Once Your Offer is Accepted

An “Accepted Offer” is the start of a critical week-long process between buyers and sellers.

 

Because the verbal agreement is not legally binding, lawyers must work as quickly as possible to finalize and execute a contract. The final contract will lay out all the terms of the deal, such as price, contingencies, and anticipated closing date.

The contract cannot be signed, however, before the buyer’s legal representative conducts due diligence. The buyer’s attorney must review and approve the building’s financials, board minutes, offering plan.

Once due diligence and negotiations are complete, the contract is signed by both the buyers and the sellers. The buyer will then be expected to deliver the initial down payment, which the seller’s attorney will hold in escrow pending closing.

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The Benefits to Co-Broking

What Is Co-broking and Why Is It Good for Sellers (and Buyers)?

 

Co-broking means that both the buyer’s and seller’s real estate agents have agreed to work together to facilitate the sale of a property. When the transaction has closed, they will split the commission.

Most reputable real estate agencies in Manhattan are members of REBNY, The Real Estate Board of New York, and are required to co-broke with other REBNY agents. The process allows a cleaner, more transparent transaction for all parties.

Listing Agents like to co-broke because Buyers Agents bring qualified candidates to the table Prospective home buyers don’t have to pay their agent because their Buyers Agents receive their commission from the seller.That means that buyer’s agents advocate for the clients, protect their best interests, compile all the paperwork and it doesn’t cost their buyers a penny!

 

If you’re thinking of selling, Jacquelyn Sarpong, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, shares a few keys to attracting buyers below.

 

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The Secrets to Finding a Quiet Apartment

When it comes time to search for an apartment here, it isn’t altogether impossible to find a quiet apartment in noisy Manhattan. The key is knowing what to look for both online and in person.

 

Avoid “noise-emitting points of interest” in the vicinity, such as fire houses, police stations, schools, bars, and hospitals. Prewar buildings tend to have thicker walls that’ll keep sounds to a minimum. And new developments generally use top of the line noise-canceling materials. Apartments located on side streets are usually your best bet. Rear-facing units will typically have less noise than street-facing ones. The rear and corners of the building are the quietest from an exterior noise perspective.

Corner units are also typically far away from the elevators and garbage chutes. Generally speaking, the higher up you go, the less street noise you’ll be subjected to. You’ll want to stay away from any floors with any amenities, such as gyms or playrooms.

Ask your attorney to check the building’s board minutes for any noise complaints relating to the unit you’re interested in and those surrounding it. Check with your buyer’s agent if the apartment has sound-proof windows.

Finally, walk around the apartment to see if the floors produce any noise. If yours do, chances are that your neighbors’ will, too.

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Buying in a Walk-Up

Sure, it’s cheaper than an elevator building, but will climbing a few flights of stairs each day be worth it?

 

The down sides are pretty obvious… Physical exertion, such as schlepping groceries, will take its toll. And if you have an injury those stairs become a significant obstacle. Contractors and moving companies will likely charge you more. And be prepared to tip your Seamless delivery person extra or meet them in the lobby. But there are some significant benefits to buying in a walk-up!

You could save up to 25% in comparison to a similar unit in an elevator building. And the higher you go, the more you’ll save. Maintenance fees are likely to be lower because there is no need to inspect and maintain elevators on a regular basis. Taxes will probably be lower too since elevator buildings are assessed at a higher rate.

You may become a more organized and efficient person, because who wants to go up and down for a forgotten item? Just remember — try before you buy.

 

Want to avoid the stairs? Check out Àgueda Ramírez, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, with the benefits to a ground floor apartment.

 

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Understanding Cond-op Apartments

Condops are one of the most misunderstood designations in New York City real estate.

 

Agents will often define condops as co-ops with condo rules… but the truth is a bit more nuanced than that. The category of housing was created by owners and developers in the 1980s who wanted to get around a tax rule.

The owners of mixed-use co-op buildings with commercial space on the ground floor designated the commercial space as one condo unit. And the entire residential section of the building became considered another condo unit that was then divided into co-operative shares.

