Does it really take longer to close on a home in New York compared to other parts of the country?

Asked by Kay, Oklahoma Tue Oct 26, 2010

I'm selling a home to buyers coming from New York. The sale is conditional upon them closing on the home they're selling in New York. The financing/closing process is taking seemingly forever. At this stage I'm told 5 days for the bank in New York to review the title (according to the lawyer in New York it is clean) and then another 5 days until the closing actually takes place. Does that time frame sound accurate? Originally the New York home was to close by September 30th but there were delays both in getting the home appraised and the buyers meeting "minor" underwriting conditions. At this point, would you feel fairly comfortable there will be a closing in the time frame of 10 more business days?

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Jennifer Blackwell’s answer
Jennifer Bla…, Agent, Owasso, OK
Sat Jan 15, 2011
Hi Kay:

In any situation, things come up and delays happen. Sometimes lending, appraisal and title work can get done in 2 weeks sometimes you need 3 months. Every transaction is unique. I hope your situation has resolved and you are now settled.

Jennifer Henning
[p] 405.625.1576
0 votes
Elizabeth Ci…, Agent, Coppell, TX
Fri Oct 29, 2010
Hi Kay:

Here's the reality of it....I lived in NY (suffolk & Nassau Counties) most of my adult life and have purchased and sold many homes there. I have currently reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of TX for the last 11 yrs. Well my first closing here left me was quick & basically attorney involved! I do believe the attorney on both sides are very busy with their power struggle that they forget what their purpose is. Second, it seemed that financial institutions back East couldn't put one foot in front of the other without tripping (I know this sound harsh but true). Now this being said....our financial institutions in TX are a mess to a degree, but it is still a quicker close that NY.
All the best,
0 votes
Sid Walker, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Oct 28, 2010
Not all of New York State. The Metro New York City area (including the northern suburbs of Westchester, Putnam, & Rockland counties as well as eastern 'burbs of Nassau & Suffolk counties) averages anywhere from 60 to 90 days for a standard closing. FHA/203K loans a little longer. Even all cash offers average 30 days. Big reason: attorneys. Realtors, by law, cannot prepare contracts in this part of the counties with the exception of single family homes (if a realtor has passed an optional real estate course) which must go to an attorney for review.

Another reason is just the number of real estate deals which take place on a regular basis, particularly in New York City. And if you need to involve local goverment offices in cities such as New York City, Mt. Vernon, or Yonkers, please expect delays.

Things just take longer here, another example: foreclosed homeowners can actually continue to live in their homes for 18-24 months mortgage free because the process takes that long.
0 votes
Barhite and…, Agent, Bronxville, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
Hi Kay:
I would suggest that "5 days" to a Lawyer is like "10 minutes" to a teenager. Both are okay expressions once you understand them and accept that they do not actually resemble the period of time to which they refer. I would suggest, as others have, that the question to ask is, "have all of the principals agreed to a closing date? and time?" Once a closing date is set on the attorney's calendar, your confidence level can increase, but prior to that juncture the transaction is in limbo.
Best regards,
0 votes
First Last, , 90002
Wed Oct 27, 2010
Yes, it definitely takes longer in New York City--upstate New York is different and probably more like Oklahoma.

Are you likely to close within 10 days? Well, the crucial question is, do they have a closing date yet on that place in New York?

Until they have a closing date, they are still working it out, and that could take who-knows-how-long. Sometimes the buyer's lender will create last minute delays as well.

Karla Harby
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes
Ralph Windsc…, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
Yes Kay, it does - most of the time. The reason: lawyers. In NY-unlike other states-first, there is the sales agreement or offer sheet, then after the deal is negotiated and OK'd by both seller and buyer, the inspection occurs; sometimes that can take a week. After that, the seller's attorney prepares the contract and either faxes, emails or mails the contract to the buyer's attorney. Then you have to wait until the buyer's attorney is available to sit with their client.... I could go on and on but it usually takes around 3 months in NY. Good luck!

Ralph Windschuh
Associate Broker
Certified Buyer Representative (CBR)
Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
Century 21 Princeton Properties
Top 2% of Century 21 Agents Nationwide
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Oct 26, 2010
Texas average closing is approx. 45 - 90 days. Depends on if foreclosure , short sale, or property owner.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Tue Oct 26, 2010
One more thing, most other parts of the country don't even use attorneys. The broker holds escrow or they use an escrow holding company. They also pull title so they have direct contact with the lender. Unfortunately some attorneys do hold up deals, it has happened too many times to me in the past.

Christopher Pagli
914 406 9023
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Oct 26, 2010
Keep in mind that closing dates are hardly ever guaranteed and usually are on or about dates--if you have your buyer's attorney contact information, give him/her a call and ask all your questions regarding any concerns you have, he/she can give you firsthand information--unfortunately, delays with lenders does occur these days, and not much anyone can do do speed them up.
0 votes
Rey Hollings…, Agent, White Plains, NY
Tue Oct 26, 2010
Generally speaking I have heard New York closings take longer than other parts of the country. I would take the 10 days til closing promise with a grain of salt. Banks are now under the glare of public opinion and regulators so they will be taking more time than usual to clear buyers for closings.

I wish you well and I hope you have a successful transaction.

Rey Hollingsworth Falu
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Houlihan Lawrence - Bronxville

Direct 917-855-0277
Web Reference:
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Tue Oct 26, 2010
Hi, the time frame to close all depends on all parties involved. Once everything is submitted to the bank you are at their mercy. All parties need to be in sync and have clear communication which unfortunately doesn't always happen. So now as you made it seem the closing is in the underwriters hands and you just have to be patient. The banks are going as far as to pull the buyers credit right up until the closing to make sure nothing has changed. They are being extremely careful because ultimately they are investing in the borrowers ability to pay back the loan.


Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
Legends Realty Group
914 406 9023
0 votes
Anthony Crec…, Agent, Thornwood, NY
Tue Oct 26, 2010
hello. yes, it usually takes a while in ny, as there are many parties involved, but once all is set up and done it moves quick.
0 votes
Walt FitzPat…, , Scarsdale, NY
Tue Oct 26, 2010
Hi Kay,

It's really hard to give or get guarantees on closing dates these days. The conditions above sound about right but there are numerous other things that can slow a closing. The best thing you can do is have your attorney speak with your purchasers attorney. The purchasers attorney should be able to explain what the holdup is to your attorneys satisfaction. I WILL say though, there are no easy closings anymore! Lenders are scrutinizing everyone regardless of how much they have to put down, how long they have been employed, how much money they make etc. There are a lot of guide lines that where ALWAYS on the books at these lenders, but in years past, have been disregarded and/or over looked by the loan officers or the underwriting departments. Now the underwriters are enforcing EVERYTHING and, I think we all can agree, it is necessary in these times. (Annoying…but necessary!)

The best way to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible (even if it really isn't smooth at all) is to choose a Realtor, lender and real estate attorney that has a proven track record and plenty of experience. (Unfortunately, if the other side doesn't do the same, you will feel like you are doing all the work!)

Best of luck to you!

Walt FitzPatrick
Keller Williams Realty Group
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