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buying a home: general time frames

The overall time frame is typically about two to four months from the time an apartment is found, to the closing. a four to six + month process, from start of search to moving, would not be unusual.

speak with a mortgage broker, bank or financial advisor
1 to 2 days This is easy to do, and provides some of the most valuable information that you’ll need to properly identify properties. Find out how much you can spend prior to beginning your search. Keep in mind that financial requirements vary from building to building. I can often recommend excellent financing and legal resources, and will present properties that fit better too.

finding an apartment
1 day to 3 months The average person sees 20-25 apartments before deciding on the perfect one. Follow your gut. I’ve worked with people who have found it the first day out; and plenty of others who required diligent brokerage for weeks. You must be realistic. There are fair deals to be had, but the bargains are very few and far between.

3 days to 2 weeks When you do find it, be prepared to move aggressively. Having a mortgage prequalification letter, a completed standard financial disclosure, and an attorney lined up, all show the seller that you are serious about acquiring their property. Everything is negotiable. Trust that I will provide proper guidance, to offer the best chances of success, in any given situation.

signing a contract
1 to 2 weeks Generally, in a sales transaction, both buyer and seller are represented by a New York City real estate attorney. The seller’s attorney draws up a contract of sale for the buyer’s attorney. Upon receipt, the buyer’s attorney performs “due diligence”—reading board minutes, reviewing the building’s financials, etc… Once all terms are agreed to, the buyer signs the contract and returns it to the seller’s attorney along with a 10% deposit. Once received, the seller executes the contract. Possible contingencies may include financing, board approval, and closing dates. A contract is considered binding only after it has been signed and received by both parties.

apply for a mortgage and receiving a commitment letter from your lender
3 to 6 weeks Mortgage applications cannot be processed without a fully executed contract. If an apartment is being financed, the board requires a commitment letter from the lender. These are often the last items to complete a Board Package or condo application.

completing your co-op board package or condo application
3 to 9 weeks Co-operative apartment buildings require Board approval before a closing date can be set. To review an applicant, the Board of Directors will request and review extensive information from the buyer, in the form of a board package. Most will request full financial disclosure (net worth) with supporting documentation, employment history, current salary, personal and business references, tax returns for 3 years, and a credit report. If you prefer not to supply this information, you should consider purchasing a condominium where the disclosure requirements are not as extensive. Purchase applications are usually issued to potential purchasers after a contract has been executed. If the deal does not require financing, it usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks to gather the information necessary.

submission of package for the managing agent’s review
1 to 4 weeks After the buyer’s broker completes the Board Package, they will forward it to the building’s managing agent, who checks it for completeness. The package is then forwarded to the Board of Directors for review. The Board will then decide if they’d like to meet the applicant.

meet with the co-op board for an interview
15 minutes to an hour Co-op boards typically meet once a month. Each one is different, but Board meetings are often held on a week night. Even when a board interview is granted, it does not guarantee board approval.

receive approval from the board
1 to 3 days The managing agent will generally alert the seller’s broker as to whether a potential purchaser has been approved by the board.

schedule a closing
1 to 2 weeks The managing agent generally sets the closing date, along with the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys, who coordinate with the lenders involved.

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