It was with a great deal of satisfaction that I approached the Empire State Building for the closing of a two bedroom co-op we had sold for an associate broker in our office.
Our buyers had missed our Sunday afternoon open house but had noticed one of our flyers on a light pole in Coney Island on Sunday evening. They called and arranged a private showing the following weekend. They were happy with the 2 bedroom co-op and made a fair offer which the out of town seller immediately accepted. Within a week on so contracts were signed (August 2008). Little did we realize the odyssey that would follow.
Next steps was to fill out a pre-application form which is basically stating your income, expected downpayment, savings declaration and employment history. This single page document is completed and forwarded to the Board president without any documentation to support the financials etc. If acceptable, the management company would forward the full buyers package that requires supporting documentation plus references. My buyers were foreign born so I needed to complete the pre-application for them. This took 2 weekends but we finally got it in. It took 10 weeks to get an approval from the Board president, so in effect now they needed to obtain the actual documentation (pay stubs, tax returns, references, bank statements etc.) In the interim, they obtained a mortgage commitment so we needed to let the appraisers in to take photos etc and wait to get an appointment before the board. It was now November 2008 with no closing date in sight.
My clients got notified in December that their application was approved and were to meet before the board of directors. The first board meeting was cancelled without notifying them so that further delayed the process. They were immediately approved by the board in early January. Unfortunately their mortgage commitment had expired and we were at square one again. So now another round of documentation, phone calls to loan officers and underwriters and a new appraisal. It wasn't until May 2009 that all the underwriting documents were obtained except one. The closing was set for June 2 but the co-ops insurance policy expired on June 1 so without proof of renewal no final bank ok. Fortunately our broker made some calls to the insurance company and banks and he got things straightened out.
Kudos to our broker for saving the day and credit to the listing agent for keeping the seller in the loop.
Funny facts to consider:
We have a co-worker who also sold a co-op apartment in the same development and he is in month 13 without a closing date in sight!!!
None of the people intimately involved on the buyer side used English as their primary language. It took some extra time to communicate with the lawyers, paralegals, loan officer and buyers but my experience working in Asia in the past certainly helped a lot.
Keeping you posted...
David and Bonnie