Contingencies in NYC Real Estate Purchase Contracts

Delving into the intricacies of New York City’s real estate market requires a detailed understanding of contingencies – critical provisions that can make or break a property transaction. SPiRALNY, in its constant endeavor to provide a comprehensive understanding to its clients, recently sat down with experts from Katz & Matz, an esteemed NYC-based real estate law firm, to get their insights on the most prevalent contingencies encountered in residential real estate contracts.

Key Contingencies in NYC Real Estate Purchase Contracts:

  • Right of Refusal Contingency
  • Board Approval Contingency
  • Financing Contingency
  • Appraisal Contingency
  • Inspection Contingency

Sale Contingency

Here’s the distilled knowledge from our conversation with the Katz & Matz team, based on their vast experience serving New Yorkers:

Board Approval & Right of First Refusal:

Any co-op deal in NYC hinges upon securing Board Approval. Essentially, the Board must provide its consent, without setting conditions, for the deal to progress. However, sometimes, conditions might be imposed, especially if the buyer’s financials are borderline acceptable for the Board. These conditions can vary from escrow maintenance requirements to third-party purchase guarantees. If these conditions aren’t acceptable to the purchaser, they have the right to cancel the contract.

For condos, the focus shifts to obtaining the Board’s Waiver of Right of First Refusal. This ensures that the Condo Board can’t interfere with the purchase unless they are willing to buy the unit themselves at the agreed price.

Financing Contingencies:

The core of this contingency is about the certainty of securing a loan. Depending on the exact wording of the contract, a buyer could have a full contingency (most buyer-friendly), non-contingency, or an all-cash provision (most seller-friendly). While pre-approvals are a good starting point, the more concrete loan commitment letter offers a definitive promise from the lender, considering both the buyer’s financials and the property’s particulars.

Appraisal Contingencies:

This aspect tackles the agreement’s valuation aspect. If the property doesn’t appraise for the contracted price, various scenarios can unfold, each affecting the buyer’s and seller’s decision paths differently. From adjusting loan values to renegotiating the property price, this step has a vital influence on the deal’s progress.

Rare Contingencies: Inspection and Sale:

Although not standard, inspection and sale contingencies can be introduced based on the unique needs of a transaction. An inspection contingency can empower buyers, giving them an opportunity to evaluate a property’s condition, and subsequently, the leverage to renegotiate based on discovered flaws.

Sale contingencies, though rarer, are hinged on a buyer’s need to sell an existing property to finance the new purchase. These bring in an added layer of complexity as they link the success of one transaction to another, often unrelated, property deal.

Wrapping Up:

NYC’s property landscape, with its intricate legal and market dynamics, underscores the importance of a trusted guide. Aligning with a luxury brokerage like SPiRALNY ensures that you navigate these complexities with confidence, armed with insights and expertise of industry stalwarts.

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