Thursday, August 23, 2012

Board Package Tips

If you have attempted to purchase an apartment in a Co-op building, you know board packages can be extremely invasive and detail oriented. A board package is a detailed breakdown of your personal and financial information ultimately used by the co-op board to make the decision to either accept or reject your application to purchase. Perhaps the most important thing to know about board packages is that you should make them as thorough and as simple to read as possible. Make sure to include everything exactly as the board asks for it and make sure to pay attention to their specific criteria because every board has different requirements. As the old adage goes, control the controllables. When I put a board package together I image the board member coming home from a long day, with a glass of wine in his or her hand with a child at their feet. With that in mind, we want to present the materials in a manner that even a two year old could understand. The last thing we want is for the board member to come back to us asking questions. This only delays the decision making process and shows that we were not clear in our explanation of the submitted materials.

Gathering supporting documentation early on in the process is very helpful because in most cases, the board package needs to be assembled quickly performing to any guidelines mentioned in the sales contract and/or meeting any deadlines of the managing agent. In some cases, for example, the managing agent may have strict guidelines because of the number of monthly board packages in processes. If they only allow submissions before the end of the third week in order to be considered for the following month’s interviews, missing the cut off could delay a board decision by more than a month. If you are anxious to close, not being able to prepare quickly could be costly.

Some board packages require a commitment letter to be submitted from your lender, so starting the bank underwriting process early on and getting an appraisal ordered right after the sales contract is signed can save a tremendous amount of time. Receiving a pre-approval letter from your lender is the first step when looking for an apartment and this theme continues throughout the purchase process right up to this critical time when you are now required to perform and prepare the package for submission. As you can imagine, once the sales contract is signed, that is when the real stress begins. We already lead very stressful and busy lives living here in NYC, so while not completely controlling the ultimate decision of the board, understanding what lies ahead and preparing various components of the board package in a timely manner will prevent a number of potentially costly and devastating delays. For more information…
Check out Pre-Qualificaiton Letters v. Pre-Approval Letters