Manhattan Apartment Purchasing Flowchart

Manhattan Apartment Purchasing Flowchart


1. Mortgage Pre-Approval:

Typical Time frame: 1-2 hours  

Know your purchasing power right from the starting gate.  NYC condos typically require 10% down but the bank will probably require 20% down for a loan approval.


Manhattan Apartment Purchasing Flowchart

2. Find apartments in New York, Manhattan:

Typical Time frame: 3 – 6 months before closing

Depending on what you are looking for, the length of your search will vary. The average person sees 10 – 25 apartments before deciding on one. Viewing Manhattan apartments on-line can save you time and headaches by eliminating those you don’t like.    The first apartments you see are often the best, so try to be alert and ready.  You can also ask your luxury Manhattan real estate broker to send you listing and updates daily to further streamline your house hunt.


3. Negotiations:

Typical Time frame: 1 hour to 2 weeks

Make an offer.  Put your best foot forward.  Keep in mind, the more back and forth there is in the negotiation, the better then chance of the deal falling apart.  You only have one chance to make a good first impression.  We also do not have the formal paperwork typically accompanied in offer and counteroffer as in most states.  It is just over the email, agent to agent and accompanied with the lender pre-qualification letter.


4. Sign a Contract:

Typical Time frame: 1 – 3 weeks  The use of an attorney to represents each buyer and seller is how we close here.  The seller’s attorney draws up the contract for the buyer’s attorney review; the buyer’s attorney does “due diligence”, reading condo or co-op minutes, financial statements, etc.  The buyers sign the contract and forward the contract and deliver the required down payment.  Keep in mind that each building is different and is case to case.  Co-ops typically ask for 20% and up, and condos 10%.   The sellers then execute the contract.   Possible contingencies include financing, board approval, and closing dates.  The quicker the contract can be signed, the better.  the contract is binding only after all parties have signed.


5. Apply for and get a mortgage:

Typical time frame: 24 hours to – 4 weeks  Get a loan commitment letter from lender.  Mortgage applications cannot be processed without an executed contract.  If the Manhattan apartment is being financed, the board requires a commitment letter from a lender as part of the the board application.   These letters are generally the last items to complete a board package/condo application.  Your Manhattan real estate broker will give you a copy of the board application package and help you complete it.


6. Complete a Board Package or Condominium Application:

Typical time frame: 1 – 3 weeks  

Co-op apartments require board approval before a closing can take place.  NYC Condos require an information package to be completed before a closing can take place.   In order to review a potential purchaser, the co-op board demands extensive information in a board package.  Most boards request the following information: financial disclosure (net worth) with supporting documentation, employment history, professional and personal reference letters, tax returns, etc.  If a purchaser cannot or does not want to supply this information, he/she should buy a condominium.   Note:  Condos in Manhattan are about 30-40% more expensive than co-ops because of lower inventory, and a better form of ownership stake.  Board packages/Condo applications are given to potential buyers to fill out AFTER a contract has been executed.   If it is a cash deal, it usually takes about 2 – 3 weeks to gather the information for the condominium application.


7. Submit Co-op Board Package or NYC Condo Application for the managing agent’s review

Typical time frame: 1 – 4 weeks

Once the application is  completed, multiple copies and the original are forwarded to the managing agent of the building who makes sure all required information has been included.  The “package” is then submitted to the co-op Board. The Board will then decide to interview (or reject) the applicant based on the “package.”


8. Meet the Co-op Board for an Interview:

Typical time frame: 30 minutes – 1 hour  

Yippie!   You are in the home stretch now!  Co-op boards typically meet once a month, and some boards do not meet in August.  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, but it’s a good sign.   Although we present interview dates that are most convenient for you, board interviews tend to be “command performances” at the board’s discretion.  Ask your luxury Manhattan real estate broker for a tip sheet on how to pass a co-op board interview.


9. Receive Approval from Board:

Typical time frame: 1 day – 1 week after board interview

The managing agent will generally alert the seller’s broker when a potential buyer has passed the board.  Don’t expect an answer as soon as the interview is over.


10 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.


11. Closing:

Typical time frame: 2-3 hours

Bring your checkbook and make sure that it is a NY clearing house, if not, alert your attorney as soon as you have board approval.



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Further Reading:  How to Buy an Apartment in Manhattan and Get the Best Interest Rate

The Importance of Finding the Best Representation When Buying Real Estate for Sale in Manhattan

What Home Buyers Should Consider When Deciding What Type of Manhattan Housing to Buy

Work with a trusted, Luxury Manhattan real estate broker specializing in Manhattan aptsNYC brownstones, and dog friendly apartments for rent & sale:

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