Selling a House in New York: Everything You Need to Know

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By Jamie Ayers Updated September 27, 2023
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Edited by Michael Yessis

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Our guide to selling a house in New York breaks the process into eight simple steps, from finding a top real estate agent to a stress-free closing.

It's a good time to be selling a house in New York. As of May 31, 2024, property values in the Empire State increased 7.05% over the previous year. New York home values are projected to rise a further -0.1% over the next year.

Of course, even the best New York homes will struggle to sell if you don't price the home properly or you handle the negotiations poorly.

Reduce the stress of selling a house in New York with the help of a Clever agent

Clever's partner agents can guide you through the home-selling process. Clever will match you with a top-rated real estate agent who can expertly guide you through all the steps of your home sale.

Clever has also pre-negotiated savings on your behalf. Sellers can list their homes with a top local agent for just 1.5% commission — a fraction of the 2.5–3% listing fee most real estate agents charge.

👋 Find a great local agent, get a 1.5% listing fee with Clever

1. Find the right New York real estate agent

If you're looking to sell your New York home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — find a top-rated real estate agent in your local market.

The best New York listing agents know what local buyers want and how to connect with them. They'll offer expert advice, tips for selling your home on the New York real estate market, and support from the initial listing agreement through every step of the process.

Home sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who sell a house independently. For a $470,663 home — the median home value in New York, according to Zillow — that's a premium of more than $100,000. Hiring a listing agent is well worth the investment.

👋 Need a great agent on your side?

Connect with top local agents who can help you sell on time and for top dollar. You'll pay just a 1.5% listing fee (half the typical rate), helping you save thousands!

2. Decide when to sell

Best month for selling a house in New York fastBest month for selling a house in New York for the highest price
JuneMay
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The timing of your New York home sale can affect the time your home spends on the local market — and your home's final sale price. Weather, holidays, and the start of the school year play major roles in dictating home prices.

If you can't wait for the best time to sell your house in New York, talk to a Clever Partner Agent. Clever has pre-negotiated listing fees of just $3,000 or 1.5%. So even if you can't time the market, you can still save thousands. 

Best time for selling a house in New York fast

You'll sell a house in New York fastest in June, according to Realtor.com data from August 2022. Homes listed in June spent 45 days on the market, which is 25 days fewer than the national average.

New York homes listed in January stayed on the market for 88 days.

No matter when you sell, remember you'll need to account for an additional 30–40 days to close your real estate transaction.

Best time for selling a house in New York for price

List in May for the highest sale price. Homes listed in May sold for a median price of $605,000, which is 4.98% more than the average sales price for the whole year. 

Sellers in May made $28,709 more on their sale. 

» MORE: The best time to sell a home in New York

3. Price your home

Gauge your home's value compared to the area's market value using a comparative market analysis (CMA). An experienced real estate agent should provide a CMA to their clients for free. However, some agents charge for this service.

» LEARN: A complete guide to CMAs

Clever Partner Agents in New York will run a CMA on your house for no additional cost. They'll examine recent home sales in the area and provide you with a market analysis adjusted for your property's specifics. This tailored approach ensures your home lists for an appropriate, competitive price, which is vital to a financially favorable and speedy sale.

4. Prepare, market, and show your home

Properly prepping your home will make it more compelling to potential buyers. You and your listing agent should team up to address the following. 

Make necessary improvements 

The perceived costs of repairs and upgrades sellers have to pay for when they decide to list their home leaves many New York sellers intimidated. However, you don't always need to throw a ton of money at repairs for your house to get it to sell. A little bit of paint can go a long way.

» LEARN: The best paint colors for selling a house

Boost curb appeal 

Update the outside of your home to make it more visually appealing and inviting. Buyers want to see themselves in the house when they're considering buying it. Getting them up to the front door is crucial in selling your property. An unkempt yard, sagging stoop, or worn door can just as easily scare buyers off as a hole in the roof.

Create a great property listing

Use professional photos and a thorough description of the property. Experienced New York real estate agents like Clever Partner Agents will take the lead in creating your listing. They'll create your listing and list your home on the multiple listing service (MLS) and across multiple platforms. They'll also update and manage the listing.

Stress local amenities

Location is of the utmost importance. Mention the public schools in the area, for instance. Air conditioning, kitchen size, and storage space are all worth mentioning if they're above average in relation to other houses in the neighborhood.

5. Field offers and make counteroffers

Potential buyers who make an offer on your house usually fill out an offer form provided by the selling agent. The buyer returns the completed document to your real estate agent.

You and your agent review the offer. If you don't like the offer, you can reject it or make a counteroffer. For instance, if the offer comes in lower than expected, your agent can submit a counteroffer to the buyer's agent. The buyer can also counteroffer again. The process goes on until you decline or accept an offer. 

If you accept an offer in New York, it's not immediately binding like in other states. A real estate attorney must draft a purchase agreement, which you and the buyer will review and sign. The contract becomes legally binding when you sign.

New York requires the buyer to make a 10% earnest money payment, separate from the mortgage company's required down payment. Think of this as a security deposit. If the buyer signs the contract, offers the earnest money, and then refuses the closing agreement for a reason not previously stipulated in the contract, you could potentially keep the earnest money.

