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Questions about Selling or Buying

There are several questions which come to mind when selling/buying, in my case, a condominium/townhouse. Most of the information you’ve given seems to be cut and dry but that is not always true.

I have a situation/scenario for you when one is purchasing a home.   Suppose someone, me for instance, wants to home.  My home is worth around and between $400-450,000 as per my attorney but my realtor (whom I may change) says my home is worth $325,000.  I told her I wasn’t giving it away!

The realtor knows pricing more than an attorney, and the attorney knows the law more than a realtor.  Both specialize in their particular field.  The realtor who has been trying to sell the home knows best what it is worth.  Has their been a recent outside appraisal perhaps that the attorney is relying on? 

Is the house in tip-top selling condition with fresh paint and carpet?  Sparkling clean inside?  Without seeing the home it is hard to see why it isn’t selling.  It is almost always either the price, the marketing or the condition.  Marketing means are the photos and write-up really good to attract potential buyers?  Is the house always available for showings?  What feedback are the buyers and buyer’s agents giving to your realtor?  If there are few to no showings, it is overpriced.  If plenty of showings but no offers, it is overpriced.  The only way to “up” the price is to improve upon the condition, the way the home shows in person and online.  Update the kitchen, baths, floors, remove clutter, this is a big help.  Buyers don’t want to see someone else’s clutter.

 The land (close to one acre) is worth more than the house.  Now, if someone is unemployed but receives a profit of at least $300,000 and based upon the remainder/profit from sale of house and puts down $100,000 for a condo which is, price wise, in the range of $200,000/$290,000; the person is unemployed but will probably be seeking part-time/full work soon (God willing), can they still purchase a home?

It would be highly unusual for a buyer to be able to obtain a mortgage without having any income.  If they have enough money in the bank to cover the purchase of the home, it may be possible but their best bet would be to just pay cash for the entire balance of the home.  Most banks want to see at least a 2 year job history.  If the person just lost their job and gets a job in the same field it maybe ok, but not if they change fields.  They need to get a job to apply for a mortgage.  If they have alimony income, social security or investment income, the banks will consider that income as well.  

What would you say the average condo/home in Northern Westchester (Cortland Manor, NY) costs re closing, attorney fees, title company, etc.?

There are a number of fees for buying and selling.  Your attorney and lender will be able to give these to you because they vary quite a bit.  The attorney probably charges $1000-2000, the NYS transfer tax is $4.00 (seller only) per thousand and the title is fixed for the buyer according to the price of the home.  There are various fees for the purchaser from the bank like appraisal costs etc, and these you will get from the bank.   The fees for buying can range in the 4 to 6% range but as I say, they vary.  For selling it is less, it is mainly NYS tax and attorney fees.  Also, with a condo there are most likely condo fees from the association like application fees, move in/move out fees etc.  Every condo association differs so ask the for their package for a new buyer or if you want to sell.

Also, if one does not have sufficient funds/cash to bring to the table re closing, can that money be taken from profit?

Yes, the attorney will explain this to you.  They take the money from the buyer and their bank, net out your costs, and give you the balance at closing in the form of a bank check which you can immediately deposit in your bank.  

What about this new tax re sale of home that NY has and how does it affect the whole process re home inherited?

Once again, you should consult your attorney.  The law is a federal law and a single person has a $250,000 exemption and a couple $500,000.  As far as estates go, you should consult your estate attorney.  I believe the estate is normally valued at the time of death.   As for taxes owed, they are usually paid out the year the person dies.  But this is very complicated and must be looked at on a case by case basis.

So much to question and probably not enough time or space to inquire.  Can you send more information (simplified) on the whole process?  I would appreciate it if you could.  Thanks.

As you see, I have the 14 steps to purchase a home.  If you need additional information it is best that you give me a call and we can discuss your particular questions over the phone.  My number is 914-629-6572.  Thank you!

Carolyn Schoemer, Associate Broker & Partner, Keller Williams NY Realty, White Plains, NY

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