With a professional staff located in prime Union Square neighborhood our office provides full service brokerage for buyers, including corporate relocations, commercial, financial, and investors. PRIME NYC will provide you with a survey commonly known as comparative market analysis, which consists of intimate knowledge and an intense study of property value considering appreciation, supply and demand, presentation, price-per-square foot comparison, and image. We have access to over 20,000 property listings, updated continuously; 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will conduct all searches for properties that work with your criteria and will suggest a number of options to satisfy your housing & lifestyle needs, including types of property, different neighborhoods, types of amenities, and layout. We manage the preparation of your board package. We will guide you through the process and ensure that you appear before the board at your best. We will recommend an attorney, or work with yours to make sure an appropriate contract is prepared and signed promptly. If you haven't pre qualified for a loan, we will recommend and coordinate all activities regarding your financing of the prospect property.

Buyer Checklist

  • Evaluate your budget - know what you want to spend for a down payment as well as monthly expenditures (i.e.; maintenance or common charges and real estate taxes, monthly mortgage payment, utilities, parking, etc)
  • Obtain mortgage pre-approval
  • Select an attorney who specializes in New York City Real Estate
  • Prioritize your needs - space, light, views, building amenities, etc.
  • Identify your timeline for moving
  • Explore different neighborhoods to identify your preferred needs
  • Research schools in the selected neighborhood(s)
  • Evaluate access to transportation in the selected neighborhood(s)
  • Evaluate building amenities and house rules in terms of your needs (i.e.; washer/dryer permitted, gym in building, pet policy, storage facilities, sublease, etc.)
  • Work closely with your broker to gather support materials for you mortgage application and board package
  • Once apartment has been selected, review building financials with your broker/ attorney

Purchasing Process

  • Seek pre-approval for a mortgage: Typical time frame: 1 - 3 days
  • You must know how much you can spend before you spend it. Condominium apartments require at least 10% down; cooperative apartments generally require at least 20% down. However, every building is different. 20% of Manhattan's buildings are condominium buildings and the other 80% are cooperatives.
  • Find an apartment: Typical time frame: 2 weeks - 2 months
  • Depending on what you are looking for, the length of your search will vary. The average person sees 15-20 apartments before deciding on one. Internet-savvy buyers save time by doing their 'homework' before their search. The average number of apartments viewed before buying by our internet buyers is 7-10.
  • Negotiate the price: Typical time frame: 1 day to 1 week
  • Everything is negotiable so inquire about assessments, fixtures, window replacements, air conditioners, rugs, floors, curtains, appliances, working fireplaces, washer dryers, etc. Apartments are delivered 'swept clean'.
  • Sign a Contract: Typical time frame: 1 week
  • Generally, in a sales transaction, a New York City real estate attorney represents each buyer and seller. The seller's attorney draws up the contract for the buyer's attorney; the buyer's attorney does 'due diligence'-reading minutes, financial statements of buildings etc. The buyers sign the contract and send the contract with a minimum 10% deposit; the sellers execute the contract.
  • Possible contingencies include: financing, board approval, closing dates (see our list of closing costs associated with buying and selling condominiums and cooperatives.). The quicker the contract can be signed, the better. A contract is binding only after both parties have fully executed it.
  • Apply for a mortgage: Receive Commitment Letter from Lender. Typical time frame: 1 - 3 weeks
  • Mortgage applications cannot be processed without an executed contract. If an apartment is being financed, the board requires a commitment letter from a lender. These letters are generally the last items to complete a board package/condo application.
  • Complete a Board Package or Condominium Application: Typical time frame: 5 days - 2 weeks
  • Cooperative apartment buildings require board approval before a closing can take place. Condominiums require an information packet to be completed before a closing can take place. In order to review a potential purchaser, the board of directors for a co-op demand extensive information in a board package.
  • Most boards request the following information: full financial disclosure (net worth) with supporting documentation, employment, salary, personal and business references, tax returns for the previous 3 years, credit history, etc. If a purchaser cannot or does not want to supply this information, he or she should consider buying a condominium.
  • Board packages and condo applications are given to potential purchasers to fill out after a contract has been executed. If there is no financing, it usually takes about 2-4 weeks to gather the information for the board condominium application.
  • Submit Board Package or Condo Application for the managing agent's review: Typical time frame: up to 30 days
  • After the buyer's real estate agent completes the board package, he or she will forward the package to the managing agent of the building. The managing agent will inspect the package to ensure it is complete. The package will then be forwarded to the board of director's of the co-op. After the board reviews the package, they will decide if they would like to meet the potential purchaser.
  • Meet the Coop Board for an Interview: Typical time frame: 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • Co-op boards typically meet once a month. Every board is different, but generally a board meeting will be held in the evening on a weeknight. Although a board interview may be granted, this does not guarantee board approval.
  • Receive Approval from Board: Typical time frame: 1 day - 2 weeks
  • After board interview, the managing agent will generally alert the seller's broker whether a potential purchaser has passed the board.
  • Schedule a Closing: Typical time frame: 1-2 weeks
  • After board approval, managing agents generally set the date for closings, and lawyers for sellers and buyers coordinate with the appropriate banks on available dates and times.
  • Typical time frame from the time an apartment is found, to the time an apartment closes: 1 - 4 mos.