Condops unique structure makes them complex, often with multiple boards. The Condominium Board deals with issues pertaining to the general common elements such as exterior repairs, or major plumbing repairs. The Commercial Board govern issues covered to the commercial units.

A third board is elected by the co-op members and deals with shareholder issues regarding the residential space, like common hallways, or laundry rooms. Any prospective condop buyer should find out how well the boards function together and separately.

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Demystifying Sponsor Apartments

Have you come across the term “SPONSOR UNIT”, but weren’t sure what that entirely meant?

 

If you already know, you’re probably wondering how to find one of these rare, very desirable units! A sponsor co-op is an apartment that still belongs to the original owner or corporation responsible for turning a building from a rental into a co-op. In other words, a sponsor unit is a rental that is now being sold by the building’s original owner. Buying a sponsor unit allows you to skip the co-op board interview! This is the biggest advantage of buying a sponsor unit: You’ll have less scrutiny and move in sooner than with a regular resale!

But buyer beware: Sponsor apartments can be slightly more expensive, have more wear and tear issues, and often have higher closing costs than regular units. And you will still have to abide by the rules of the actual building. You may be required to get all renovation plans approved by the co-op board before you start a project.

The good news is that sponsor units are all over the city, and especially in Upper Manhattan! If you’re a homebuyer who want to avoid board approval, let your buyer’s agent know.

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Getting the Most From a Mortgage Lender

Unless you buy with all cash, you know you’re going to need a mortgage.

 

Just as you want a real estate agent who understands your needs, you want a mortgage broker who is on their game and can facilitate a smooth transaction.

Mistakes can waste time—and money. Using a broker who is familiar with your property type will make the mortgage process go smoother.

Your mortgage broker should be armed with knowledge of products, knowledge of how to navigate the co-op questionnaires, and knowledge to customize what suits each borrower. Sellers will notice if your broker is from out-of-state and it may become a stumbling block to an accepted offer!

That said, going with a big name bank doesn’t ensure smooth sailing. Trust your buyer’s agent’s advice on which brokers to use. They know a lender’s reputation, past performance, and the relationships they have.

 

Pedro Paredes, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, has some pressing info on what you need to know about obtaining a mortgage.

 

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Buying a Starter Apartment

Starter apartments can be found in pretty much every neighborhood of New York.

 

Upper Manhattan is a great fit for first-time homebuyers because of factors such as finances, budgets, and personal preferences. First, remember that a starter apartment is not meant to be your ‘forever’ home. It’s a launching pad that will be upgraded as major life events unfold.

Prepare yourself: starter apartments are typically studios, alcove studios, or one-bedrooms and often have small layouts, small kitchens, and simple appliances. Once basic needs are met, budget permitting, you can then look for additional amenities such as space, light, choice views, or a balcony.

It’s all about affordability and untapped potential. Choosing the right neighborhood is everything: with the equity, starter homes accumulate over time, buyers can often use them as a stepping stone to a larger home.

Making a profit on the home is contingent upon a number of factors, including how long you hold the apartment for, what kind of market we’re in when it comes time to sell, and what kinds of upgrades were made to the unit.

If you want to make your money back, do not spend more than 10% of the purchase price on renovations.

 

Check out Pedro Paredes, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, with some advice on what to consider before your renovate.

 

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Securing a Co-op Mortgage

Finding the right financing to purchase a New York City co-op can be tricky.

 

Traditional mortgages cannot be issued to apartments within cooperative buildings. Avoid costly mistakes by making sure your mortgage lender understands the uncommon process.

An experienced bank will know to review your finances AND the finances of the cooperative as well. They may even keep a list of ‘approved’ buildings that can expedite your financing.

A co-op board’s standards can also be quite different and/or stricter than your bank’s… Including the types of mortgages allowed, down payment restrictions, and debt-to-income ratio caps.

So make sure your real estate team includes a hyper-local buyer’s agent and an experienced mortgage lender.

 

Pedro Paredes, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, has some pressing info on what you need to know about obtaining a mortgage.

 

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