Are Real Estate Offers Binding in NYC? (2019) | Hauseit® NYC

Are Real Estate Offers Binding in NYC? (2019) | Hauseit® NYC


The question of whether real estate offers are binding in NYC is one of the most commonly discussed topics among buyers, sellers and brokers. All written and verbal offers in New York City are non-binding, including accepted offers. When are real estate offers binding in NYC for buyers? Nothing is binding for a buyer in NYC until she or he signs the contract and sends a contract deposit to the seller’s attorney. The standard contract deposit in New York City is 10% of the purchase price, although in rare occasions this amount is subject to negotiation. Buyers in NYC are permitted to walk away at any time prior to signing a purchase contract and making the deposit. This means that a buyer may walk away after submitting an offer, after an offer has been accepted or after a contract has been sent out and reviewed by the buyer’s attorney. Because of this, savvy buyers submit offers on multiple properties in the hopes of getting multiple accepted offers. Once that happens, they’ll have the luxury of deciding which one to proceed with. Utilizing this strategy as a buyer may harm your buyer agent’s reputation if you do this too often. This is because sellers, listing agents and sellers’ attorneys incur actual costs when they begin contract negotiation and messengering various documents to each other. When are real estate offers binding in NYC for sellers? Nothing is binding for a seller until she or he counter-signs the purchase contract. A seller is free to walk away from the deal or sell it to someone else until he or she sends the buyer a copy of the fully executed contract. It’s not unheard of for a buyer in NYC to lose a deal to another buyer even though he or she already signed the contract! Because sellers have the ability to sign last, they have a tremendous amount of negotiating power at this stage. They can credibly test other buyers to see whether they will improve their offers while holding their current buyer completely captive. Minimizing the length of time between an accepted offer and a signed contract is the only way for a buyer in NY to minimize the risk of losing a property to a competing buyer. The best way to ensure a fast process is to hire an experienced and highly responsive real estate attorney. If your attorney is hard to reach, sounds unfriendly or stops answering emails at 3pm, it means that he or she may disrupt or delay your journey towards a signed contract. Real estate contracts in New York City can be heavily negotiated and the entire process is time sensitive, so you’ll have the highest chance of actually closing your deal if you hire a seasoned and responsive lawyer. For a list of questions to ask when hiring a real estate attorney in New York City, visit our blog at www.hauseit.com. Thinking of buying or selling in New York City? Save money with Hauseit, New York City’s largest and most trusted For Sale by Owner and Buyer Closing Credit Company. Hauseit has saved New Yorkers millions of dollars in commission since 2014, and we’d love to help you too. Subscribe to our channel and check us out at www.hauseit.com

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