25 min read Jul 14, 2022

How To Sell A House By Owner In New York (2022 Update)

✍️ Editor’s Note: Houzeo is America’s most advanced For Sale By Owner platform. Almost $3.5 billion worth of properties were listed by home owners on Houzeo.com in 2021. This guide details how to sell a house by owner in New York (without a realtor) based on our expertise.

How To Sell A House By Owner In New York

As per Zillow, the home values in the state of New York have spiked by 13.7% in the last 1 year. Also, the average realtor commission here is 5-6% of the sale price. This means if you put a house for sale in New York for $275,000, then you need to spend approximately $15,000 on realtors fees. A considerable amount a seller might want to save!

✍️ Pro Tip: Using Flat Fee MLS service, sellers can skip paying hefty realtor commissions.

» In this guide, we’ll cover:

How to Sell a House By Owner in New York

Understand The Benefits & Risks of Selling Your Own Home In New York State

New York is one of the top states to sell a house due to high demand. A house put up for sale in New York attracts a decent number of home buyers owing to the state’s popularity. The closing requirements in the state are a bit complicated but can be easily handled by Attorneys.

✍️ Note: The real estate market of New York is expected to grow in 2022 with a forecast of it largely remaining a buyer’s market.

Key Benefits of Selling a House in New York State By Owner

Savings on commissionBy selling your house in New York without an agent (or By Owner), you can save 5%-6% commission.
Speed to marketFSBO listing websites like Houzeo can help you list your home within 24-48 hours or lesser. The average listing time on Houzeo is within a day.

👉 Explore: Houzeo Reviews: Home Selling made easier with Houzeo.com!
Control over transactionBy transacting directly with the buyer’s agent or the buyer, you have complete control over the process with fewer hindrances.

Key Risks of Selling A House For Sale By Owner (FSBO) New York

Risk of hidden feesMany New York-based Flat Fee MLS and FSBO companies are infamous for their hidden fees. Because they are not upfront and can cost you much more than you can think.
Customer serviceBe sure to read the reviews to know how an FSBO company’s customer service is. As it will help you understand the first-hand experience of the sellers.

⭐ Houzeo is rated 4.9 stars on Google & Trustpilot.
Whether help is available?The absence of a real estate agent can complicate the process of selling a house in New York state by owner. But, this should not discourage the sellers as there are many options available (Flat Fee MLS or pure agent) for assistance.

» More: Best FSBO & Flat Fee MLS Companies in New York with No Hidden Fees!

Understanding real estate laws and processes could be testing at times. Before checking the next steps involved in putting a house for sale in New York, let’s take a look at some of the state laws and regulations:

New York FSBO Overview

Level of Difficulty for FSBOs?Average
Real Estate Attorney Required?Yes
Required State Disclosures (More)– Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
– Property Condition Disclosure Statement
– Flood Zone Statement
FSBO Yard Sign Allowed?Yes
Competitive Buyer Agent Commission2.5%-3% (on an average)

Top For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Websites

A thorough comparison between the best in the business

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Get Your Home Ready for Sale in New York By Owner

Whether it is New York or any other state, you need to take care of certain important factors while selling your house as owner. Here is what you need to do:

Declutter & DepersonalizeDecluttering and depersonalization will help buyers in visualizing their future in the house. While decluttering makes the house look tidy, depersonalization can convince the buyers to see the home as their own.
RepairsIt is always beneficial to get the impactful repairs done wherever necessary before selling the house. Repairing important appliances, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. can create a positive impact on the buyers and encourage their interest further.
Neutral ColorsNeutral colors appeal to a lot of buyers. Owing to its transparency buyers will be able to envision their future in the house.
StagingSellers can hire a professional stagger for enhancing the overall look of the house. Proper staging can make the buyer understand how to manage the new home and how to utilize space. The staging average in New York is $845 – $3,175

What Disclosures Are Needed When Putting A House For Sale In New York?

Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDA)A Property Condition Disclosure Statement is a document that contains 48 questions that a seller needs to answer. These are divided into 4 categories:

1. General Information like the name and contact details of the seller, etc.
2. Environmental Factors such as the history of radon testing, exposure to toxic substances, etc.
3. Structural Damages that may be caused due to water, fire, pests, etc.
4. Mechanical Systems contain questions related to the water system, drainage system, electric service provider, plumbing system, issues of flooding, etc.
Lead Paint DisclosureSpecifically for homes that were built before 1978. Federal law requires the sellers to disclose any dangers related to lead-based paint.
Flood Zone StatementA buyer’s lender may require the concerned property’s flood risk report before providing the loan. This could be important in mortgages that are backed by the federal government.

Price Your Home Competitively

Pricing your home competitively (as per the market trends) is an important step when you put up a house for sale in New York. The market trends are different for different states and thus sellers need to be aware of the state prices in which they are selling the property.

REMEMBER! The purpose of the LIST PRICE is to ATTRACT BUYERS to your listing. It’s not your SALE PRICE!!!

What happens if you under-price or over-price your listing?

Pricing too lowSelling your house at a low price will fetch more buyers. As a seller, you will always have an option to choose the highest and the best option. However, you may need to counter an offer and negotiate with the buyer for the best price.
Pricing too highThis will attract less traffic and you may be forced to lower your list price. Accordingly, you may still be selling your house as per the market price.

Understanding an ideal listing price for a property can at times become difficult. This should not discourage sellers from taking the FSBO pathway in New York. With Zillow and Redfin, you can easily create Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that will help you in selling your house.

» More: How to Price Your Home For Sale in 6 Steps

Create Description of Your Property

As a seller who is putting a house for sale in New York, you must make the description attractive enough to lure the buyers. You can add unique features to your house or any historical significance while selling your house or any other state.

You can also add any details about the renovations done to your property. Things like renovations done by you or previous owners, things included in them, cost of such renovations, etc. Any such description will help the buyers in having a holistic view of the property. It will also reflect how much effort the seller has put in to maintain the property.

In New York, you may want to list – architectural features of the house such as the name of the architect, the year in which it was built (older architectural designs give a vintage look), upgrades made by you, and more.

Also do not forget to include information like schools in the neighborhood and important amenities. Consider what are the most important ones for New Yorkers!

What is the Right Time to Sell Your New York Home?

Time to sell is as important as other factors for selling a house. June is the best time to sell a house in New York if you want a good price for your property. That means a house listed in June will gather a good sale price at the closing time i.e September (it generally takes 3 months to close a house in New York). For example, a house for sale in New York City will sell 12 days faster (on average) when listed in June.

Find Ways to Market Your Home

Almost 95% of buyers rely on the web to search to find their next home. Thus marketing a house online should be the #1 priority for every seller irrespective of the state of residence.

Here are some of the marketing tactics for a house put up on sale in New York by the owner. These strategies apply to other states well.

Sr. no.Marketing TacticDescription
1.List on the MLSHomes listed on the MLS sell faster and for 17% more. That doesn’t mean you need to hire a listing agent or pay that extra commission. Craft appealing listing descriptions to attract potential buyers. Use a for sale by owner website to list your home and offer a competitive buyer agent commission. That’ll have you in good stead to get top-dollar for your property.

✍️ Pro Tip: Research the best For Sale By Owner websites before picking one
2.Get a Yard SignDo not get a “FOR SALE BY OWNER” yard sign. FSBO yard signs have a negative association. Additionally, it’ll limit your options because MLS’ will not allow them. Instead get a “FOR SALE” yard sign, preferably with your phone number on it. Houzeo custom yard sign is $49 only, and it’s FREE with a selfie!

✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from a yard sign, chances are you’ll save on the Buyer Agent Commission as well. Well worth the $49 investment!
3.Share your listing on social mediaShare your Houzeo listing on social media. It includes your contact info. If you share Zillow or Redfin listings, all the leads your listing generates will be sold to paying Buyer Agents who’ll demand a competitive buyer agent commission. Houzeo doesn’t sell your information or leads. All buyer leads see your contact info, so you might save the buyer agent commission.

✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from social sharing, chances are you’ll save on the Buyer Agent Commission as well.
4.Hire a professional photographerAs a seller, you can hire a professional photographer to create a portfolio of your house. Professional pictures can make your home look more appealing and help in attracting more buyers.

✍️ Pro Tip: Professional photographer can curate a portfolio that otherwise may not be possible if you are taking up the job.
5.Run adsIf you want to sell your home as FSBO, you may also want to run ads on print and social media.

✍️ Pro Tip: Try to cover as many social media channels as possible to initiate ads for your listing.

▶️ Case Study: Paige Zukowski saved $11,000 selling through FSBO

With Houzeo, you can market your property to a large audience as it gets listed on the MLS and other real estate websites.

What is Houzeo?

An introduction to one of the best Flat Fee MLS and FSBO platforms in the US

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Manage Showings

Selling a house by owner requires the seller to be prepared to manage showings to the prospective buyers/buyer agents. But, this can become cumbersome. To overcome this, sellers can use a showing management tool. It will help them to manage the showing times of their listing and be on top of the process.

Houzeo Showings, a cutting-edge solution by Houzeo, helps buyers and buyer agents choose a particular showing slot as stated by the seller. The tool also provides features like rescheduling, updating, canceling, requesting, and more.

Sr. no.FeatureDescription
1.Home Sellers Can Set Their Showing CalendarBuyers and buyer agents should only be shown timings at which the property is available for showing. This saves the time spent in correspondence of all parties.
2.Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Request & Reschedule ShowingsEnsure buyers and buyer agents can request showings at available timings. Unprecedented changes can happen, so they should be able to reschedule and cancel showing requests as well.
3.Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Provide Feedback on the ListingFeedback from Buyers and Buyer Agents is critical for home sellers. It allows them to assess if their property is priced too high, the backyard needs fencing, or the door lock was too difficult to open. Wherever the feedback is actionable, small remedies can go a long way in improving showings and attracting top dollar for your property.

🗓️ Houzeo Showings has all the required features and is available on the Houzeo mobile app!

Introducing the Houzeo Mobile App!

  • View your listing
  • Review and compare offers
  • Manage showings with Houzeo Showings
  • Counter an offer
  • NEW! Buyers can now search your property and save it in “Favorites”

Start Your FREE Listing NOW!

Negotiate Offers for Sale of House in New York

Perhaps negotiating offers poses the biggest challenge to sellers when trying to sell a property on their own because as FSBO, you sell a house without a realtor. The basics of what needs to be done when receiving an offer remain the same though – Accept, Decline, or Ignore the offers (not recommended).

We suggest you review the offers holistically and never reject them directly. Even if it’s a lowball offer, you should counter with what you would accept. Where you are sure you don’t want to counter or accept, just politely decline.

There are two advanced tactics in every real estate agent’s arsenal i.e. countering an offer, or calling for the highest & best offers. While selling a house by an owner, you need to learn these 2 tactics.

#Advanced TacticWhen to UseHow to Use
1.Counter an OfferSingle or Multiple Offer SituationYour best offer is not just the highest one but is also competitive across several parameters: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. When you want to counter an offer, you can request any of the mentioned parameters updated as per your preferences.

▶️ Learn more: How to counter an offer on Houzeo.com
2.Request Highest & Best OffersMultiple Offer SituationIf you have multiple offers and a timeline by which you’d like to pick an offer, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all the interested parties.

▶️ Learn more: How to request Highest & Best offer on Houzeo.com

It should be noted that negotiating offers during a home sale is inevitable. With the slightest change comes the massive paperwork update, signatures, due diligence, and much more. This is where Houzeo can be useful. Being a 100% online platform, Houzeo updates the changes across the paperwork seamlessly and digitally, cutting back on efforts and saving time in every update.

💰Incredible Technology, Incredible Savings

Houzeo’s technology makes FSBO easy by giving you access to tools only agents have
Learn more

A home appraisal is usually conducted by a money or mortgage lender to identify the appropriate value of a particular property. Based on the reports documented by the appraisal agent, the lender decides the amount that would comprise the mortgage. This is crucial while selling a house as it keeps the buyer protected from unwanted sale prices.

