to 5.5% (with a mortgage).
  • The seller signs the deed over to the buyer and delivers the keys to the home.
  • A title company will register the new deed with the local land registry.
  • The seller will receive the monies due from the proceeds of the sale, less closing costs and mortgage payouts if the seller had an existing mortgage at closing.

For foreign buyers, the closing can take place without the buyer being physically present in the US. The buyer would simply assign Power of Attorney to the buyer’s lawyer or another representative who would then close the deal on the buyer’s behalf. This is a common practice.

POST CLOSING

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