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Can you tell me more about how to get past a co-op board?

When people say, “hey, what do NYC real estate agents do for a living?” the first response that comes to mind is “xeroxing.”

Manhattan, especially, is home to thousands of co-ops, and buying or even renting (That’s my hand with a recent rental sublet package below) is a paperwork nightmare.

A board package I just did for two renters was a couple of inches high. (Sorry, I’m having image trouble, the photo will go up later.)

If you’re new to the market, don’t freak out. Basically what co-ops want to know is that you’re one of them.

Typically, race and ethnicity are not the issues they were a generation ago, but co-ops do want you to be of a certain economic soundness, so they require a great deal of financial documentation.

And they want you to be of a certain neighborliness, so they require a great deal of networking documentation.

You need to be very careful about how you present this stuff, or you ain’t gettin’ in.

Typical requirements are for an application to live in the co-op, which includes your salary, family members and pets; a statement of assets and liabilities (also known as a “net worth statement”); two business recommendation letters and two personal ones; and a statement from your last landlord that you’re a good tenant.

This information is usually filed in sections with colored dividers (that’s what the pink sheets are for), and then there’s a xerox made for every member of the board.It is very important to have a professional presentation here, just because it’s a sign of respect for the board. You wouldn’t send an employer a hand-written resume, and your board package should be meticulously documented and organized.

I also like to add a narrative wrap-up (referred to by some as “the horses–t letter”) stating who the buyers or renters are and why they want to live there.I’m working with a Canadian buyer now, and we are prepared to face a certain amount of discrimination since she’s a foreign national. But I really do believe I could get T’Pol — or even a litigious attorney — through a co-op board. The main point is to be enthusiastic about the building. (If you’re buying in at today’s prices, that shouldn’t be hard.)

For some very specific tips, click here.

and if you need to email me, it’s ali @dgneary.com

Posted in For Buyers and For renters 13 years, 6 months ago at 1:57 pm.

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