Inspection is also part of the process where licensed individuals scan the property for any issues. If there are defects, re-negotiations might take place between the seller and the buyer. Consulting a real estate agent may be a good option for the seller to take care of these processes.

Take Care of Title, Appraisal, and Inspection

TitleIn New York, there are two types of title insurance policies – the Lender’s Title Insurance Policy and the Owner’s Title Insurance Policy. The former protects lenders against issues that may be caused due to defects in the title. Whereas the latter protects the buyer against claims and liens.

Title insurance fees vary as per the sale price and thus need to be calculated accordingly. The state is divided into 2 cost slabs. Depending on in which your house is located, people need to pay the title fee. Usually, the buyer pays for both policies.
AppraisalA money/mortgage lender typically goes for a home appraisal to identify what is the appropriate value of a particular property. Based on the outcome by licensed appraisal agents, the lender decides the amount that should be part of the mortgage. This is crucial while selling a house with or without a realtor in New York (or any other state) as it keeps the buyer protected from unwanted sale prices.
InspectionInspection is also part of the process where licensed individuals scan the property for any issues. If there are defects, re-negotiations might take place between the seller and the buyer. Consulting a real estate agent may be a good option for the seller to take care of these processes. The inspection includes everything from property worth, neighborhood, parking space, and more.

Home inspection cost varies across New York. For example in New York City is around $300-$400 for an average size house. and can go up to $800 or more for larger houses.

How to Handle Closing in New York?

When selling a property in New York you would have to be prepared for paperwork and legalities. Even though your closing attorney will handle most of the legal work involved in a property transfer, as a seller you do have several obligations. Here are the documents you require for closing:

» More: Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

The HUD-1 or Closing DisclosureWhen homes are purchased with a mortgage, you have to summarize the detailed costs in the Closing Disclosure.
If your sale is all cash, you may get the HUD-1, which is less common. These documents detail the amounts you’re charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds you will take to the bank. Depending upon how much equity you have in the property, you may need to bring a check (or send a wire) on the closing date. Also, ensure there are no typos in your name, address, property address, bank info, and other details. Then review every amount and the totals to ensure there are no mathematical errors or inadvertent costs.
Real Estate Purchase Agreement New YorkIt is a written agreement between the seller and the buyer that contains important facts related to the sale of a house. The purchase agreement contains information such as buyer and seller names and their contact details, purchase price, earnest money, closing date, time duration offer will remain open for, etc.
The DeedThis document enables the legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Read it carefully, verifying all details including the legal description of the property, the deed book, the deed book page, and the Property Identification Number (PIN), if any.
Statement of Closing CostsThis statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction. The document is not complicated and can easily be taken care of.
Certificate of TitleIt allows you to state that you have the right to sell the property.

The below table showcases some more documents that are required to sell a house in New York:

Bill of SaleInformation about the seller and the buyer with the selling price. This is an important part of the selling process because it contains all the base information about the property.
Loan PayoffIn the case of a mortgage, you need to provide proper documentation if the disbursement of the loan amount has been completed. Else, you need to provide how much you still owe.
HOA formsIf the house is part of HOA, the seller needs to give the buyer all the documentation on restrictions, fees, financials, and more.
Survey papersThe documentation defines the location and the dimensions of the property. This is important when putting a house for sale in New York.
Home InspectionContains all the details about the inspection of the property.
Repairing ProofIf the seller has made repairs to the property before the sale, he/she needs to furnish the relevant documentation.
Home WarrantyContains all the coverage of the property, period, and cost.
Power of AttorneyIf the property is inherited, then the sellers need to furnish the details of the history and how the property was passed onto them.
Close to ClearLender issues “close to clear” after he/she is satisfied that the buyer has fulfilled all the obligations mentioned as part of the loan commitment.
Closing DisclosureProof that the seller agreed to buyer concessions. The disclosure is provided to the lender.
AffidavitsA seller will need to provide a few affidavits like name affidavit, non-foreign, etc. This may also include affidavits like “Affidavit of Title” which discloses that you are the rightful owner of the property and that there are no liens on the property.
Correction AgreementIn case there are any errors in the documentation, you may be required to correct those errors.
Health Department Approval (septic)Sellers must get the approval of the New York Health Department for the septic system of their homes. These rules vary from county to county, so accordingly you need to contact the local authorities.

