The process can be distilled pretty much as follows:
- Contact the owner of the apartment you’re interested in or the owner’s real estate agent.
- Visit the apartment and check it out carefully.
- Ask questions about the apartment and the co-op and determine whether the co-op community would be a good fit.
- If you decide to buy the apartment, make an offer to the owner.
- If the owner accepts your offer, then you can start making formal arrangements to purchase.
- Get a real estate lawyer to handle all the paperwork and protect your interests (highly recommended).
- Shop for and apply for a mortgage with a financial institution.
- Fill out the application material, which includes a copy of the Proprietary Lease. (This material will be forwarded to you by the owner from the co-op.)
- Once all the paperwork is ready, including the mortgage commitment letter from the financial institution, submit it to the co-op’s managing agent.
- The co-op Board will review the application material and invite you for an interview.
- The co-op Board decides whether to approve the sale.
- If the co-op Board approves, then the closing can be scheduled.
- After you close, the shares in the co-op corporation are yours and you can move in.
For more information, see the Cocoran Group’s Buyer’s Guide and Timeline for Purchasing. Read also The Purchasing Journey: An Overview of the Home Buying Process, an article in The Cooperator.