Home Real Estate The New York City Home Buying guide

The New York City Home Buying guide

by Paul Petersen

When it comes to house selling, New York City is a unique environment and one of the most challenging major markets in the United States. On one hand, house prices are very high compared to anywhere else in America.

On the other hand, turnover rates are relatively low because there is no supply available for new buyers to purchase. As a result, house hunters have little inventory to choose from and sales are slow.

“But how do I sell my house in New York and is it easy?”

The city also has extremely active buying interest from abroad, making this an international market where foreign investment can play a significant role. The sheer number of house buyers in the city is vast, but they are generally looking for very specific house features.

Buyer’s Profile in New York City

Picking the right time to sell houses in New York  and home buying winnemucca nv When you are ready to put your house on the market, you need to make sure that it is during a slow real estate period. There are only two seasons where there are few active buyers around – late winter/early spring and autumn.

During spring, house hunters are out house hunting while waiting for new house listings to be listed in the summer. During autumn, house hunters are busy preparing for rising prices during the winter.

If you list during either of these periods, you may get less for your house or have difficulty selling, so it is best to avoid these two times unless you want to buy at this time.

What Determines House Prices in New York?

“I want to sell my house. How am I supposed to find buyers quickly?”

Who is buying houses in New York? There are a few key players who affect house prices and sales activity in New York City:

Investment Buyers

These house hunters are typically looking at new construction or house flips for quick resale. This group does not typically provide any feedback on house value but often has very specific house criteria they want to buy that you may not know about until after your house listing goes live.

Foreign Investment

Homes in the city of New York garner interest from abroad because of their high-profile location and strong housing market. More specifically, international investors who purchase homes as rental properties tend to target upscale cities with good schools like San Francisco or Washington DC.

New York City has the second-highest number of homes purchased by foreign house hunters, beat only by Los Angeles.

First-Time House Buyers

This group is one of the larger house hunter groups in New York City and they are very active during winter, late spring/early summer, and autumn (when house listings are more available). These house hunters often purchase fixer-uppers or small houses on townhouses lots with low budgets but high aspirations to renovate quickly.


Can also be referred to as people who own multiple properties within New York city. They will sell their house in New York on a whim if it appears there is an opportunity to make a quick profit without being tied down with property management, so it is important not to fall in love with your house.


House hunters living in the house they are looking to buy, so house price negotiation is based on house comparison against other houses for sale. They also tend to know more about house prices than anyone else since their main interest is house value, not resale value like investors.

House Selling Tip: Don’t Do These Things

New Yorkers Like to Bargain

If you’re not used to bargaining for house prices, you might be taken aback when house-hunters in New York city begin to negotiate for house prices. You will have a much easier time selling your house if you’re not offended because house-hunters in the city of New York do this all the time and expect it.

New Yorkers Don’t Want to See Every Room

Give house hunters an idea of what they can get from a general house view when showing houses in New York. No one has the time or patience to look at every inch of your house so highlight its most appealing features and let house hunters decide whether they want to see more.

New Yorkers Ignore Curb Appeal

There is no need to fix what isn’t broken, but sometimes house hunters are willing to pay more for the house with a nicer front yard or house exterior. It is beneficial to at least give your house a fresh coat of paint before putting it on the market.

New Yorkers Dread the Chain of Paperwork

The house selling process in New York is very buyer-friendly since there are fewer taxes imposed on house transactions here than in other cities with high tax rates like Philadelphia.

Creating a real estate profile (for sale) with your local county government allows you to submit online offers directly to the office’s system where house hunters can search through all active house listings for free.

If you want to speed up the process, even more, consider recruiting an agent or posting your house listing on Realtor sites like Trulia or Yahoo Real Estate to increase exposure.

House Selling Tip: Do These Things

New Yorkers Want it Easy

This is why most house-hunters in the city of New York will exclusively search for houses with all paperwork handled by a third party. Agents know that by handling house inspections, banks, and negotiations themselves, they can speed up the buying process significantly across the board without adding on additional fees since there are no commissions involved for house sale transactions (it is usually split 2 ways: 50/50 between buyer and seller).

New Yorkers Have High Standards

High house prices, house hunting competition and low inventory of houses available for sale in New York all contribute to the house hunters’ sense of urgency so most house hunters will opt for a house selling agent who can handle everything from negotiations to paperwork.

However, this means that you’ll need to be flexible with house buyers’ house search criteria or they won’t consider your house even if it is the best match for their needs.

New Yorkers Expect Easy Access

The House hunting process isn’t complete without house inspections which make it easier for house hunters to make negotiations on houses they like and house sellers accept offers on houses that best suit their needs – but not everyone can agree about what constitutes a reasonable offer or counter offer.

For example, some house inspectors may say that the essential features of a house need to be updated while others might feel that cosmetic changes like new paint and flooring will add value instead so both parties need to agree ahead of house inspections which house inspection criteria house hunters and house sellers will use to decide whether or not the house is a good fit.

New Yorkers Don’t Mind Commuting

Most New York house hunters have already decided on a maximum distance they’ll be willing to commute but house hunters will still want to know how much it costs and how long house hunters will have to travel.

House sellers should be able to answer house hunter questions about the house buying process in New York including many house hunting-related transportation options, the cost of owning a car in New York, and how house selling commissions are calculated so house buyers can make informed decisions as quickly as possible.

New Yorkers Like Perks

Remember that house price isn’t the only factor house hunters consider when looking for houses, especially since home affordability is temporarily low due to steadily rising housing prices.

While most house sellers prefer negotiating on houses they like rather than giving away expensive incentives, incentives such as paying closing costs and or paying household utility bills (electricity, gas, water) for house hunters can help house hunters obtain houses they couldn’t have otherwise afforded.

New Yorkers Are Impressed by the Presentation

Sellers who want to make house hunting simpler should consider proactively inviting house buyers to look at house listings in New York even if house hunters haven’t expressed any interest yet.

This way, house sellers are assured that every house listing they put up is being visited by potential house buyers, making it easier for house hunters to contact them when interested instead of losing out on the perfect house due to lack of responsiveness causing a domino effect throughout other parts of the house selling process.