My family would like to relocate to upper Westchester County within the next 6 months. We are looking to

Asked by Wendi, Bronxville, NY Sun Aug 31, 2008

purchase a house in the $600-$650,000 range. Our current co-op in Bronxville should sell for around $600,000. What should we do first - sell our co-op or purchase a new house? We've never tried to buy and sell at the same time and I'm nervous about the possibility of carrying two mortgages. What should we do?

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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon Sep 1, 2008
Hi Wendi, You answered your own question. There are many factors that you must take into consideration with purchasing these days. The banks lending guidlines can change daily and what worked last week to get a loan may not this week.

I agree with you about the fear of having two mortgages and in this market it could happen. Selling your coop first will give you 1) confidence 2) true buying power 3) and time to make an educated and sound decision. I have a few clients that are in your situation and what we do is formulate our strategy and plan for buying while the property is on the market. Then once it sells we have a solid plan in place, we know where we want to live and what we want to buy.

Make sure your buyer passes the board as well before signing another purchase contract, that is a big contingency to have.

As for the banks (unless you are paying cash) they might be concerned about your debt to income ratio. I recently had a buyer with excellant credit and plenty of reserve cash and the bank wanted them to sell their existing home first. All banks are different but all are stricter then they used to be. My professional recommendation to you is to not put any extra pressure on yourself. This should be a pleasurable experience for you!

I help this helps, I would be more then happy to sit with you and develop a plan and strategy that works for your needs.

I currently live in Mount Kisco and my office is located in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown.


Christopher Pagli
Assoicate Broker
Legends Realty Group
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Teresa Chang, Agent, Somers, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Hi Wendy
Definitely sell your co-op first and when you are in contract you should start looking to buy but do let the other seller know that you have a co-op in contract and that your purchase is contingent on it selling. Otherwise wait till your co-op buyer is approved by the board and buyer has gotten their commitment before you commit yourself to your new purchase. It is hairy trying to try to close 2 transactions on the same day but alot of people do it all the time - just takes alot of good planning and organisation and help from families and friends and of course a good Realtor and a good attorney. The other option you might want to consider is sell your co-op and then rent for a short while in the town you are considering living in...if you need more help email me at or go visit my website at My areas are Somers, Katonah, Yorktown, North Salem and Chappaqua. Good luck.
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Margot Fried…, Agent, Bedford, NY
Fri Sep 12, 2008
Wendi I must agree with others who say get your Bronxville co-op on the market as it best to sell first . The co-op sale process can take longer. You also should speak to multiple mortgage lenders and brokers to see what programs there are now, get estimates for items included in closing costs and as rates dropped this week , now is a very good time to move.

As you have a figure in mind to sell your property, I suspect that you have been in touch with an agent who has provided you with a market analysis. If not or if you would like to speak to someone else, as my expertise is Northern Westchester and I would be happy to recommend a local Coldwell Banker agent with co-op expertise in the Bronxville area.

With regard to Northern Westchester, as tax rates vary greatly, some towns have lower taxes due to businesses contributing to the tax base such as Mt. Kisco, North Castle & Somers but you also need to consider what amenities a community has to fit your family's needs. Do you need to be near a train or highway, do you want a certain style home such as 1 level, is level property a priority, do you need a community with childrens or seniors resources? There are so many other factors to consider so please feel free to visit my website which is dedicted to Northern Westchester and its towns and resources or please feel free to contact me directly. As a Mt. Kisco resident, I am very knowledgeable about and committed to the communities of Northern Westchester.

If there are other areas, that you might like to explore, I would be happy to refer you to a knowledgeable Coldwell Banker agent in those communities.

Good Luck Wendi,

Margot Friedlander
Coldwell Banker
Bedford, NY
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Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Thu Sep 11, 2008

Are you still out there? Where did you come up with the 600k price?
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Donna O'Conn…, , Somers, NY
Wed Sep 3, 2008
Hi Wendi,

How are you? You have a great co-op in Bronxville! What a wonderful location, with so many amenities buyers are looking for.

I would recommend looking at homes in Somers or Katonah area. Somers happens to have the lowest tax base in northern Westchester with the help of IBM and Pepsi! Many towns do not have the industry to assist in keeping our taxes lower.

So, if you would like me to e-mail you a few homes, please feel free to e-mail me, or feel free to call me on my cell 914.263.9108.

Once you decide where you would like to live, put your co-op on the market immediately. As the other realtors have noted, you are not in a good situation if you have found a home you would love to buy, but still need to sell your co-op.

I hope to talk to you soon...I would love to help you find a home in northern Westchester!

Donna O'Connell
Houlihan Lawrence
0 votes
Kate O'Keefe, Agent, Katonah, NY
Tue Sep 2, 2008
It is always easier to buy then sell. So sell first! Especially with a Co-Op that may possibly have a long approval process. You should talk to a mortgage broker and or bank to have your financials ready. Get your feet wet in the market to scout out what you are interested in. Make sure the numbers are real. Then get the process started with two agents that will work together to make the process smooth and coordinated for you. I suggest Bronxville-Ley Real Estate, 914-337-1234, , for your Co-Op. As for Northern Westchester, I work at the best independently owned office, Frances Billingsley Realty, Inc., 914.232.5121 x316. Call me with any questions, 914.384.1612, . This is the best buy out there, MLS # 2815045. I have lived and worked here my entire live. I always welcome the opportunity to help someone find a home.
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Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Mon Sep 1, 2008
Wendi -

Where did you come up with the 600k number that you're co-op will sell for? Just curious.

1 800 541 RELO, ext. 51
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Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Mon Sep 1, 2008
Put your property on the market first. You control closing date; no one can force you to close earlier than you wish. Give yourself plenty of time to find a new home. In this market, sellers are not prone to accepting contracts that are contingent upon you selling your property in order to close.

If you would like a recommendation of an excellent Realtor in upper Westchester County, contact me offline at and I will be happy to recommend the best of the best!
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Harriet Libov, Agent, Armonk, NY
Mon Sep 1, 2008
Hi Wendi,
The first step is get your co-op on the market. The fall market (now) usually brings new buyers so your co-op will generate interest right now. I am happy to refer you to a Houlihan Lawrence Bronxville Agent asap that I work with to get you started. A seller needs guidance in this market and experienced professional expertise. Pricing it correctly is extremely important and marketing it to reach the largest potential audience will bring you the best possible market price.
Co-operation and communication between the agents covering your sale and purchase is quite helpful when they are working as a team to accomplish your goal. I cover Northern Westchester, ( Armonk, Chappaqua, Bedford and Pleasantville) if that is what you mean by "upper ". Again, it is important to work with a local agent with expertise in their marketplace for your purchase... so if there are other communities you want to look at (further north, south, east or west), I can help you find the right agent there as well. I can also recommend a mortgage professional to guide you through the lending process so you are aware of exactly what your buying power is at the time. Even though your purchase price is similar to your sale price, the lending standards have gotten much more complicated. A letter from your lender that you are qualified is a very valuable tool in your purchase.
You will have a lot of choices to buy as there is a lot of housing inventory to choose from. I would recommend you get your apt in contract with a buyer before buying something else. However, once you've listed your home, we can get you out looking at the communities that interest you to educate yourself on each market. That way, you are ready to react when your co-op has a contract and feel you have a good plan ( and agents you can trust and enjoy working with) in place. With good advice, you will be able to co-ordinate a buy and sell at the same time to close and move. Please feel free to contact me personally with any more questions or references from clients that have successfully completed their transactions with me in this market.
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