How to Sell Your House: Tips and Advice for New Home Sellers

Buying a house is entirely different than selling a home. When you purchase a house, there are a lot of emotions involved, but when it comes to selling a property, you’ll probably be more focused on profit potential and how quickly you’ll be able to sell. However, going through your first home sale will include worrying about surprises in the inspection, negotiating deadlocks, and dealing with buyers that have crazy demands. From list to close, you’ll need to navigate through this complicated process.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that in 2021, only 69% of sellers were satisfied with the selling process. Because you have so much money on the line, you deserve the satisfaction. 

We’ve compiled some great tips and advice for new home sellers, which you’ll find below to help you cruise through the home selling process in New York. 

What to Know if This is Your First Time Selling a House

What to Know if This is Your First Time Selling a House

If this is your first time selling a house, there are a few things that would be helpful to know about and to ask yourself before you take the first step. The biggest one identifying your motivation to sell and if you should sell your house now? Sometimes people can be kind of on the fence about the whole idea, so it would be helpful to pinpoint your reasoning. 

A few ways you can confirm you’re 100% ready to take the leap and sell your house in New York would be to ask yourself these questions:

Q: Are you emotionally prepared to leave this home and any memories it holds behind, negotiate with buyers over the house like a business deal, and hear potentially negative critiques on what needs to be fixed?

Q: Would selling your house benefit you more than holding on to it?

Q: Does it make financial sense for you to sell right now?

If you can answer those questions without any hesitation and feel confident moving forward, then it’s time to sell! 

The next bit of advice for you includes: hiring a real estate attorney, conducting market research, and being prepared to be patient through the process.

A Real Estate Lawyer will be Worthwhile

First and foremost, New York requires sellers to involve a lawyer in the house-selling transaction. There are many legalities to selling a house that a real estate lawyer will need to help with to make this process run smoothly and be a legal transaction. The real estate lawyer takes over after the selling price, and terms have been established by the real estate agent or seller and buyer in the contract, and all parties have signed. The real estate attorney reviews the contract and, once a home inspection and title search are completed, negotiates repairs and other adjustments to the terms of the agreement. 

And just in case any last-minute issues arise, the attorney will attend your closing along with yourself or the agent you’re working with and possibly a rep from your lender.

 Hiring a real estate attorney is especially important in cases where:

Hiring an attorney early in the process can often save time and money in the long run. To give you an idea of how much it costs to hire one, it will depend on where you live in New York, but you can expect to pay $2,500 to $3,000 for a simple buy-and-sell transaction. 

Do Your Market Research

Before you go to list your house, it’s important to do some research on the current real estate market for your area. If you’re saying, ” sell my house fast Brooklyn,” but it’s currently a buyers market, that means you’ll have plenty of competition. Real estate markets usually fall into two categories: a buyers market and a seller’s market. 

Buyers Market– When you’re in a buyers’ market, that means there is plenty of inventory for prospective buyers to choose from. This also means that there are not enough buyers for all the houses currently on the market. In which case, this may require a seller to be creative with their home sale, offer incentives or set a desirable asking price to find a buyer. 

Sellers Market- During a seller’s market, there are plenty of buyers shopping for houses but not enough inventory to choose from. Since fewer homes are available to buy, sellers can increase their asking price or may receive multiple offers that initiate a bidding war. 

Of course, you probably realize that you want to be in a seller’s market when you sell your New York home. 

Be Patient When Selling Your House

Another thing you’ll want to be ready for when selling a house for the first time is the waiting game. You’ll need to remember that the process can take time, and there isn’t a secret formula to selling a house fast and producing a buyer. Well, that is if you sell the traditional way. Cash home buyers in New York would be able to close quickly which will cover more about this type of buyer later on in this article. 

But in the meantime, you’ll want to buckle up and prepare yourself for the ride. Currently, in New York, the average number of days for a house to receive an offer is about 88 days, then you’ll also want to add 30-60 days for escrow and to close officially. So, all in all, you’re looking at potentially 118 to 148 days to sell your NY home and move. Just something to keep in mind if you’re hoping for a speedy process. 

