Real Estate Buyers Time Line

The purchase process in New York can be very complicated, especially for first time home buyers. Below is a time line for purchasers of real estate as to what to expect when purchasing a home. Every deal is unique and the time line below is just a general overview. Feel free to Call me any questions.


Once you find the property of your choice and make a verbal offer. In  New York Law, a contract for the sale for real property must be in writing; thus a verbal offer creates no binding obligation upon either party. Once your offer is accepted, move on to RETAIN A REAL ESTATE LAWYER. If your offer is rejected, you can make a counter-offer or move look for a different property.

Do not put anything in writing, as this may, unintentionally, create a binding contract. Often times the real estate agent will request that you sign an offer or even a contract. Do not do so without speaking to your Real Estate Attorney


Once your offer is accepted you will need a real estate lawyer. In New York, buyers and sellers of real estate almost always retain an attorney; the attorney’s job is to guide the parties and handle the legal paperwork.

When looking for an attorney, make sure the attorney concentrates his practice in  real estate closings. While the fee the attorney charges should always be a consideration, be aware of attorneys who charge a so called low flat fee.  Often these firms are closing mills or have an ownership interest in the title company insuring the purchase. While you may meet with an attorney at the outset and an attorney will show up at closing, often most of the work is performed by a paralegal or law clerk. Rarely do they get to know you or your unique situation. Ask the low flat fee attorney what title company he is using and if he has an ownership interest in the title company. The low flat fee may be the result in the attorney sharing in the title insurance premiums.

My office has handled THOUSANDS of real estate closings over the past 20 years.  We have represented buyers, sellers, title companies and lenders at the closing table and have the experience and knowledge to see problems before they arise and resolve them quickly so that your home buying experience is both smooth and quick.  I do not  have an ownership interest in any title company.


Almost every contract provides that the seller is selling the house in as is condition. That means that you, as the buyer, will assume the responsibility for any repairs that need to be made. As such, it is important to know the condition of the property before signing the contract.

  • If you are buying a house, it is highly recommended that you hire a licensed home inspector to inspect the house for any defects. A termite/wood-destroying insect inspection can also be performed at this time.
  • If the inspection reveals any defects, there are four options:
  • Ask the seller to reduce the Purchase Price,
  • Ask the seller to make repairs prior to Closing,
  • You agree to accept the house as is and make the repairs yourself, or Withdraw your offer.
  • If the seller agrees to make the repairs, we will insert language into the contract obligating the seller to do so prior to closing.


Once the home inspection is complete and any condition issues are identified (if any) it is customary for the seller’s attorney to prepare the Contract of Sale. Once my office receives the contract, it will be reviewed and any changes needed to protect you will be negotiated with the Sellers attorney and added to the contract. Than my office will call you to schedule an appointment to go over it in detail; After reviewing the contract with you and answering any  questions you will sign the contract. At this time, you also write a check for the down payment.

At this time I will also do a mock closing statement with you. This will give you, the buyer, an idea as to what to expect with regards to adjustments, title fees and lender costs.  We will also come up with an estimate as to the amount of money you will need to bring to the table for closing.

We will than overnight the contract, along with your down payment check to the seller’s attorney. The seller will than sign the contract and send us back executed copies.

Upon receipt of the fully executed contract, we email a copy to you so that you may begin your mortgage application process. YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY IN CONTRACT!

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (516) 683-1234


If you are obtaining a mortgage, submitting your loan application in a timely manner is the first critical step to having your mortgage approved. The loan application cannot be officially submitted until a fully executed contract is provided to the bank.


When purchasing a coop or a condo that requires board approval, you must fill out and submit a board application (usually with a processing fee) in order for the board to approve or deny the purchase.

Many boards will not review an application until the Purchaser has received a commitment letter from the bank. This often delays the process if your lender works slowly, which unfortunately, is often the case.


  • In order to schedule a closing, the following conditions must be satisfied:
  • The lender has issued a clear to close,
  • The seller’s have cleared all title issues,
  • The Seller’s are ready to give possession and All parties are available.
  • Once the above conditions are met, we will coordinate the scheduling of  a closing at a time convenient for all parties involved.


Prior to attending the closing, your realtor will schedule a walk-thru to inspect the property. During the walk-thru, you must ensure that the property is in the same condition that it was in when the contract was signed and make sure any promised repairs were completed.


At the Closing the deed (or stock certificate for a coop) and other legal documents are given to the buyer and balance of the purchase price is given to the seller.

Attendees at the closing are generally the following) the Buyer;

  • The Seller
  • The Buyer’s attorney
  • The Seller’s attorney
  • The Lender’s attorney
  • The Seller’s Bank’s attorney (in Coop transactions)
  • The Title Closer
  • The real estate brokers
  • The Managing Agent (in Coop transactions).

The Closing customarily takes places either at the Seller’s attorney’s office or at the Lenders  Attorney’s office. In Coop transactions, the Closing usually takes place at the office of the Managing Agent.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (516) 683-1234

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No information that you obtain from this web site is legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should consult an attorney for individualized advice regarding your own unique situation. No attorney-client relationship is formed between Attorney Matthew K. Tannenbaum and you by viewing this web site.