I wrote this from the point of view of the seller because of the
phrase, "...we have an accepted offer..." I was under the impression
that you had accepted an offer! My apologies for the
As the buyer, you must consider several things before going with the
assumption that, "The seller is responsible for the CO, permits....."
The sale of real property is an agreement to buy and sell. To the
extent that the cost to sell is too onerous, the seller may simply walk
away from the deal. While attorney's and agents may then advise the
buyer to sue, block future sales, etc. The fact remains that no one
really wants to go through the trouble and expenditures of a lawsuit,
especially in light of the fact that they are probably going to be
looking for another place to live. That being said my previous
opinion on whom to consult still stands with some minor changes:
1) Engineer/Expeditor - While the seller's CO may not include the
second floor, a subsequent amendment may have been filed. Verify that
the seller's CO is the most up to date one on file at the DOB. You
may even choose to research this on your own, on the NYC Dept. Of
Building's website. Look under the heading Building Information
Systems (Google DOB BIS). To the extent that the second floor is not
filed, consult with the engineer on the matter of cost. Is it just a
matter of a drawing? Or will there be physical remediation required
i.e. replacing the subject windows, etc.?
2) Attorney - Will advise you on your legal rights and recourse.
Knowing this gives you a baseline of how hard you can push this
3) Mortgage Specialist - To the extent that you still wish to buy the
property knowing that there are and/or may be deficiencies, you must
verify that the mortgage company/ Bank will still provide the mortgage and
even if they do, at the same interest rate. Properties that do not
have CO's may be required to obtain construction loans, which are
several percentage points higher and at shorter terms.
4) Realtor - The realtor will be able to present you case to the
seller. This is a stressful and unforeseen circumstance, which may
add time and money to the deal. Having a third party negotiate for
you may reduce the stress and personal feelings from this matter.
Ultimately, it may wind up saving the deal.
Kindly keep me apprised. I am very interested in how it works out.
Thank you and best of luck!