Selling My House Tips

What are some good tips for selling a house? Well, of course, there are the basic ones like: do repairs, clean, declutter, stage your property and make sure to add some curb appeal. If you plan to sell your house by yourself, make sure you hire a professional photographer to take great photos of your place and emphasize unique selling features in your listing description. 

Besides that, here are a few other tips for selling a house in New York. 

Learn About Different Types of House Buyers

An important tip when selling your house is to learn about the different types of house buyers and who you’re trying to appeal to. That way, you can understand the persona of the buyer you’ll be dealing with, their needs, and how they should be approached. 

If you’re working with a real estate agent, they should be able to narrow down what type of buyer would be interested in your home sale. But if you’re selling without a realtor, that will be up to you to decipher. 

Below are ten of the most common buyers you may come across.

  1. First-Time Home Buyer

Persona: Middle-class families who are looking for an opportunity to purchase a home based on affordability. 

What They’re Looking For:  A comfortable, liveable home and are likely interested in a house with a large yard that provides plenty of room for outdoor activities and space for kids to play. They also typically want at least three bedrooms and two full bathrooms to accommodate an expanding family or visitors. 

  1. Downsizing Home Buyer

Persona: Higher net worth professionals looking to downsize from their larger home after they retire or their children have moved out. 

What They’re Looking For:  They are looking for a smaller pared-down home that is easier to maintain that offers plenty of amenities and easy access. They like quiet locations that are near parks, trails, coffee shops, and restaurants.  

  1. Upsizing Home Buyer

Persona: Professionals who want to trade their existing home for a larger, more luxurious home due to a change in income, marriage, or a new baby. 

What They’re Looking For: They want a house that allows them to live the lifestyle of their dreams. Their must-haves include modern kitchens, luxury bathrooms, a pool and will appreciate modern, high-tech design. 

  1. Luxury Buyers

Persona: High net worth individuals or international professionals who may even have several houses. They are usually happy to spend the money needed to secure a home. 

What They’re Looking For: Luxury amenities such as open floor plans, heated floors, chandeliers, and large bathrooms. They typically look at many listings before committing to a specific location and have a long list of requirements for their new home. 

To learn more about the luxury real estate market in New York, check out The Most Expensive Home Sales in New York in 2020

  1. Retail Buyers

Persona: This is the average home buyer who is in the market to buy a primary residence. Usually, they have access to finances or enough money saved to buy a property with cash. 

What They’re Looking For: An affordable home that’s newer or recently renovated also must be close to their work and amenities such as schools, shopping centers, and medical facilities. 

  1. Young Millennial Buyer

Persona: A buyer that doesn’t rely on seasons and school schedules to purchase a home. The market is on at all times. They are visual and will view listings that appeal to them on their own time. 

What They’re Looking For: They are active buyers, that are looking for the suburbs that feel like the city so that they can feel connected. 

  1. Relocating Home Buyer

Persona: This buyer is rock solid and qualified to purchase something. They usually have a limited amount of time to find a home, so they want to see as many properties as possible.

What They’re Looking For: Ideally, something that is move-in ready, so they can move in quickly. They also want something that doesn’t require repairs or a lot of improvements prior to moving in.

  1. iBuyers

Persona: iBuyers are high-tech home buying companies. They buy houses in several markets with the expectation that they will resell the home for a profit after they close.

What They’re Looking For:  A home that meets their market criteria and is in a good location for resale purposes. They also want a home in good condition. 

  1. House Flippers

Persona: Full-time property investors looking for homes to buy below market value in a specific area. 

What They’re Looking For: They’re looking for a home that needs renovations so that they can restore and sell in a short period of time for a return on their investment. 

  1. Investor Buyers

Persona: An investor who specializes in buying and selling homes. They don’t use bank financing but rather pay for everything in cash, which means theyYork they; they can make offers on houses quickly and close in as little as 7-days. These buyers usually have several homes in the area, and are looking to buy another property; they can either flip, rent to a middle-class family or professionals. They are receptive, sharp, and attentive buyers who are very savvy. They are a great buyer to work with if you’d like to avoid the hassle of hiring an agent, listing your house, and doing costly repairs. They also don’t charge realtor commissions and closing costs are negotiable.

