The contract to closing process is surprisingly easy as long as you have accepted an offer from a qualified home buyer and hired a seasoned real estate attorney. Once real estate agents have matched a buyer and seller in New York City, they generally step out of the picture and let the real estate attorneys handle the closing process. The next step after accepting an offer is to circulate a “deal sheet” to all parties involved in the transaction, including the brokers and attorneys. After the deal sheet has been circulated, your real estate lawyer will draft a purchase and sale contract and send it to the buyer’s attorney for review. It typically takes a week or two of back and forth between the attorneys before the contract is in a position where both the buyer and seller agree to sign. Your real estate attorney will guide you the rest of the way through the NYC closing process, so make sure you ask plenty of questions as the contract is being negotiated. Alongside the contract negotiation, the buyer’s attorney will conduct due diligence on the property. If your buyer has requested an inspection, this will usually be scheduled within a week of the date of an accepted offer. When contract negotiation and due diligence are complete, the buyer will sign the contract and make a contract deposit. Keep in mind that you are not officially considered to be ‘in contract’ until both parties have signed the contract and the buyer has made his or her contract deposit. As a reminder, it’s standard practice to continue showing your home to other buyers until you have a fully executed contract. It’s important for you to set expectations around this custom at the time of an accepted offer, and not later down the line when it could surprise or offend the buyer. A buyer typically only has leverage to ask you to stop showings once there’s an accepted offer if your listing has been on the market for a while and it’s clear that there are no other serious buyers in the picture. Once you are officially in contract, the buyer can begin his or her mortgage application if the deal is being financed. This is also the time when the buyer can begin working on the building’s purchase application, if that is applicable to your sale. If your buyer is financing, an appraiser will typically reach out to schedule a time to visit the home within a few weeks. A closing will be schedule once the buyer’s financing is in place, building approvals have been secured and all other loose ends have been squared away between the attorneys. It’s customary to hold a walkthrough with the buyer the day before or the morning of the closing. The closing process usually takes one to two months from the time of a signed contract for a condo or house. Closing on a co-op takes slightly longer due to the board approval process. A common estimate for the co-op closing timeline in New York City is two to three months from the date of a fully executed contract. More questions? Ask the community in Hauseit’s Forum, where buyers, sellers and New York real estate professionals come together to discuss the toughest questions in real estate.