A: Purchasing a cooperative apartment involves several different parts and can be somewhat complicated. Working with the right real estate agent can make things clearer.
Most co-ops require a minimum of 20 percent down. Some actually have larger down payment requirements—as much as 33 percent down. Additionally, they might require you to have a certain amount of money left over after you buy as a “cushion.”
You will also have some closing costs, which might include attorney fees, bank application fees, and transfer taxes. I generally tell customers that they will need an additional 2 to 3 percent for co-ops (more for houses and condos). Ask your agent for a more detailed estimate.
Q: I listed my house with an agent because he promised to do open houses on a regular basis. Is this a good idea?
A: I’m often asked about the value of an open house. My philosophy of marketing a property is that no one thing is the answer. You have to use a variety of marketing strategies. Open houses are one aspect of this.
I will do an occasional open house depending on the property, but I don’t recommend a series of open houses. Hopefully, your agent can drive traffic to your home via advertising and multiple listing. Make sure to ask a potential agent about their plan of action in marketing your property.
Be wary of an agent that relies on any one thing too heavily, as a buyer can come from any number of arenas including online or print advertising.
Q. Should I get an appraisal of my home before putting it on the market?
A: Obtaining an appraisal can cost a few hundred dollars. Additionally, appraisers’ pricing of your home can vary dramatically. I would instead recommend getting a CMA from a local real estate expert.
A CMA stands for Comparative Market Analysis. This might include similar homes that have sold, are currently on the market, or have expired from the market without selling. It’s usually done for free by any agent hoping to get you to list with them.
Agents also can give you a clearer picture of what’s going on in the current market.
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