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Buying & Selling A Coop

Buying and selling a cooperative apartment (coop) in New York City presents a distinctive set of procedures and considerations when compared to conventional real estate transactions. Coops are prevalent in the city, accounting for approximately 80% of the available inventory, and they are governed by their own set of rules and regulations. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the process:

Buying a New York City Coop:

  • Preparation:

    Assess your budget, secure mortgage pre-approval, and gather essential financial documents.

    Engage a real estate agent with expertise in NYC coop transactions.

    Explore the coop market, various neighborhoods, and specific buildings to find the ideal coop for your needs.

  • Coop Board Approval:

    After identifying a coop of interest, submit an offer through your agent, specifying the proposed purchase price and any contingencies.

    In the event the seller accepts your offer, you’ll be required to submit a “purchase application” to the coop board, which typically involves detailed financial disclosures, personal references, and a letter of intent.

    The coop board will meticulously scrutinize your application to assess your financial qualifications and compatibility with the coop community. This process is often thorough and time-consuming.

  • Contract Signing:

    Upon approval of your application, you can proceed to execute the purchase contract. This contract will outline critical details, including the purchase price, closing date, and any applicable contingencies.

    Typically, you’ll need to place a significant deposit—often 10% of the purchase price—into an escrow account.

  • Due Diligence:

    Perform a comprehensive home inspection to identify potential issues with the coop unit.

    Review the coop’s financial statements, bylaws, house rules, and proprietary lease to gain a complete understanding of the coop’s regulations and responsibilities.

  • Closing:

    Once your due diligence is completed and all conditions are met, you can proceed to the closing. Closings typically occur at a title company’s office or with an attorney present.

    During the closing, you’ll sign the requisite documents, settle the remaining purchase price, and receive the keys to your new coop.

Selling a New York City Coop:

  • Preparation:

    Collaborate with a real estate agent to determine the selling price for your coop unit.

    Compile the coop’s financial documents, which include the building’s financials, your financial information, and the coop’s governing documents.

  • Listing:

    List your coop for sale through a real estate agent or other appropriate channels.

  • Offers and Negotiations:

    Evaluate and negotiate offers from prospective buyers, being mindful of the importance of coop board approval, a crucial element of the process.

  • Coop Board Approval:

    Once you accept an offer, the buyer must submit a purchase application to the coop board.

    The coop board will review the buyer’s application and render a decision regarding approval.

  • Contract Signing and Closing:

    After the buyer obtains board approval, both parties will execute the purchase contract.

    The closing process mirrors the steps outlined in the buying process.

  • Note: Coops can be classified as either Pre-war (prior to World War II) or Post-war. The process typically spans between 60 to 90 days, contingent on factors such as financing, an all-cash transaction, the processing time of the management company, and the readiness of the coop board for review.

Acknowledging that the coop board’s approval process can be highly selective and may extend over several weeks or even months is critical. Furthermore, coop sales often involve elevated closing costs and recurring monthly maintenance fees. Collaborating with an experienced real estate agent who comprehends the intricacies of the New York City coop market is essential for a successful transaction.



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