Seller Guide


Selling real estate in New York City as an owner can be tough. Luckily, we’re here to break down the fees and most common questions sellers have.

Fees & Expenses

In general, the total cost is about 8 – 9% of the total sales price.

  • Broker fee: 4-6% of total sales price
  • Transfer Taxes: 1.825% of total sales price
  • Misc. State/City fees: ~$600-1000
  • Attorney’s fee: ~$2500
  • Move-out related fee: $300-500


New York State real estate owners are subjected to capital gains taxes that range from 22% to 30% depending on the length and structure of ownership. New York City will also

If this is your primary residence for more than 2 years out of 5, or you have work-related reasons, you can apply for tax deductions on the capital gains amount. The amount is $250,000 for single and $500,000 for married filed jointly.

For more information, please speak with attorney and accountant for the procedures to qualify.

Procedures to Selling

  1. Understanding your real estate value from market reports and comparables.
  2. Find a trustworthy real estate broker and sign an exclusive right to sell contract
  3. Prepare your listing
    1. clean up
    2. paintjob(if needed)
    3. staging(if needed)
    4. photoshoot
  4. Showings and offers
  5. Negotiation
  6. Contract Signing and 10% deposit
  7. Notify mortgage lender (if applicable)
  8. Closing

Tips and Common Pitfalls

  • For Sale By Owner: Selling the property yourself is possible, but the pros and cons need to be weighed out.
    • For instance, the amount of time and effort required is usually more than most owners anticipated.
    • In addition, photoshoots cost money and listing platforms often charge owners a monthly premium.
  • You can negotiate the broker fee % prior to signing the exclusive. Usually, you have the most negotiating power prior to signing the contract.
  • You should anticipate at least 3-6 months of sales time.
  • You should look up your documents when you first purchased the property. The documents will give you closing costs which can be deducted from your capital gains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is a good time to sell?
A: The best time of the year to sell in NYC is between April and July then September to November. During the hot summers, there tend to be less buyers as most people travel and enjoy the beaches. The same during winter, most people go to skiing trips or stay at home on the blistering cold days.

Q: Where can I find the latest market reports?
A: You can always find the latest market reports on Streeteasy, which is the biggest listing platform in NYC (they are not a brokerage).

Q: What are some common mistakes sellers make when preparing to sell?
A: Many sellers believe that investing heavily on renovation will yield a good return on investment. While improving the property is a good idea, it may not favor the seller when it comes to bang for buck. While each individual property is different, we recommend the owner to renovate wisely and prioritize the most important parts instead of splurging on property.

  1. Paintjob
  2. Bathrom and Kitchen
  3. Floor
  4. Rest of the property

Q: Who is Copanel?
A: Copanel was founded by former Douglas Elliman broker Jerry C. Wang, who is a real estate veteran. We provide high quality services to clients in sales, rental and management. For more information, please see About Us.

About Author

Jerry Chuanyung Wang is a New York Real Estate broker, specialized in new developments and investments.

Previously worked at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Jerry has 20 years experience in New York and has handled tens of millions of transactions as a broker.

Jerry founded Copanel in 2019 to better serve clients’ real estate needs from around the world. Copanel provides the latest market reports, new development reviews, neighborhood guides and white gloves services to buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.

If you have any questions or need in real estate services, please feel free to contact us.

We are fluent in English and Chinese.

Member of Real Estate Board of New York and Fair Housing

Jerry C. Wang
Real Estate Broker

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