Co-ops

A building owned by a corporation, comprised of the tenant shareholders of the building. Each tenant shareholder owns a number of shares in the corporation associated with his or her apartment rather than owning the apartment itself. The tenant shareholder has the right to occupy the apartment as his or her home by holding a proprietary lease to that apartment. In a co-op, the building and its tenants are subject to rules and regulations set forth in the by-laws of the corporation. If an owner would like to sublease his or her apartment or perform any alterations or renovations to it, he or she must get permission from the board of directors elected by the tenants in the building.

The monthly maintenance charges would include real estate tax, building maintenance and management fees. More than 80% of properties offered for sale in New York City are co-ops.

Condominiums

Condominiums are classified as "real property". You, the buyer would get the deed, just as if you were to buy a house. As the owner, you may rent your apartment to anyone you wish. An approval process is usually required, but it is not as difficult as it is with co-ops. In some cases the process and by-laws are stricter then others but generally condominiums are much more liberal when it comes to financing, leasing rules and regulations. While in the rest of the country condominiums are very common, in New York City it is a rather new concept. There is still a shortage in affordable condominium apartments especially now that it has become popular with local and international real estate investors. Real estate tax is charged separately from common charges that represent monthly maintenance fees

Board Approval

In order to review a potential purchaser, the board of directors reviews extensive information from the buyer in what is called a board package. Most co-op boards typically request financial disclosure with supporting documentation, employment history, current salary, personal and business references, tax returns and credit history

Preparing Your Board Package

Review the application and its requirements with your broker. Your broker will assist you in collecting and assembling of your board package. Complete the application in its entirety. Clearly and concisely answer all the questions. Submit only the materials that have been requested. Be sure to have reference letters written on either business or personal letterhead. Preparing for Your Board Interview

The interview provides the board with the opportunity to meet you and discuss your application in further detail. Board interviews can range from an informal meeting to a formal interview. Review your application prior to the interview Prepare yourself for a wide range of questions from personal to financial Couples should decide in advance who will answer which types of questions Arrive promptly and dress appropriately Clearly and concisely answer all questions. Avoid providing information that is not directly asked of you.

Standard Fund Requirements

The Budget: Location, size, amenities, building type, school locations and nearness to public transportation are crucial to determining what a property will cost. We suggest that buyers review financing options to determine what amount of money they can put toward a deposit and then determine what they can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. Some people may want to see if they pre-qualify for mortgage status in order to know what budget they will be working within.

Type of Property: The next thing to determine would be the type of property you'd like to buy. Would you like an apartment, condominium, coop or commercial property?

Apartment Purchase: For apartment purchases there is no approval process, besides normal financial inquiries. Buyers are entitled to have complete control over any renovations they wish to make. Maintenance costs are the sole responsibility an owner and with this the owner gets total control over maintenance and repairs. Transferring deeds or reselling an apartment do not require approval. The size of a property can vary according to a budget and location of the property.

Condominium Purchase: Condo owners buy the apartment and also own a percentage of the common building areas, i.e. entrance areas, hallways and recreational areas etc. The condominium is considered real property; because of this fact, owner's have the right to do use the property any way he/she sees fit. Owners are subject to pay property taxes which can either be escrowed into a part of a monthly mortgage payment or which are paid annually as an expense. Monthly maintenance fees are generally paid to the building's condominium association.

