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Our Step-by-Step Guide to
Buying in NYC

1. Buyer Consultation

We’ll start by identifying your goals and needs, discuss different property types and determine what makes the most sense for you. We’ll ensure that you understand market conditions in order to make informed decisions.

3. Visit Properties

We’ll use Compass Collections to keep track of what’s on the market and bookmark the properties you’d like to see or have already visited.

2. Get Pre-Approved

Before beginning your search, your first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan (unless you will be paying in cash for the full price of your home). Pre-approvals are often required as part of an offer so it’s best to have one ready.

4. Offer & Negotiation

After identifying the property for you, we’ll work together to reach an agreement with the seller on price and terms.

9. Board Interview

(skip if townhouse) We’ll provide you with tips & tricks to help you prepare for the board interview.

11. Final Walk-Through

On the morning of the closing or the day before, we will perform a final walk-through to ensure the condition has not changed since contract signing. If there are any defects a credit may be requested.

5. Due Diligence Period

Your attorney will negotiate the contract of sale, while simultaneously reviewing the building’s documents, including financials and board minutes. It’s best to work with an attorney who specializes in NYC real estate as their job is vital to protecting your interests. During this period, you may also decide to pay for an inspection depending on the property type and condition.

7. Begin Financing Process

The bank needs to approve and underwrite the building, you as buyers, and the apartment will need to be appraised. We will help you throughout this process.

10. Cleared to Close

Once your bank has completed their underwriting process, they issue a ‘Cleared to Close’ and a closing can be scheduled.

12. Closing!

Your attorney will advise you on all of the financial and legal requirements of closing day. It can take about 2 hours to sign all of the paperwork but afterwards you’ll be handed the keys of your new home!

6. Contract & Down Payment

Once you’re comfortable with the results of the diligence review and the contract meets your satisfaction you will sign and submit a contract deposit of 10%.

8. Compile Board Package

(skip if townhouse) Required by co-ops and condos, board packages generally consists of documents including but not limited to: your tax returns, bank statements, letters of reference, etc. We will prepare and submit this on your behalf.


Estimated Closing Costs


  • Attorney: $2,500 - $5,000

  • Lien Search: $350


  • Transfer Tax Filing Fee: $100

  • Mansion Tax:
    $1M - $2M: 1.00%
    $2M - $3M: 1.25%
    $3M - $5M: 1.50%
    $5M - $10M: 2.25%
    $10M - $15M: 3.25%
    $15M - $20M: 3.50%
    $20M - $25M: 3.75%
    >$25M: 3.90%


  • Points: 0-3% of loan value

  • Bank Application: $400-$600

  • Bank Attorney: $900-$1,500

  • Mortgage Origination Rate: 0-3% of loan value

  • Appraisal: $300-$1,500

  • UCC 1 Filing: $125



  • Board Package: $500-$2,000

  • Credit Check: $100-$300

  • Move-in Fee: $500-$1,000

  • Refundable Move-in Deposit: $500-$1,000

  • Maintenance: Prorated for closing month

  • Recognition Agreement Fee: $200-$300

Co-ops vs. Condos



Ownership Type
Stock & Lease
Real Property
Monthly Payments
(includes taxes)
"Common Charges"
(taxes paid separately)
Limited, if allowed
Easy and unrestricted
Investor Friendly
Approval Process
Strict and thorough
Less rigorous
Typically cheaper
Typically more expensive
75% of NYC's apartments
25% of NYC's apartments
Mostly owner-occupied
Mix of owners/tenants

Mortgage Calculator

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