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Hey there, Carol-Anne

Diary of a real estate rookie

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SCENE: A big conference table at which everybody is mad. This is a long-sought-after closing, and it has been a bear. First, let me give you some background: buying and selling a Manhattan apartment isn't like buying and selling a house. In addition to the buyer, the seller and the lender, there's another party -- the other people who live in the apartment building, who collectively form a corporation to represent their interests. In addition to showing up with a loan, a Manhattan co-op buyer has to satisfy the requirements of that corporation -- generally by submitting an application package to a board of its representatives, and jumping through some hoops specified by the managing agent hired by the corporation to run the building. So let's picture a big conference room, with a big table. We were scheduled to close at 2 p.m., but it is mid-afternoon now; the bank is running late. Tempers are, to put it mildly, high. It is as though the half-a-dozen experienced real es...