Coop Purchase: Buying a coop is tricky, but Prime NY Inc's team of qualified agents can help. When purchasing a cooperative apartment the purchaser is really purchasing shares in a cooperation. The shares correspond to the units in which you live. coop fees include a monthly mortgage payment and maintenance fees for the building. Maintenance fees are sometimes high but both mortgage payments and maintenance fees generally result in higher tax deductibles.

Estimated Fees:

Cooperative Apartment:

For Seller:

Broker Fees: Are typically 6%. Fees vary according to property size and amount of marketing

Attorney Fees: Approximately $1,500

Managing Agent: $450

Flip Tax: Consult Managing Agent

Stock Transfer Tax: $.05 per share

Move Out Deposit Fee: $1,000

New York City Transfer Tax: 1.00% of price up to $500,000 1.425% of entire price when it exceeds $500,000

New York State Transfer Tax: 0.4% (.004) of price

Payoff Bank Attorney: If seller has mortgage $30

UCC-3 Filing Fee: If seller has mortgage $350

For Purchaser:

Own Attorney Fee: Approximately $1500

Bank Fees/Application/Credit/Appraisal/Bank Attorney/Miscellaneous Fees: $1,600

Short-Term Interest: One month max*

Move-In Deposit: $1000

Managing Agent or Co-op Attorney Fee: $600

Lien Search: $300

Maintenance Adjustments: One month tax

Mansion Tax: 1% of entire price when price exceeds $1,000,000 *Prorated for month of closing

Condominium/Townhouse:

For Seller:

Broker Fees: Are typically 6%. Fees vary according to property size and amount of marketing

Attorney Fees: Approximately $1,500

Managing Agent: $450

Move Out Deposit Fee: $1,000

New York City Transfer Tax: 1.00% of price up to $500,000 1.425% of entire price when it exceeds $500,000

New York State Transfer Tax: 0.4% (.004) of price

Miscellaneous Title Company Fees: If seller has mortgage $200

For Purchaser:

Approximately $1,500

Bank Fees: Points 2%

Application/Credit/Appraisal/Bank Attorney/Miscellaneous Fees: $1,600

Short-Term Interest: One month max*

Real Estate Tax: Escrows 2-6 months

Recording Fee: $200

Mortgage Tax: 1.75% of mortgage on loans under $500,000 or 1.875% of entire amount on loans over $500,000

Fee Title Insurance: Approximately $450 per $100,000

Mortgage Title Insurance: Approximately $200 per $100,000

Miscellaneous Title Charges: $300

Managing Agents Fee: $250

Common charges: One month max*

Real Estate Taxes: 1 to 6 months

Mansion Tax: 1% of entire price when price exceeds $1,000,000 *Prorated for month of closing Expect to pay eight months Real Estate Taxes. These taxes are combined between seller as an adjustment and escrow established by lender. Note: When purchasing condos from a sponsor, the purchaser will be required to pay New York City and New York State Transfer Taxes; see above for amounts. Also, buyers are required to pay sponsor’s attorney’s fee; this fee is approximately $1,000.*

Multi-Family Residential/Commercial Property

For Seller:

Broker Fees: Are typically 6%. Fees vary according to property size and amount of marketing

Attorney Fees: Approximately $5,000

New York City Transfer Tax: 1.425% of price up to $500,000 2.625% of entire price when it exceeds $500,000

New York State Transfer Tax: 0.4% (.004) of price

Payoff Bank Attorney: If Seller has mortgage - $350 Miscellaneous $200 Transfer Security Deposit T.S.D.

For Purchaser:

Own Attorney Fee: Approximately $5,000

Bank Fees: Points 2%>

Application/Credit/Appraisal/Bank Attorney/Miscellaneous Fees: $5,000-$10,000

Short-Term Interest: One month max*

Mortgage Tax: 2.75% of entire amount on loans over $500,000

Real Estate Tax: Escrows 2-6 months

Fee Title Insurance: Approximately $450 per $100,000

Mortgage Title Insurance: Approximately $200 per $100,000

Miscellaneous Title Charges: $1,000

Adjustments: Rents T.B.D. Real Estate Taxes 1-6 months **Prorated for month of closing

General Closing Procedures

What is a closing?

