The Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (HGAR) and OneKey® MLS recently hosted a virtual panel featuring real estate experts who discussed New York’s cooperative building sector. The panel, titled, “Comprehending New York’s Co-ops,” was designed to share information for agents to better understand the rules and how boards of directors operate, and to help prospective buyers navigate the application and approval processes.
“What we all have to focus on, and I’ve lived in co-ops for about 40 years, is everybody who is a shareholder in a co-op wants to maintain or increase the value of the co-op. The whole (purchase) process needs to be updated and streamlined if co-ops are going to maintain their value. If we don’t do it, the politicians are going to step in,” said Richard Haggerty, CEO of OneKey® MLS.
“Comprehending New York’s Co-ops” featured Jim Brune, CEO of online platform BoardPackager; Rob Frankel, managing partner of Cohen and Frankel, LLP, a New York City law firm specializing in residential and commercial real estate; and Cathy Taub, senior global real estate advisor and associate broker at Sotheby’s International Realty. The July 27 event was moderated by Brian D. Tormey, NTP, president of TitleVest, a leading NYC-based provider of title insurance and related real estate services.
The panel discussed issues such as board response times and S2964A, legislation proposed for New York City that would require a co-op board to approve or reject an applicant within 45 days and disclose the reason for a rejection.
“Everyone has got to step up to the plate and recognize that co-op boards do have a place in this process, but it’s a limited place and it’s got to be structured so everybody understands the bottom line is maintaining the value of the co-op and making sure the co-op functions effectively and efficiently,” said Haggerty.
Some highlights from the panel:
Taub: “Co-ops can be as invasive as they want, so long as they’re not violating federal, state or city laws,” said Taub. “The process is cumbersome and time-consuming, so it’s really very helpful to have an experienced agent at the helm. Every single number, particularly with the financial documentation – assets, liabilities, net worth – needs to be verified. The application also requires submission of tax returns and references … then it is vetted by the transfer agent before it even gets to the board.
Frankel: “A co-op is an apartment corporation, so it is a private corporation. The board of the co-op has to abide by federal civil rights laws – they can’t decide an application based on race, religion, color of skin, sex (and sexual orientation), age, disability or national origin. All other factors are basically OK. In fact, co-ops have been able to price protect their units and turn down an applicant based on the price of the contract (the seller’s price) – that’s legal.”
Brune: “BoardPackager, because we do have buildings in those counties, has that timer built within our platform,” Brune said. “Upon receipt of an application, the transfer agent has 10 days to respond in writing to the applicant regarding what is required to render the application complete. Once the completed application is received by the board, the board then has 45 days to respond with a decision; if the board fails to meet that deadline, the application is considered approved.”
Watch the webinar at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuZWdLzMJQ4&ab_channel=HudsonGatewayAssociationofRealtors.