Ask Questions

If this is your first time selling a property or learning how to sell a house by owner in New York, schedule an appointment with the closing agent before the date of the closing. Before that appointment, do your research and ask clarifying questions on anything you have doubts about how to sell your own house in New York by owner. Readiness on how to sell your house by owner makes a huge difference.

Bring TWO Forms of Official ID

There will likely be a licensed notary involved in the closing process who’ll require you to swear on your identity. You would be required to furnish identity proof (like a passport, driving license, or any other authorized document) during the process. However, the closing process might also require you to produce secondary identity proof.

Closing documents are legally binding agreements, so ensure you keep the paperwork error-free when selling your house. Also, any errors can derail your sale and you may be forced to re-list your house. Not only this, if you are stuck with the wrong paperwork, it can also severely impact the closing cost.

» More: Closing cost calculator for New York

Awareness of Overall Costs While Selling a Home by Owner in New York

It should be noted that realtor commission and sale price are not the only two things involved in a real estate transaction. In New York, there are multiple other fees involved while selling a home that should be known to a seller and is crucial for a sale. Here’s a list to get you started:

Note: The list will also help the seller in getting an answer to the question – How much will it cost to sell a house in New York?

Transfer TaxTransfer Tax is a tax levied when the title of a property is transferred from one person to another. It varies depending on the value of the house. Check out the transfer tax in the state of New York.
Title InsuranceTitle insurance protects the buyer in case an essential chain of title ownership is missed by the attorney which could cause issues later. The premium can be paid by either seller or buyer based on the negotiations.

In New York, Title insurance is optional and is the buyer’s liability.
Home WarrantyA seller may go for a home warranty if some components of the home (water heater, air conditioner, fans, etc.) require attention. This will benefit buyers in case a component of the home breaks down later.
Survey FeesA survey of the property is generally carried out before the purchase deal. It includes all the features related to the property.
Attorney FeesAttorneys are the closing agent when selling a house in the state of New York. It can range anywhere from $1500-$3,000.
County Recording FeesIt is the amount charged by respective counties to register the sale of your house. The amount varies from county to county in New York state. It generally varies between $30 to $100.
Other CostsApart from the stated costs, multiple other costs are involved to sell a home in the state of New York. These can be fees related to the courier, pest inspection, estoppel fees, and any other as imposed by the city/county. Apart from these, there can be fees to prep your home, relocation fees, and more.

How Much Will You Make by Selling a House in New York State?

The amount of money you will make after selling your house depends on a lot of factors such as the cost of repairs, taxes you need to pay, closing costs, etc.

You can calculate your overall cost using Houzeo’s Advanced Closing Cost Calculator. The calculations are based on the latest prices and it gives you a very detailed estimate of all the costs involved in the transaction.

» More: Sellers have saved up to $11,000 by selling their properties with Houzeo!

What If I Want To Sell My Home Fast In New York?

Here are a few tips to sell a home for sale by owner fast:

Cash CompaniesCash companies can offer you cash right away and ensure your house sold quickly. There are various types of cash companies that can ensure that the deal is closed instantly.

» More: Reviews of 13 Best Cash Companies
iBuyersiBuyers are companies that will buy your home for cash outright. An iBuyer can be one of the fastest ways to sell a house by the owner. They can offer and close the deal within 24 hours.

» More: iBuyers Reviews: Selling Your House for Cash in 2022
Selling Your House as isIn real estate, this means that the buyer gets the house in the existing condition. Thus, you can bypass the repairs and ensure that your house is sold fast.

» More: Selling A House As Is: A Step-By-Step Guide for Home Sellers

Difference Between Selling a House by Owner (FSBO) and With a Realtor

Selling a house as FSBO requires time and effort. It is always recommended to take the help of a realtor while selling your property. Of course, as discussed earlier, there are Flat Fee MLS platforms that make the job much easier.

