As you begin to navigate through a NYC condo or coop transaction, think about taking a few steps that are guaranteed to make the journey smoother.
Sellers, do a bit of homework and ascertain if all renovations and/or unit combinations have been “signed off” by the City – buyers (and especially lenders) do not like any open or incomplete permits. Make sure there is a valid and current Certificate of Occupancy for the house or building. It’s easy to do your research on the City’s DOB websites. You can find a wealth of information about your specific building by doing a building information search here. Finally, anticipate buyer’s attorney’s questions – Have you had leaks? If so, fix them. Bed bugs? Remediate asap. Inoperable appliances/systems? Repair/replace. Do what you can ahead of time to mitigate any buyer’s concerns.
Buyers, you too can take a few steps to ensure a smoother transaction. If financing, inquire if banks will lend in the building you’re bidding in before beginning the process. Ask about coop/condo board requirements before signing contracts. It will also pay to remember that closing dates are rarely “set in stone”. Most contracts will have built in flexibility to account for building boards, and lending constraints. You may not have a final closing date set until weeks or months into the process, so keep this in mind when locking in your mortgage rate, terminating a lease and making moving arrangements. It’s hard to expedite a delayed closing date, but there are two easy things you can do on your end to keep things moving swiftly. First, get your board package in as quickly as you can. Second, make sure your mortgage broker gets all required documents as soon as they are requested.
With just a little bit of work before going to contract, you can be prepared to easily handle these issues. Otherwise they may not be discovered until your attorney reveals their importance and at that point it might be too late. Finally, whether buying or selling, assemble and align yourself with a top-notch team including: a real estate broker, an real estate attorney in the location you are transacting, and mortgage professionals; create the support needed to get you closed with ease.
Want to hear more about the impact of condo and coop boards on sales transactions? Check StreetEasy’s Talk section for an open forum discussion on this topic.