Yesterday was a difficult day. It was cool, gray, and damp – again. In addition, we’ve finally sold my mother’s co-op apartment. There was not a lot of ceremony. Unfortunately I was not needed at the actual closing, having signed over the Certificate of Membership last week. It’s unfortunate because I think being present would have helped provide some closure. I would have liked to meet the person who will be living in my mother’s old apartment. It would also have been nice to offer some feedback to the folks at 7500 York.
From the moment my mother died, we worked quickly to vacate the apartment. As it was explained to us, the sale (or marketing) process would not begin until we signed a notice of vacancy, telling them we were done with the unit. Then they would consult the list of folks who were looking for a unit that size – about 38 people I believe, out of hundreds on the building’s waiting list. Staying in the unit didn't make sense; there was no need to continue to make monthly payments to the co-op association.
The “marketing” process – the sale of the unit – did not proceed as I imagined it would. I’m sure it’s all detailed in the contracts my parents signed when they bought into the place in 1999, but now that I reflect on it, it’s a bum deal for the unit’s owners. The management at 7500 bears no financial risk in the marketing or sale of the unit. Up until the closing with the new owner on June 4, the risk of ownership remained with us – despite the fact that we've submitted a notice of vacancy on March 5. We continued to pay the monthly fee. We continued to pay homeowners insurance. But we could not help them sell the unit. We could not speed up the minor repairs, replacement of carpet, painting of walls, etc that were part of the move out/in process. It dragged on for three months, with us paying for the unit – and having no right to use it in any fashion.
Maybe it didn't really “drag” on. It sure felt that way. Perhaps it’s hard to get the work done, or maybe some folks were shown the unit and turned it down, and they had to do multiple showings.
What would make it better? A more satisfactory solution would have permitted us to sell the unit back to the management at 7500. We were done with the unit in early March. It was vacant. We had no further use for it. If we could sell it back, then the management would bear the financial risks involved with the sale.
The sale of the unit feels like the end, or the beginning, depending on how you look at it. It turned out to be a less momentous occasion than imagined.