The Process for Sellers


In The Market
You should resolve any outstanding Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) C.O. issues in advance of putting your house on the market. 

You can check real estate agencies websites to find the value of comparable homes in your area in order to check home’s value. You should also take steps to increase its market appeal. For Sellers it is very important to price their home correctly according to the prevailing market conditions in the area. A residence which is overpriced may end up selling for less than if it was initially priced appropriately. A well-qualified Real Estate Broker can assist you with correct pricing.
If you retain the services of a Real Estate Broker, read the terms of the brokerage agreement carefully. Understand whether it is an “exclusive agreement.” Insist that the brokerage agreement allow for a commission only if you close on the premises, especially if there is chance you may remove the home from the market. Be aware that real estate commissions are negotiable. Examining discount brokerage services first may help you negotiate the broker’s commission. 

Gather the following documents in order to proceed with a sale, the Deed, a Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) for each permanent structure, survey, current mortgage, heating and utility bills. The heating and utility bills for the prior two year period may be needed if requested by the Purchaser. At this point, retain an attorney. Your attorney can help you become familiar with the home buying process before you start. Before entering contract, Sellers of must decide if they wish to credit the Purchaser $500.00 at closing or prepare a Property Condition Disclosure Statement

After you receive a firm offer (basic agreement on price and terms) on the residence you will then provide your attorney’s information to your real estate broker. Your broker may then request that you sign a “binder.” Despite the name, a binder may or may not legally bind you and the Purchaser. Read the binder to make sure that all conditions are subject to approval by an attorney. Only after both you and the Purchaser have signed the Contract of Sale can you be secure that you and Purchaser are bound by the contract. The Purchaser’s home inspector should contact you for a mutually agreeable time to conduct the inspection. 

In Contract
You should forward a copy of the deed, survey and C.O. to your attorney who will draft and circulate the Contract of Sale. The deposit check will be placed in your attorney’s escrow account. Your attorney may notify you of issues requiring your attention which are revealed on the title report. These issues will impede the closing of title and should be addressed without delay. 

At this time contact your current mortgage lender and inquire how much notice they will need to provide a “pay-off” letter. If more than a day or two, notify your attorney. 

Several days prior to closing, advise your attorney of any specific requests for certified funds you may require. Contact the local utilities to discontinue services prior to closing. If you have metered water, ensure that a water reading will take place as near to the closing date as possible with enough time for the bill to be forwarded to your attorney. In NYC, contact the Department of Environmental Protection for a final water meter reading. It is still your home until you deliver a deed and move out. You are responsible for the payment of all taxes and utilities until you deliver possession to the Purchaser.
A day or two day prior to the closing, allow the Purchaser to conduct a walk-through of the premises. Also, request a tank reading from your fuel supplier if you are requesting a fuel credit from the purchaser.

Unless, a post-closing occupancy is to occur, the premises should be clear of debris and broom swept, prior to the scheduled closing. On the closing date bring with you official identification, your check book and the keys. 

As a Seller you will have fees also:

  • Attorney’s fee (varies $1,100.00 and up)

  • Real Estate Broker’s fee (6% or less)

  • Mortgage satisfaction filing fees ($175+)

  • Mortgage "pick-up" fee ($250)

  • Transfer tax:

Anywhere in NYS- 0.4%
NYC (residence)- 

 where price is $500,000 or less 1%

 where price is more than $500,000 1.425% 

Propery Condition Disclosure Statement credit to Purchaser $500

Co-op sale fees:

  • Transfer Tax

  • Flip Tax (not actually a tax but a fee imposed by the co-op)

  • Move-out deposit

  • Transfer agent fee

  • Payoff bank attorney fee

  • Lien Release (UCC III)


 If you are seeking legal aid for Real Estate or Estate Planning, please give us a call today at (212) 343-5658.