The Market

Can co-op boards influence sales prices? Start by hiding the rat traps.

By A. Ready  | December 3, 2010 - 7:21AM

Some co-op boards have been known try to prop up property values by rejecting buyers when the price is deemed too low. And some boards permit buyers and sellers to artificially inflate the recorded sales price via givebacks, credits, concessions or allowances.    Over on Habitat Magazine's BoardTalk forum, one Upper Manhattan board member shares his/her building's secret formula for boosting sales prices.  Among the tips said to have resulted in two record sales this year:

  • Hide the rat traps
  • Encourage people to renovate before they sell, including estate units
  • When shareholders are preparing to sell, talk up the building. Suggesting starting their pricing on the high side then backing off if necessary
  • Make your building look as good as possible. Have the city plant sidewalk trees; plant, care for and water your gardens; a fresh coat of paint on the corridor walls and lobby, clean clothed staff; no offensive odors; clean common area glass (windows); no sidewalk or garden trash
  • Reserve & self escrow funds – we currently have about $7,500 per unit and we are finding that is not enough (we have 111 units)
  • Make sure maintenance charges are at a sustainable level – raise your maintenance on a cost of living basis each year so there are no sudden spikes
  • Make sure everything is in repair
  • If your windows are strong enough and your area is safe enough, encourage people to take down those gates

Hiding the rap traps is one thing and tearing down the gates is one thing. Keeping maintenance hikes to a cost of living level is another. Cooper Square Management, which manages over 400 buildings in the city, reported this week that condo common charges will rise by between 4.5 and 6.5% next year, and co-op owners (whose fees include real estate taxes) will see their monthly bill increase by between 5.5 and 7.5%. (Habitat BoardTalk; The Real Deal)

Related posts:

Killing deals to protect property values is risky business

1 in 10 co-op sales inflated to pass the board

Approval, schmoovel! Renovation perks for board members

4 neat ways to use an investigative lawyer in a co-op or condo

How to concierge your doorman


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