Home Selling in New York State

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Selling your home can be a complicated transaction that might be best accomplished with the help of a professional. Organizing paperwork, scheduling open houses and showings, and dealing with regulations that may have legal ramifications can be overwhelming. Before you put your home on the market, consider hiring a real estate agent.

Responsibilities of a Seller's Agent:

A real estate agent is an integral part of the home-selling team. You can sell your house "for sale by owner", or FSBO, but it may expose you to a lot of risk. A lack of understanding regarding home pricing, advertising strategies, and the overall transaction process can put you at a disadvantage, causing unnecessary hassles and preventing you from getting the best price for your property.

The agent selection process is an important step in the sale. It's a good idea to ask friends for recommendations, or visit the websites of the New York Association of REALTORS ® or the National Association of Realtors®.


New York has three types of listing agreements. An open right to sell agreement is an open listing where you or anyone else can look for buyers. An exclusive right to sell agreement allows only the agent finds a buyer. With an exclusive agency right agreement, you can find the buyer, but you agree to work with one agency for the sale. Rely on your real estate agent's expertise regarding comparable home sales in your area when you're deciding on a realistic listing price. Photos, amenities, specific details, and a positive, motivating description should all be part of your home listing.


New York's property disclosure is a standardized form that sellers must complete and share with buyers. Failure to provide the form will result in having to credit the buyer $500 at closing.


As the seller, you have the right to accept, refuse or counter any offers you receive. If you're lucky enough to receive multiple offers, you can decide how to manage them, but seek advice from your real estate agent.


After a purchase price is agreed on, a contract is created. Residential purchase agreements are standard forms, but your attorney can amend yours if necessary. In New York, attorneys commonly assist with purchase agreements because they're binding contracts.

Post-Contract Negotiations:

If any issues arise when the buyer has a home inspection performed, post-contract negotiations may be required. You can make the repairs yourself, negotiate a new home price, or offer cash at closing.


Closings are either informal, where the buyer and seller are present, or formal, where the agents and attorneys handle the procedure. This is the time when all paperwork and checks are exchanged. House keys and alarm codes are also turned over at this time, as well as anything else that's necessary for the buyer to gain entry to the home.

A Real Estate Lawyer Can Help

Consult with a New York real estate lawyer for the legal advice regarding your home sale.

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