Benefits Of A Good Real Estate Broker

The best foot forward is to use a knowledgeable real estate broker, experienced both in the area and the product (coop, or condo, or home) you wish to purchase or sell. Attempting to sell your own apartment on your own may save you a commission, but will add hours of work, and a good broker may be able to give you a more realistic view of the comparable units on the market for sale in your area. Retaining an experienced and knowledgeable broker may provide you with a quicker sale on a competitive basis and allow you to remain as the background buyer or seller, thus having an opportunity to have the last word.

The Contract: Once you have come to the conclusion you wish to sell or buy this property and the price has been agreed upon, then you shall need to have a good real estate lawyer represent you. The seller's attorney prepares the initial contract. Upon delivery of the initial contract to the buyer's attorney, the buyer's attorney will review the contract, do whatever due diligence may be required, add or delete or modify clauses to protect the buyer's interests, including any special provisions should a mortgage be required for the buyer to close, and the nature of the mortgage (conventional institutional, FHA, VA, or other, and review whatever other conditions are required to protect the purchaser. The seller's attorney will review the changes and if acceptable, buyer's attorney will provide a copy to the buyer, and if acceptable, have the buyer sign the contract and make the down payment deposit (to be held in escrow pending closing) which is usually 10% of the price (this can vary upon each deal and on the nature of the mortgage financing). The contract must then be sent to seller's attorney, countersigned by the seller, the deposit paid into escrow.

The Mortgage Process: Purchaser may require obtaining a mortgage (this depends on the contract terms) and apply for a mortgage commitment within a specified period of time from the date of the contract. Should the seller, acting in good faith, and in accordance with the contract terms, be unable to obtain such a mortgage on terms set forth in the contract, seller upon notice to purchaser (through their attorneys) may have the right to cancel the contract and obtain the refund of his/her contract deposit. Sometimes, the purchaser may make an application for the mortgage directly with his/her bank or may use the services of a mortgage broker.

Board Approval: In a cooperative, the sale is in addition subject to the approval of the Cooperative Corporation's Board of Directors. Generally the broker will assist the buyer in putting together the Board Approval Package, which is detailed in an application prepared by the board or its managing agent, and generally includes both the contract, the mortgage commitment (coop loan commitment), financial data for the buyer and letters of reference and such other documents the board has set forth. The board may accept or reject the buyer in its sole discretion, except on certain grounds of prejudice. The buyer usually is required to meet the board at an interview. If the board accepts the buyer, the transaction will then move forward. If the board rejects the buyer, the deal will not close and the buyer will be entitled to the return of his/her deposit.

Further steps include a "walk though" of the apartment prior to closing to assure the premises are in the proper condition as per the contract. There after a full-fledged closing will occur at which time the buyer, seller, their respective attorneys, the bank lending and the bank being paid off or their representatives, the brokers, and the managing agent shall be present, all financial matters will then be adjusted, and the closing expenses due from each party collected and the balance of the purchase price paid.'