Here are some of the differences between selling a house as FSBO and with the help of a Realtor:

Selling With a
Realtor
Selling
FSBO
Selling
FSBO with Houzeo
Pricing5%-6% 2.5%-3%$349
Cutting-Edge Technology
MLS Listing
Maximum Exposure
5-star Customer Support
Showing Management
Offer Management

Bottom-line: Selling FSBO in New York Requires Help of Attorney

Minimum Service State1No
Seller Disclosures ComplexityAverage
Hidden CostsYes
Closing Process ComplexityAverage

* Minimum Service State defines that a real estate agent needs to deliver at least some basic services to the seller in that state.

So, summarizing the answer to the question – How to sell your own house in New York?

Taking the FSBO route can be one of the best ways of selling your house by owner, but it makes the process of selling real estate in New York a little complicated. A seller will need to be aware of a lot of processes and documents that form a part of the process. In fact, for most new sellers, the extra bucks incurred come at a cost. Ultimately, you will have to be on top of many things to close the deal and may require professional help.

Let’s compare selling a home via an agent and via Flat-Fee MLS by the owner. This data will help understand which is the best way to sell a home.

Note: The comparison is generic and applies to all the states.

This is where Houzeo can help. With Houzeo, you have the option to list your property as an owner and enable a smooth closing process. You do not have to worry about complex processes as the platform is 100% online. It will help in listing your property on the MLS at a flat rate and take care of other tasks that otherwise would require manual intervention. Another big point is that due to platforms like Houzeo, the real estate agent commissions are declining. This is because of the Flat Fee MLS structure that companies are providing.

Check out some of the Houzeo reviews and how it has helped customers around the US.

Houzeo Reviews

Real People, Real Stories

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What's FSBO?

FSBO, or For Sale By Owner, as the name suggests, is a term used for selling of house by the owner himself and without any help from agent.

Is MLS needed to sell For Sale By Owner?

Absolutely! MLS is by far the most important tool a real estate agent can provide you. The US Department of Justice says that home sellers can save $6,200 on the sale of median-priced homes by choosing innovative services like MLS-only packages offered by brokers on Houzeo. If your home is more expensive – it’s much much more than that!

Is New York a minimum service state?

No, New York is not a minimum service state.

How much is the average realtor commission rate in New York?

The average realtor commission rate in New York varies between 5%-6%.

What are some of the Required State Disclosures in New York?

Following state disclosures are required in New York:
1. Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
2. Property Condition Disclosure Statement
3. Flood Zone statement.

What are the steps to get my home ready for sale in New York?

(1) Declutter & Depersonalize:
(2) Make repairs.
(3) Repaint Neutral
(4) Improve Curb Appeal.

How do I list my home for sale on local MLS in New York?

First, log in to FSBO websites like Houzeo using your e-mail, Facebook or google plus account. Click “Sell a Property” on the dashboard and fill out the address. Select a listing pan and Houzeo’s IntelliList Management System will make listing home easy and quick for you. Upload photos set a price, and sign your MLS contracts—it’s that easy, and your home will be listed on the local MLS in no time.

How long does it take to get my listing on the MLS in New York?

It takes 1-2 business days to list a house on MLS in New York. In the case of Houzeo, after you’ve submitted your property info and all other details, your home will go live on the same day or the next business day. The MLS system will manually enter the listing that takes extra two business days to process and activate.

Can I sell my house in New York without an attorney?

No, you cannot sell a house in New York without an attorney. In order to sell a house in New York, an attorney is needed as a closing agent.

How much does a real estate attorney cost in New York?

The typical real estate attorney based in New York will charge anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 for a sale transaction.

Do I have to pay any Capital Gain taxes on the sale of my home in New York?

Any real estate transaction in New York happening within a year is taxed as an ordinary income at the rate of 35%.

How do you close on a house in New York?

Closing on a house in New York involves the following:
1. Title Documentation
2. Issuance of Close to Clear by the lender
3. Statement of sale
4. A final walkthrough
5. Execution of all the documents
6. Recording of Deed or other necessary instruments at County Clerk's Office

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