Co-op Buying Guide


Thank you for your interest in purchasing a co-op in Westchester, NY. We have created a co-op buying guide to assist you in your search.

Initial Factors to Consider

What area are you looking for?

How many bedrooms and baths do you require?

Is proximity to public transportation important to you?

What are the maintenance fees etc?

What are the financial requirements of the board?

Do you own a pet?

What school district?

Get Your Finances in Order

Before you decide to look for a co-op, you should get your financials in order. It is very important to get a pre-approval from your bank. Further should you be looking at your credit score, credit report, assets & liabilities, verifiable income & debt to income ratio. While a bank’s pre-approval is important, the co-op board will have more qualifications for you as the buyer to buy into a co-op. After you have everything in order, you are ready to look for your perfect co-op.

Making an Offer to the Seller

Once you have found your perfect co-op and you wish to purchase it, you will need to present an offer to the seller. Our agents will assist you in the process. Negotiations will continue until you and the seller reach an agreement.

Terms of an offer include: Price, Down Payment, Contingencies, Personal Property and Closing Date

The Inspection Process

Some co-op buyers will conduct an inspection. Inspections are usually limited to the actual apartment, but sometimes it is possible to inspect other areas of the property such as the boiler room or roof. A few notes:

  • conduct inspections as soon as possible (before or after making an offer)
  • choose an inspector that you feel comfortable with
  • schedule an inspection when you can be present

An Acceptable Offer

An acceptable offer does not exclude other potential buyers from making offer on the co-op. There is still the opportunity for another buyer to make a higher offer under better terms. Buyers are urged to conduct all desired property inspections as quickly as possible and to enter into a fully executed contract, binding buyer and seller legally after all contingencies have been satisfied. An acceptable offer is not binding to either party until the contracts have been signed by both parties and delivered back to the buyer’s attorney.

Contract of Sale

Once the seller has accepted your offer, their attorney will draw up a contract. At this time, the inspections should be complete or coming to a close shortly.

The Process Step by Step:

  1. Your broker will send a memorandum of the accepted offer to the other agent, the seller’s attorney and to your attorney.
  2. With all property inspections being done, the seller’s attorney will prepare the contract of sale and send it to your lawyer.
  3. Your attorney will review the contract with you and then discuss possible modifications with the seller’s attorney.
  4. With finalizing the contract, the buyer will sign and provide a down payment to the seller’s attorney. The seller’s Realtor will further provide the buyer with the following documents: offering plan, financials of the building, budget and purchase application. The purchase application can be obtained from the managing agent or Seller’s Realtor.
  5. The seller will sign the contract and return a fully executed copy to your attorney.

The Board Application & Interview

After both parties have signed the contract, the buyer needs to work on his co-op application and mortgage, if applicable. The co-op application will contain financial questions and other information about the buyer. If the buyer needs a mortgage to purchase the co-op, he or she needs to obtain and submit a commitment letter by the bank to the co-op board. The commitment letter will not be issued until the bank is satisfied with the buyer’s financials, the appraisal of the co-op and the approval of the property itself. To receive the commitment letter all three points need to be met.

Westchester Choice Realty recommends that all buyers to submit their applications to us prior to submitting it to the co-op board. We will review it and discuss any items that need to be changes. Further we will coach the applicant on what to say and not say during a co-op interview. A date for the board interview will be set. After approval from the co-op board, the buyer will schedule the closing date.