Are you thinking about putting your New York City apartment on the market in the next year? Selling your home can be a complicated process, so it’s advisable to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare. Here’s what you need to know, from getting organized in the beginning stages to making your home show-ready when it’s time to list.

Find a broker

First things first — if you want the selling process to go as smoothly as possible, work with a licensed broker who is an expert in your neighborhood. A good broker will help you price your home appropriately, strategize an effective marketing plan, negotiate with buyers and review important documents. You’ll alleviate a mountain of stress by having a trusted partner who knows the ins and outs specific to your market.

To find a broker, start by asking friends, neighbors, and colleagues for referrals and then research them online. Look at their current listings, check their license and see if they’ve ever received any disciplinary action. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, interview each agent. From there, you should have a good sense of which agent not only knows your neighborhood the best but is also a good match for you.

Evaluate your options

Once you’ve found a broker, decide if your needs will best be met by selling or by renting. When deciding, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will I be moving back to the area in a few years?
  • Can I charge enough rent to cover the monthly payments?
  • Does it look like home prices will grow over the next few years?
  • Do I have the money to invest in the needed repairs before selling?
  • Do I have the time and/or patience to be a landlord?

If you’re not quite ready to sell, it may be in your best interest to rent out your apartment until you are. Talk with your broker about your options; they can help you understand what the possible outcomes are for each scenario.

Prepare your financials

Once you’ve decided to sell and you’ve signed a listing agreement with a broker, it’s time to financially prepare for your impending sale. While most people understand the financial implications of buying a home, many are unprepared for the costs associated with selling. Some of the costs you may encounter when selling include:

  • Commissions – Commissions generally total between five to six percent of the sale price of the home, and are split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. The seller usually pays these fees.
  • Repairs – Making even minor repairs can boost your resale value. You may also incur repair costs if the inspection reveals any issues.
  • Staging – In order to maximize your home’s appeal to potential buyers, you may want to consider hiring a professional stager who will make your apartment look its best.
  • Utilities/mortgage payments – If you move out before selling, you may be responsible for the utility and mortgage payments on two houses.
  • Closing costs – While most closing costs generally fall to the buyer, you may end up being responsible for such things as HOA fees, attorney fees, transfer taxes or title insurance. Closing costs can range from two to four percent of the sales price.

Be sure to review any possible financial ramifications of selling with your spouse, agent, and attorney.

Choose an attorney

When selling a house in New York, sellers are required to work with an attorney. Your attorney will resolve issues with the title report, prepare closing documents, and calculate closing payments. Get referrals for attorneys from your broker, friends or colleagues, or search for one online. It is highly advisable to work with one who has previously represented a seller in New York City.

Set a timeline

Once you have your team assembled, it’s time to set a timeline. If you’re working with a hard deadline, such as the start of a new job, be sure to talk with your broker about managing the sale with that end date in mind. Otherwise, give yourself at least two months before listing to determine your listing price, get your apartment ready and begin the process of moving out.

Get ready for showings

Lastly, be sure to set aside ample time to get your apartment ready for showings. De-clutter and depersonalize your space. Remember – you want buyers to be able to imagine living there, so make it as easy as possible for them. Remove bulky furniture and if needed, rent a storage unit short term. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint, repair floors, and make sure all appliances are in working order. If you feel overwhelmed by this task, hire a professional stager.

Call Platinum Properties

Are you ready to take the plunge and sell your New York City apartment? Then click here or give us a call at 646-759-9675. Our team of real estate experts offers the knowledge and insight needed to help you navigate New York City’s complex real estate market and to make your sale as stress-free as possible.