Real estate is hyper-local. Not only do home values and market conditions vary from city to city and state to state, so do real estate procedures. If you have a property to sell in another state, whether it's a rental property or a property that was inherited, it's important that you have a thorough conversation up front with the real estate professional that you choose to understand what is standard practice in the area.
This post from Monroe real estate agent Kathleen Palmiotti outlines some of the differences in fees and procedures between her market and my market in Albuquerque NM.
I recently sold a house in the state of New Mexico with the help of a skilled real estate agent (thanks Rich Cederberg!), and as both a New York real estate agent and the seller of a home in another state, I can say with certainty that real estate certainly is local.
Most of the time when we talk about the local nature of real estate, we are talking about price points or home styles. Real estate professionals know that the price range for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath colonial with an acre of land can be dramatically different from town to town and even from street to street. But in addition to varying price points, the process for purchasing and selling a home can be significantly different from area to area. And in this case, there were some big differences in the way real estate works between my area in New York and the Albuquerque area of New Mexico:
Monroe, New York
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roundtable closings are the norm. The sellers, buyers, seller attorney, buyer attorney, title company, bank attorney and real estate agents are usually in attendance. All need to be available for the closing on the selected date, and this can sometimes delay closings for weeks. Time required – 1-4 weeks.
Closings are done separately by escrow company and buyers and sellers do not need to meet. In my case, a notary public appeared on my doorstep with a package of infor-mation that needed to be signed. Twenty minutes later, he left with all signed forms and a copy of my identification. Time invested – 20 minutes. Convenience - priceless.
Sellers in NY have significantly fewer costs at closing: The costs in NY are typically the following:
- Real estate commission
- New York state transfer tax ($2/$500 of purchase price)
- Prorated property taxes
Seller costs in NM, while negotiable, are typically much more extensive:
- Real estate commission
- Appraisal fees
- Inspection fees
- Title search
- Title insurance
- Prorated taxes
- Pest inspection
Time Commit- ments
In NY, unless there is an unusual situation, dates that are negotiated between seller/ buyer and their agents are typically treated as “target” dates by everyone else involved in the process. It is unusual for closings to happen on the date defined in the purchase agreement.
In NM, a date is a commitment. If a response is due by the seller on the inspection requests by Wednesday at 5pm, that’s when the response is due. And if it’s not provided, the deal can be canceled.
In NY, attorneys are a required part of every transaction. Agents and their clients will negotiate the agreement, and then the purchase agreement (a one page overview) will be sent to the attorneys for the preparation of the contract, usually after the inspections are complete. While there are exceptions, the attorney process can add quite a bit of time to the transaction (subject of another blog!)
In NM, while attorneys are certainly an option, the standard transaction does not utilize separate attorneys for the buyer and seller. The contract can be completed in a day or two in NM, compared to up to a month in NY.
The important takeaway from this overview is that real estate truly is local. That statement doesn't just refer to the price points, home style, and amenities, but the buying and selling process as well. If you are purchasing or selling a home for the first time in a particular location, it's critical that you hire a real estate agent who is familiar with everything about the local real estate market. If you are in the Monroe NY or Orange County NY area, feel free to contact me on 914-419-0270 or at email@example.com. I can help!
Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CBR®
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty
Monroe, NY Real Estate