New York City Real Estate Sales & Rentals

Seller’s Guide

 

INTRODUCTION

With each neighborhood having its own distinctive flavor, let your Spire agent know what’s important to you – being close to a park or work, nightlife, galleries, etc. so we can find your new home in the area you love most. Additionally, we need to know your budget, size of apt, type of building and any amenities that are important to you so we can match you with the best apartments that are on the market when we go out.

Our highly seasoned rental agents are available to show you homes in every area, from Soho to the Upper East Side, to Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.

At Spire, we listen carefully to your needs, review the options and then show you the best of what’s out there. As time is always of the essence in this high-demand market, we prepare you well and ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss out on a dream opportunity because your paperwork wasn’t right, or because you couldn’t get to the bank in time to access money to secure the apartment.

TIMELINE FOR RENTING

The best time to start looking for a rental apartment (in a rental building vs a co-op or condo) is 4-6 weeks before your desired move-in date. Keep in mind that summer is the most competitive season for apartments with many apartments renting the same day they come on the market so being prepared with all of your paperwork and having all decision makers on the appointment are key in getting the apartment you love.

BUILDING TYPES

Building ownership is classified into three categories: rentals, condominiums and co-operatives. Each has different tenant requirements, approval processes and timeframes for approval. It is important for you to know the differences between the three as it would affect the parameters and timing of your ability to move in.

Rental Buildings The landlord owns the entire building. Tenants are typically required to earn approximately 40-50 times the monthly rent in guaranteed income. Liquid assets are taken into account. A pattern of bonuses in the past years, if verifiable, may be helpful. If you do not qualify according to this formula, some landlords may accept a guarantor to co-sign your lease. The approval process can take 1-7 days based on the landlord’s review of your financials. If you meet the landlord’s qualifications, payment of one month’s rent and a refundable one month’s security deposit is standard.

Condominiums (Condo’s) Apartments are owned by individuals for residential and/or investment purposes. Within condo guidelines, owners are free to establish terms such as rent and length of lease. The approval process can take 10-30 days based on a credit check and individual owner’s requirements. Expect application fees and move-in fees. Security deposit may exceed one month’s rent.

Cooperatives (Co-op’s) Buildings are structured as a corporation. Rather than owning an apartment outright, individuals own shares according to the size and value of their unit. There are many restrictions on the rentals of co-ops regarding length of lease, roommates, etc. The approval process can take 30-45 days. Prospective tenants must submit extensive personal and financial information, and interview with the Co-op board. Expect large application fees and move-in fees ($150+). Security deposit may exceed one month’s rent. Co-ops can often be problematic for international clients or new hires without an established credit history.

Cooperative (and some Condo) Board Processing A co-op is made up of the individual shareholders (those we usually think of as the apartment owners). The co-op board establishes rules and standards for the building and consists of shareholder/residents who volunteer to help screen prospective tenants and review board packages. Your application and lease package will need to be approved by both the coop board and the building management representatives.

Qualifying A co-op board will need clear cut, specific proof of a prospective tenant’s assets and liabilities. Most tenants are required to earn approximately 40-50 times the monthly rent in guaranteed income. Liquid assets are taken into account. A pattern of bonuses in the past years, if verifiable, may be helpful. If you do not qualify according to this formula, some co-ops may accept a guarantor to co-sign your lease.

Processing Fees Co-ops and condos have processing and move in fee requirements, which can range from a couple of hundred dollars and up. There is usually a refundable move-in deposit used to cover damages, if any, which occur during move-in.

Board Approvals Co-ops are elusive about a specific time period for approval. It can take just a few days to a month or longer, and includes a review of your financials by management and the co-op board as well as a board interview. You should plan on waiting the maximum time suggested by the management and board. The time period begins when all documents required are fully executed, submitted and completed to their satisfaction. If you omit requested information, this will only delay your approval process. Do not book movers until you are approved.

WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR APPOINTMENTS / LANDLORD REQUIREMENTS

Items Required From Every Tenant

  1. Completed and signed application
  2. $50-$100 per tenant for credit check (cash or check payable to Spire, Inc. or landlord, non-refundable)
  3. Employment letter/offer letter on company letterhead, signed by manager or supervisor stating:
    1. Annual salary
    2. Position/title
    3. Length of employment (start date)
    4. Guaranteed bonuses (if any)
  4. Your two most recent pay stubs
  5. Your two most recent bank or brokerage statements

Items Required From Every Guarantor

  1. Completed and signed application
  2. $50-$100 per guarantor for credit check (cash or check payable to Spire, Inc. or landlord, non-refundable
  3. Verification of income (typically one of the below is sufficient):
    1. Tax returns from last two years (front page and signature page only)
    2. Letter from your CPA (accountant) verifying past years’ income and projected current year
    3. Employment letter/offer letter on company letterhead, signed by manager or supervisor stating:
      1. Annual salary
      2. Position/title
      3. Length of employment (start date)
      4. Guaranteed bonuses (if any)

Items Required At Lease Signing

  1. Certified Check, Bank Check, or Money Order as payment for 1st month’s rent and 1 month security deposit payable to landlord.
  2. Certified Check, Bank Check, or Money Order as payment for brokers’ fee payable to Spire Group.

 

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