» READ: Real estate counteroffer etiquette

🤔 What's in a purchase agreement?

A purchase agreement is a legally binding contract that governs the entire selling process. The buyer's agent usually creates the initial agreement, which will include the sales price and other terms, including: 

Basic details of the sale. Buyer's and seller's names, property's address, purchase price, etc. 
Contingencies. Conditions that must be met to close the sale and relate to situations like buyer financing, home appraisal, and inspections. 
Earnest money. The amount of cash the buyer will pay up front for the seller to put the home under contract.
Fixtures and appliances. The features of the house that are also included in the sale. 
Disclosures. Any issues or facts about the house the seller is legally required to reveal. 
Closing costs. A breakdown of which expenses the buyer and seller will each be responsible for at closing. 
Settlement and possession dates. The closing date and seller's timeline for moving out.

6. Get an inspection and appraisal

Once the seller accepts the buyer's offer, the buyer arranges for a professional home inspection. 

If the inspector uncovers any issues with the house, the real estate attorneys involved in the transaction will address those issues when drafting the contract. Real estate transactions in New York require attorneys if the transaction includes drafting legal documents.

🚩 Beware of underground oil tanks

In New York, home inspections sometimes reveal underground oil tanks that can become bargaining chips during a real estate transaction. Many homes in the state used to be heated by oil stored in tanks. Many of these oil tanks have been decommissioned, but those that haven't can be a huge risk. Home buyers may request an underground oil tank be decommissioned before signing the purchase contract.

The appraisal process

A buyer who applies for a mortgage loan also gets an appraisal of the home. The potential buyer's bank requires an appraiser to determine the home's fair market value. The bank wants to make sure the house is worth as much as they're loaning to the buyer. 

After the appraisal and home inspection, the seller's attorney drafts the first copy of a contract. The buyer then reviews the contract, with the option to request revisions or add additional information via a rider.

» MORE: Can the seller back out of a contract before closing?

7. Submit paperwork and required New York disclosures

New York's Property Condition Disclosure Act requires sellers to complete a disclosure form or pay the buyer a credit of $500. Many sellers opt to pay the credit without providing the disclosure form.

The disclosure form's 48 questions focus on the home's structural, mechanical, and environmental status. Sellers must also disclose the home's age, ownership, and utilities surcharge. The listing broker must provide the seller with the disclosure statement and then share the completed form with the buyer.

» MORE: Disclosure requirements in New York

Sellers should also know the documents they might need. 

Always consult your real estate agent or a local real estate attorney before signing or filing paperwork. A licensed professional should walk you through all the paperwork and ensure you have everything you need for your situation.

Forms and documents for selling a house in New York

Required for all real estate sales in New YorkNew York disclosure formsPossible additional documents
• 2 forms of ID

• Affidavit of title

• Bill of sale

• Closing statement

• Copy of purchase agreement and any addendums

• Signed deed
• Flood zone statement

• Lead-based paint disclosure

Seller's property disclosure statement
• Closing disclosure (for certain seller concessions)

• Copies of relevant wills, trusts, or power of attorney letters

• Correction statement and agreement

• Health department approval (septic)

• HOA forms and guidelines

• Home inspection results

• Home warranty information

• Loan payoff information

• Proof of repairs or renovations

• Relevant affidavits (name affidavits, non-foreign affidavit under IRC 1445, etc.)

• Survey results or survey affidavits
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8. Close your home sale

Sellers, buyers, their real estate agents, and their real estate attorneys usually attend the closing in person. Buyers and sellers can skip the closing if they grant power of attorney to their attorney. 

Once the parties sign all documents, they file them with the local county clerk.

Closing costs in New York

Most sellers in New York pay 1.1% of their final sales price. If you receive the average New York home value of $466,817, expect to pay around $5,045 in closing costs. 

This amount covers the transfer tax, recording fees, title fees, and other services but doesn't include the agent commission. In New York, commission fees typically cost 5.39% of the sales price.

» MORE: How much are closing costs for sellers in New York?

Next steps: Sell your New York home and save thousands

Whether you're looking to list your New York home immediately or 6–12 months from now, it's never too early to start looking for a listing agent, getting advice, and making a plan.

💰 Get a lower rate with a top local agent!

Clever Real Estate is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! Clever matches you with top-rated real estate agents from trusted brokerages like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, or Berkshire Hathaway.

You'll get guaranteed full service, and you'll save up to $9,336 on a typical New York home sale. Clever's Partner Agents work for a fraction of the 3% rate real estate agents typically charge. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a top local agent today!

Top ways to sell your home in New York

Additional resources for New York home sellers

Related links

The best low commission realtors and brokers (2023 update): Find the best low commission real estate agents and brokers, so you can sell with a full-service realtor and save thousands on commission fees!

How to find a real estate agent that’s right for you: This guide on how to find the best real estate agent is packed with useful tips and information, based on hundreds of hours of research and expert interviews.

The best 2% commission realtors (2023 rankings): Listing with a 2% commission realtor can save you thousands, but what’s the catch? Read on to learn where to find a 2% listing fee and what you'll get in return.

Negotiating realtor fees: 10 tips for reducing commission: Like most things in real estate, your listing agent's commission is negotiable. This is our expert guide to negotiating realtor fees.

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