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Purchasing a Co-op: 10 Tips on How to Get Approved by the Co-op Board

By March 26, 2012 April 15th, 2018 General Updates

Waiting for approval by the Co-op Board of Directors can be stressful. Read these tips to improve your chances of being approved to purchase your new home in a Co-op Building.

If you’re looking to purchase an apartment in a Co-operative Building, you’ve probably found out by now that you must be approved by the Co-op’s Board of Directors first. Waiting and working towards this approval can make you anxious, but keep reading for tips that will help you get through the process of purchasing your new home in a Co-op Building.

What is a Co-op Board of Directors?

In small co-op buildings, all members of the building may sit on the board. In larger co-op buildings, the members will elect a Board of Directors amongst all shareholders, usually at the annual general meeting. According to Ronald H. Gitter, Esq. of CoopandCondo.com, “a co-op board is a group of 6 to 8 tenant-shareholders who reside in the co-op and who are elected by the residents of the co-op to manage the affairs of the co-op.” The board members have certain responsibilities which are usually described in the co-op bylaws.

Why Do They Have to Approve of Me?

As described in the Co-op bylaws and proprietary lease, one of the board’s responsibilities is to review the applications of all prospective buyers of the Co-ops in their building. The board will assess you on a number of parameters including whether you will be able to meet the financial needs of the building now and in the future, whether you’ve demonstrated job stability, have good credit etc.

Before you attend your interview with the board, it is imperative that you prepare yourself ahead of time to answer any questions asked of you. Read below for some tips on how to prepare:

10 Tips on How to Get Approved
by a Co-op Board:

  1. Make sure you’re working with a real estate broker who has experience with the New York or New Jersey neighborhood you’re interested in and can guide you towards the right co-op in your desired neighborhood. This will help you avoid submitting a purchase application to a co-op that is not a good fit for you and will ultimately be rejected.
  2. Ask your real estate broker as to what the financial requirements are of the co-op you’re interested in. Don’t overstate your assets or income- this could lead to the possibility of being rejected, or losing your contract deposit because you submitted false information.
  3. Google Yourself – You’d better know if there is something out there about you that will need explaining to avoid being caught offguard at your interview. The board will most likely look you up before accepting your application.
  4. Prepare Business/Personal References – Make sure you choose people who can write a strong, supportive and impressive letter for your application.
  5. Stick to the Basics – Submit your board package in a timely manner and dress to impress and arrive early for your interview.
  6. Know your application – make sure you are prepared to answer questions about your finances or employment.
  7. Couples should determine who will answer which types of questions – you don’t want a disagreement to take place during the meeting
  8. Do not try to sell yourself – answer questions without volunteering additional or unnecessary information
  9. Try to avoid asking questions – if you have questions wait until after your approval
  10. Don’t expect an immediate answer – the board will take time to make their decision and notify you a few days later

(Source: CoopandCondo.com)

At Mackoul & Associates, we specialize in insuring Co-operatives and Condominiums in New York City and the surrounding metropolitan areas. We wish you the best of luck in finding your new home in a co-operative building and if you should have any questions, we have insurance specialists waiting to take your call at (516) 431-9100. We hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful in preparing your for your co-op board meeting.

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