A closing is where a buyer gives a seller money in exchange for ownership and title to a particular property. This bargained for exchange, or consideration, transfers ownership and title of the property. The seller also needs to sign over other documents including a deed. The place of closing is normally at the bank attorney’s office. The parties present will be: seller, bank attorney, real estate brokers, seller’s attorney, buyer’s attorney and title closer. Buyers need to apply for a mortgage as soon as the contract is signed by both parties. The mortgage process takes up to 45 days and can involve several procedures:

  • The mortgage broker compiles the buyer's financial information and then presents the loan application
  • The bank sends an appraiser to assess the property
  • The underwriters review the loan and issue a commitment letter.

If buying an apartment, coop, condo or any other property with a board or association, prepare your application package with your Prime NY Inc broker. These packages tend to vary from building to building. Most boards use the same financial requirements as the bank. Keep an extra copy of your mortgage application and any related documentation. Buyers, are required to get personal, professional and financial letters of reference. If renting, get a letter of reference from your current landlord. Ask what information is needed and for copies of sample reference letters. The board package is important, therefore, answer all questions in a clear, concise manner and give an accurate description of your financial qualifications. Before submitting your application package, write a cover letter, organize the presentation and review it with your Prime NY Inc broker.

The board package is submitted after a buyer receives his/her mortgage-loan commitment letter; it is submitted to a building's Managing Agent. The Managing Agent checks the application, evaluates credit and references, and then submits the package to the board. The board then reviews the completed package. Additional information may be requested or if the package is passed, an interview is scheduled. There is either an interview committee that approves new applicants or a board will do it during its monthly meetings. Your Prime NY Inc broker can assist you as to the date, time and any other preparations for your interview.

Closing is scheduled after the board approves an application package and completes the interview process. This generally takes 2 weeks for final approval and can vary depending on the availability of the parties involved; i.e. managing agent, buyer, seller, lawyers and banks.

General Closing Costs Defined:

Additional Fees: Sometimes borrowers are required to pay additional fees. Some of these including Wire Fees, Tax Service, Survey Costs, Flood Certification, Settlement Charges, Messenger Fees, Sub-Escrow Fees, and Transfer Tax. Ask your broker to explain these fees.

Appraisal Fee: Fee charged which estimates whether or not a property is worth enough to support a loan. A qualified appraiser will look over the property and produce a report.

Attorney Fee: Fees paid to attorney representing you in real estate purchase (some closes require you to pay bank attorney fees or with condos, sponsor fees for sponsor attorney maybe required. Fees vary according to type of property and $ value of the property.

Condo Board Application or Co-op flip tax: Fees charged for processing condo applications or coop shares.

Credit Report: generally between $25 - $100 per report.

Document Preparation Fee: fee charged by bank or mortgage company for preparation of paperwork.

Escrow: (Taxes, Insurance) - In this case money figured into a mortgage for certain conditions like taxes and insurance etc. (see real estate terms defined for a more complete definition).

Inspection Fee: fee for inspection of property to make sure it is up to code and livable

Homeowner's Insurance: is required to protect against property damage from hazards; i.e. fires, floods etc.

Mortgage Insurance: Usually loans made from a down payment of less than 20% require mortgage insurance. This protects a lender if a borrower defaults on home loans.

Origination Fee/Points: Depending on the type of a loan and the rate a mortgage seeker chooses, he/she may pay points. 1 point equals 1% of the total loan amount.

Prepaid Interest: This amount pays the interest due from the date of funding to the end of the current month.

Recording/Transfer Fees: This covers the costs of changing the property title in official county records.

Title Insurance and Search: Fees that are charged for a title search and insurance fees. A title search is used to verify that that the seller is the true owner of the property being sold and that the seller has the right to sell it. Title insurance protects a lender in the event of a lien or other problems with the title for the property in question, that was not disclosed at the time of sale.

Time Until Closing: Generally sales take between 3-5 months to close depending on various factors. The most common factors affecting closing include: mortgage & financing, condo/coop board approval and negotiation.

Recommended Amount To Put Down: The amount needed to purchase property varies according on the type, size and location of a property. For example is the property a single or two family dwelling, coop or condo. Prime NY Inc recommends being prepared to pay about 10-20% of total price. Some properties may accept a smaller percentage for qualification. You will also need to set aside additional monies for closing costs.

Contract of Sale: is a legally binding agreement between a purchaser and a seller in which each party gives consideration, (bargains for an exchange) to define the terms of the sale.

NOTE: Sometimes there are other fees which may be charged. This generally occurs when the property is a condo or coop. Our brokers will be happy to discuss these with you.