The Co-op Board Letter: Do I Have To?

Q: My husband and I are buying a co-op on the Upper East Side. The co-op board is requesting three to five letters of recommendation from people who know us. Our broker sent us examples of these letters and they are very long and effusive. This seems so false and forced, and I can’t imagine anyone has time to write such letters. Why would a board want so many letters, and do I really need to do it?

A: The co-op board letter is an integral part of the board package, an oddity that is as much of an art as it is a source of misery for buyers. But in the quirky world of New York City real estate, there really is no way around it.

By now, you’ve likely assembled much of the board package, which can run hundreds of pages long and reveal your financial health in intimate detail. The reference letters from friends and associates introduce you to the co-op.

This may seem strange, arcane and a little neurotic, but a co-op is a corporation, and you are buying shares in it. The board wants to find out what kind of shareholder you will be. And so they ask your friends and co-workers to dish.

Ideally, the letters should show the breadth of your character. Include a mix of personal and professional examples from friends, neighbors and colleagues. Your former supervisor wouldn’t be able to add much, if anything, about your spouse. But that’s to be expected. Your friend of 20 years is the one who will have a thing or two to say about your husband. Assuming each of you deliver three or four references, the collection will paint a full picture.

Source link Real Estate

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