Ask an Expert

Can I review my buyer's application before it goes to the co-op board?

  • You can, if the buyer agrees. But our experts don’t recommend that a seller review a board package
  • A seller’s agent commonly reviews the buyer’s documentation before it goes to the board
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By Celia Young  |
July 1, 2024 - 10:30AM
Red brick Residential buildings in New York City

Usually, a seller's broker will review the application, but not the seller themselves. 


Can a seller review a buyer's co-op application before it's submitted to the board? I want to make sure it looks okay and personally advocate for my buyer to the board if there are any issues.

Typically, a seller does not review their buyer's co-op application. That job falls to the seller's and buyer's brokers, our experts say. 

Purchasers aren’t required to show the seller of an apartment the board package, unless the seller negotiates that right into the sales contract. There’s one big reason a buyer might not want the seller to check out their package: privacy, said Deanna Kory, a broker at Corcoran.

“Usually, most buyers do not want the sellers to see everything that they’ve presented,” Kory said. 

There are also compelling reasons for sellers not to look at the application—and that includes the cover letter and recommendation letters—even if the buyer agrees to it. 

"The seller should consider the downsides to reviewing the application: If the buyer’s identity gets stolen, the seller will be a suspect. Why would the seller want to see the recommendation letters? If the application is denied, questions would arise as to whether the seller interfered with the people who wrote the letters," said Kevin McConnell, of counsel at the law firm Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben & Joseph.

Most experienced with board packages

In most cases, the seller is not the most qualified person to review the application—their broker is. Hiring a seasoned broker—ideally one who has experience with your building as well as with reviewing co-op packages—is the best way to make sure your buyer will be approved. 

"A good agent has a lot of experience in compiling and presenting board applications, can understand where the issues lie, and has the skill and the knowledge to answer any potential questions in the application itself in advance of submission of the application," Kory said. 

A good seller’s agent will also ensure that the board package is in line with what the buyer originally offered, said Craig Roth, a broker at NextStopNY Real Estate.

A seller may see some sections of a board package that they need to sign, but not every document, said Laura Cook, an agent at Keller Williams NYC. If something in the package looks off, the seller’s agent will request that the buyer’s agent make changes.

“If they do a lot of deals in the building and want to see something a certain way, we can accommodate and tweak it to make sure it's exactly how they want it to be,” Cook said.

A previous version of this story contained writing and reporting by Alanna Schubach.

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Celia Young Headshot

Celia Young

Senior Writer

Celia Young is a senior writer at Brick Underground where she covers New York City residential real estate. She graduated from Brandeis University and previously covered local business at the Milwaukee Business Journal, entertainment at Madison Magazine, and commercial real estate at Commercial Observer. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

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