Acing Your Co-op Board Interview

Co-op board interviews don’t have to be hard!


Follow these 5 tips to make it painless!

1. Manage your online reputation. Board members are going to Google you! Take down those party photos and censor controversial posts

2. Be on time. Punctuality is important so arrive five minutes early. Allow extra time for parking or train delays

3. Know how to answer those tough questions. They could ask about salary changes or multiple moves. Whatever you answer, make sure it matches what’s on your application.

4. Keep it simple. Be direct, polite and answer all questions fully, but don’t offer too much additional information.

5. Dress professionally. First impressions are important. Business casual works best.

If you follow these steps, then you’ll be moving into your new apartment in no time.


Between Contract and Closing in Co-ops

Purchases in co-ops must first be approved by the building’s board.


In order to be considered, buyers must submit a purchase application that includes tax returns, recommendation letters, financial statements and much, much more. Clients of The Bizzarro Agency work with a dedicated Client Success Manager that compiles and submits their purchase application.

For those financing, the mortgage lender will start by conducting an appraisal and verifying the property’s value. After a successful appraisal the bank will issue a Commitment Letter (thus completing the purchase application).

After reviewing the purchase application, the co-op board will either ask the buyer for an interview or deny their application. Pending board approval, a closing date is set by the attorneys.

Lastly, the buyer conducts a final walkthrough 24 – 48 hours before closing.


Understanding Cond-op Apartments

Condops are one of the most misunderstood designations in New York City real estate.


Agents will often define condops as co-ops with condo rules… but the truth is a bit more nuanced than that. The category of housing was created by owners and developers in the 1980s who wanted to get around a tax rule.

The owners of mixed-use co-op buildings with commercial space on the ground floor designated the commercial space as one condo unit. And the entire residential section of the building became considered another condo unit that was then divided into co-operative shares.

Condops unique structure makes them complex, often with multiple boards. The Condominium Board deals with issues pertaining to the general common elements such as exterior repairs, or major plumbing repairs. The Commercial Board govern issues covered to the commercial units.

A third board is elected by the co-op members and deals with shareholder issues regarding the residential space, like common hallways, or laundry rooms. Any prospective condop buyer should find out how well the boards function together and separately.


Securing a Co-op Mortgage

Finding the right financing to purchase a New York City co-op can be tricky.


Traditional mortgages cannot be issued to apartments within cooperative buildings. Avoid costly mistakes by making sure your mortgage lender understands the uncommon process.

An experienced bank will know to review your finances AND the finances of the cooperative as well. They may even keep a list of ‘approved’ buildings that can expedite your financing.

A co-op board’s standards can also be quite different and/or stricter than your bank’s… Including the types of mortgages allowed, down payment restrictions, and debt-to-income ratio caps.

So make sure your real estate team includes a hyper-local buyer’s agent and an experienced mortgage lender.


Pedro Paredes, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, has some pressing info on what you need to know about obtaining a mortgage.