Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Less Is More When Going Before A Coop Board, Experts Say

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Making it to the coop board interview is a good sign, but many people make silly mistakes that can cost them the apartment of their dreams. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

You’re purchasing in a coop, you’ve submitted your board package and you finally get called in for your interview. That’s usually a good sign. It means you look good on paper and now the board wants to make sure you are as good in person and will make a good neighbor.

Similar to a job interview, this is your chance to make a good impression and ultimately get the home. So we asked Roberta Axelrod of Time Equities, who is the sponsor member on several boards, for some tips before you go in.

"First thing is you don’t want to be late. You do not want to keep the board waiting. And if the board keeps you waiting because they have an umber of applicants do not show impatience," Axelrod says.

She also says you should dress like you would for a job interview. Also, don’t bring your kids or pets unless you are specifically asked to do so. When it comes to the questions, keep it simple.

"Be careful not to over answer. Answer the questions clearly, not in a yes or no. You are not on a witness stand, but be careful that you don’t give more information than you need to that you might inadvertently cause yourself trouble," Axelrod says.

And even if you are offended by a question, don’t show your frustration or it could count against you.

"The area that the board is most sensitive about is someone who they feel might sue them. So you don’t wanna look like you're combative, you don’t want to reference any litigation," Axelrod says.

And remember, they are interviewing you. She says the biggest mistake buyers make is they grill board members and make them feel like they are in the hot seat. If you can avoid asking questions, that’s best. Find out whatever you need to know from the managing agent ahead of time.

Also, if you’re planning to do work in the home, don’t offer information about that unless asked. The alteration approval procedure is separate from the board approval, so you can deal with the managing agent on that another time. If they do ask, keep your answers simple and assure them you are willing to follow procedures.

Lastly, remember you are a still a perspective buyer. You have not yet been approved so don’t refer to it as “your apartment” and avoid comments like, "When I live here."

So bottom line, less is more and be on your best behavior. You don’t want to blow it at the interview because by that point, you’re already halfway home.

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