New York is a large and diverse state. The home-sale process looks very different in New York City than it does in the rest of the state, so if you’re gearing up to sell your house in New York, be aware that there can be drastic differences between individual New York housing markets. For example, the median asking price in Manhattan is $1.7 million, according to December data from StreetEasy, while the median sale price in the upstate college town of Syracuse, according to Redfin, is just $155,000.
No matter where in the Empire State your property is located, selling a home here requires careful consideration of when to list, how to price and how to prepare for showings — especially if you’re hoping to sell in a hurry. Read on to understand how to sell a house fast in New York.
How fast can you sell your home in New York?
Selling a New York home may take some time, depending on your local market conditions. The New York State Association of Realtors reported an average of 50 days on the market across the state in December 2023 — that’s the length of time it takes for the home to go into contract, after which you must typically wait for your buyer’s financing to be approved before you can close. The days-on-market number fluctuates seasonally and is typically shorter in spring and summer, which is prime home-selling season.
Need to sell faster?
What if you’re pressed for time and can’t wait two months or longer? Say you need to relocate ASAP for work, for example, or you just need the money fast — there are things you can do to help speed the process along.
- Sell to an iBuyer: The “i” in iBuying stands for “instant,” and these companies do in fact operate with great speed. Most make cash offers within 24 hours, though the offer probably won’t be as high as you could get in a traditional sale, and they can close the entire deal in just a few weeks. Opendoor, one of the biggest players in the industry, currently buys homes in two New York regions: Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.
- Sell to a cash-homebuying company: Local homebuying companies are a closely related option that operate with equal speed and also pay in cash. These often specialize in purchasing homes in poor condition, which is appealing if you’re overwhelmed by an older home’s need for updates or repairs. But, like iBuyers, they are not likely to offer as high a price as you might get otherwise.
- Sell as-is: Telling prospective buyers upfront that you are selling the home in as-is condition means you won’t waste precious time negotiating back-and-forth over who will pay for repairs.
Be flexible: You can still expedite a sale if you choose to work with a real estate agent. Be candid about your need for speed right from the beginning, and be open to arrangements that may help move things along faster, including pricing your property to move and offering seller concessions.
Selling your home fast for fair market value
Working with a local real estate agent will take a bit longer, but it’s the best way to fetch a competitive market price for your home. Here are some things to consider before you list:
Is it worth upgrading your home before you sell?
Some issues should be fixed before listing, even when you’re moving quickly. You don’t want obvious imperfections, like a broken garage door or cracked window panes, to turn off potential buyers. But some issues are not worth addressing — and bigger home-improvement projects, like a full kitchen or bath remodel, are not likely to recoup their cost when you sell. There are plenty of smaller, less expensive and faster things you can do to increase your home’s allure, such as upping its curb appeal to make a good first impression. Your agent can provide guidance on what’s worth doing and what’s not.
Should you pay to stage your home?
Professionally staging your home may help to make it a star on the local market. How much you’ll pay for home staging depends on just how much help you need: Simple rearranging and decluttering will be fairly affordable, while renting furniture to fill an empty home you’ve already moved out of might be quite expensive. Again, your agent can help you decide whether staging will help you make more money on the sale.
How should you price your listing?
Price your home competitively might be the most important consideration of all, especially if you’re trying to sell quickly. Online resources might give you a basic idea of what your house is worth, but your agent will take a close look at the comps in your specific area to figure out the best pricing strategy. More than 40 percent of New York homes sold for above their listing price in December 2023, per Redfin data, and your agent can help you figure out how to put your house into that same category.
What do you need to disclose to the buyer?
Most home sellers in New York will need to fill out the state’s property condition disclosure statement, which includes various details about the home as well as potential issues that may affect its safety or value. In addition, if your property is part of a homeowners association, you’ll have to compile HOA paperwork for the buyer to look over, including financial documents and bylaws.
Even though the closing is when your money is handed over, it won’t be free. As a seller, the biggest line item in your budget will likely be the commissions for the real estate agents involved in the transaction. The payouts for each agent come out of your pocket, and they usually total somewhere between 5 and 6 percent of the home’s sale price. There’s often room for negotiation here though, particularly with a higher-priced property.
Here are some of the other typical closing costs in New York for sellers:
- Title insurance: Protection against title issues is a common cost for sellers, but unlike in many states, the buyer usually covers the cost of title insurance in New York. So, that’s one area where you can expect to pay nothing.
- Transfer taxes: The seller does typically cover the cost of New York’s real estate transfer tax, though. The rate is $2 for every $500 of value, so the more a property is worth, the more you pay. New York also has a “mansion tax” that includes an additional 1 percent on any home that sells for $1 million or more.
- Flip tax: If you are selling a co-op in New York City, be sure to check whether the board charges a flip tax — essentially a fee to transfer the ownership of your apartment. The cost varies from building to building.
- Attorney fees: It’s customary in New York for each party in a real estate transaction to be represented by an attorney. Legal fees will be due at closing.
- Seller concessions: Sellers often agree to pay for a portion of the buyer’s closing costs, or to pay for the cost of a necessary repair. If you have agreed to concessions, those funds will also be due at closing.
- Escrow fees: You may also be charged modest fees related to the escrow account that held the buyer’s earnest money deposit.
Find a trusted real estate agent
Ready to sell your New York home fast? Interview several real estate agents to find one you feel comfortable working with. Look for someone who knows your local market well and who has an actionable plan to make your sale happen quickly. Bankrate’s Agent Match can help you get started.
Selling your house to an iBuyer or cash-homebuying firm is the fastest method. Going this route will allow you to close the entire deal within a few weeks, rather than waiting nearly two months to sell and then potentially another month or so before you can close. (The median length of time a home here spends on the market is 50 days, according to the New York Association of Realtors.) However, selling to one of these companies will not get you a top-dollar price for your home.
Yes, skilled real estate agents can market your home with speed in mind and will be able to implement various strategies for selling quickly. The process still won’t move as fast as an iBuyer or cash-homebuyer transaction, though, because once you’ve signed the contract you’ll likely need to wait at least a couple weeks for your buyer’s financing to be approved.