What They’re Looking For: They’re willing to take on any type of house because they typically buy houses in as-is condition; also, the price needs to make sense for their repair costs. A good location is a plus. 

Set a Realistic Asking Price

It always comes down to price. Price plays a huge role in the success of your home sale. If you hire a realtor to list and sell your New York home, they will give you recommendations as to what to list your house for. If you’re selling FSBO instead, then it will fall to you to set a realistic asking price. 

Why is the price so important? Price too high, and you could risk your listing sitting on the market for months, wasting those precious first few weeks when listings get more attention. 

Price too low, and people may wonder if something is wrong with your home to be priced below the market average for your area. Or you may get even lower offers that cause you to leave money on the table. 

How to Figure Out Your Asking Price?

There are online estimators available, but you shouldn’t rely on those completely to provide you with the value of your home. You’ll also want to look at comparable home sales in your area and see what they sold for and their price per square foot. Make sure you compare properties as similar to yours as you can. The exact number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage and condition of your home should all be very similar. 

If you’re having difficulty finding this information, you can always have a home appraisal done to your house to give you an unbiased opinion on what your home is worth. You can then use that report to figure out a competitive price to list your property for and use it to negotiate with buyers if they want to offer you less. 

Understand the Taxes When Selling a House

Understand the Taxes When Selling a House

Don’t forget Uncle Sam needs to get paid during this home-selling transaction too. Up until the day you sell your house, you’ll still need to pay for your property taxes. But besides that, there are other taxes you’ll need to find out if you owe. One of them being capital gains taxes. 

Depending on a few factors, you may owe capital gains – which are taxed on the profits of your home sale. The good news is that most people don’t qualify for this tax, but you should still check if you do if you stand to make a decent profit on your home sale. Your real estate lawyer will be able to help you better understand what taxes you’ll need to pay when you go to sell your New York home.

Understanding the Documents Needed When Selling a House

Selling a house is a business transaction that involves quite a bit of paperwork. Another reason having a real estate lawyer is key for this process to run smoothly and to confirm it’s done legally. Below is a breakdown of New York’s legal paperwork requirements.

Required for all New York Real Estate Sales

  • Two Forms of ID
  • Copy of Purchase Agreement and Any Addendums
  • Closing Statement
  • Signed Deed
  • Bill of Sale
  • Affidavit of Title

Possible Additional Documents

  • Loan Payoff Information
  • HOA Forms and Guidelines
  • Survey Results or Survey Affidavits
  • Home Inspection Results
  • Proof of Repairs or Renovations
  • Home Warranty Information
  • Copies of Relevant Wills, Trusts, or Power of Attorney Letters
  • Relevant Affidavits (Name Affidavits, Non-Foreign Affidavit Under IRC 1445, etc.)
  • Closing Disclosure
  • Correction Statement and Agreement

New York Disclosure Forms

  • Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement
  • Flood Zone Statement
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Many of these documents are legally binding agreements. Any errors can derail your sale and potentially cost you thousands of dollars in fees or relisting costs. 

To avoid an expensive mistake, make sure to hire a seasoned real estate lawyer to handle the process. 


Plenty of homeowners have been able to sell their New York homes successfully, and you can too! Hopefully, by educating yourself and planning ahead, you’ll be able to navigate this process easily. 

If accepting a cash offer for your house sounds like a better solution than contact Leave The Key Homebuyers. They are one of the premier companies that buy houses on Long Island, in Queens, and in Buffalo. 

Selling a house for the first time can be stressful and surprisingly expensive. By working with a local home investor like Leave The Key Homebuyers, you’ll be able to get a cash offer for your home within 24-hours, pay no realtor commissions, sell as-is, and close on your time frame. They would be happy to walk you through the process and help make selling a house for the first time an easy experience. 

Beginner Tips for Selling Your House