To writer/editor Norman Schreiber, co-op boards engage in “bloodlust psychodrama.” He is the author of what Schreiber describes as a “fun novel,” Out Of Order, about murders in a co-op. It is available on Amazon.
by Norman Schreiber
Awesome and awful is a bill under consideration by the New York City Council.
The Council, that bastion of reform, hopes to transform the co-op sales process, though the effort faces a hard road.
As recently reported here, the pending bill (Intro 188) obviously views co-op boards of directors as evil and discriminatory. The measure would mandate transparency and accountability via 45-day time limits, explanations for turndowns, retention of documents for five years and board member certification that no discrimination occurred in rejecting a shareholder application.
Intro 188 puts the burden of proof on all co-ops to show that they don’t discriminate, instead of proving a pattern of discrimination in those that actually do so. I’m not sure if the bill could work; more likely, it would change the way in which discrimination is covered up.
Still, Continue reading
Part 1 of 2
It is up to the courts to decide whether a prospective buyer’s claim of discrimination is valid in a $1 million lawsuit.
But the case brought by an African whose application to a seven-member co-op board was rejected highlights the treacherous terrain of anti-discrimination laws.
According to the Real Deal last week, Goldwyn Thandrayen, a native of Mauritius, contended in a complaint amended two weeks ago that the board of 210 E. 36th St. in the Murray Hill neighborhood discriminated against him on the basis of national origin. Continue reading
The headline went like this:
“Can I Buy Your House, Pretty Please?”
In the Wall Street Journal, the article by Joann S. Lublin noted that the housing market has changed in some areas. As the subheading observed:
With inventory tight and prices rising, buyers in competitive markets like Silicon Valley and Seattle are returning to a boom-era tactic: writing heartfelt letters to sellers explaining why they should win the house. Signing with a paw print.
The piece is accurate in pointing out that an emotionally charged letter from a buyer can sway a seller who is considering more than one offer.
Referring to the missives as “pitch letters” or “love letters,” Lublin correctly reported that Continue reading
Real estate agents often are asked where the good schools are or whether a particular school is worthy.
Anyone who answers those questions is in danger of prosecution. That’s because giving schools information is likened to giving neighborhood information.
Under the Fair Housing Act, we’re not allowed to steer buyers toward or away from a “good” or a “bad” neighborhood because doing so amounts to racial discrimination. Among other characteristics, discriminating by race is against the law on not only the federal level, but state and municipal levels as well.
For buyers in search of helpful information about public and private schools, other resources ensure that all is not lost. Continue reading
A recent article in the New York Times went on about the virtues of sending a “love letter” to the owners of properties that sellers would like to purchase.
Such a letter would extol the apartment or house, describe how the prospective buyers are passionate to make it their home and otherwise provide information meant to personalize the potential transaction.
Back when I was selling real estate in Washington, D.C., when that market was white-hot, I’d advise buyers and even help them draft such letters in an effort to best the competition during frequent bidding wars.
That was a mistake then, and it is a mistake now. Actually, it is more than a mistake: Continue reading
During a recent tour of open houses for brokers, two of us who hadn’t known each other found ourselves walking together between the new developments on our schedule.
The other broker, a seemingly competent and professional one I’ll call Carrie, asked me which building I liked best.
When I told her, she agreed that the condos were very nice but that she was concerned about the block, which is more appealing that the one in the photo. Continue reading