Last night was another episode of Selling New York, HGTV's reality show shadowing agents from Manhattan brokerages CORE and Gumley Haft Kleier as they try to sell fabulous properties fabulously. Here, our recap of how the NYC real estate industry is portrayed to the world...
This week, Michele Kleier and daughter/underling Samantha ignore the name of the show and venture out to the wilds of Connecticut to check out a pair of weekend homes on behalf of a "very prominent businessman and his wife." Yawn. Back in civilization, CORE's smooth-talking Tom Postilio tries to pull off a double-dip on life partners Sal and Gary, selling their 1BR Tribeca apartment (above) while trying to find them a 2BR to buy.
Notable properties featured: River Lofts, The Link
Deals made: 0!
Client bits of genius: "$1.495 and not a penny less!"?Postilio's client Sal Rizzo on his preferred asking price for his 1,100sf one-bedroom apartment at Tribeca's River Lofts, and his apparent disdain for the fine art of negotiation.
Broker bits of genius: "[Our clients] love the idea that Connecticut is so private, so I think they would like that there's no cell phone service."?Samantha Kleier Forbes
Broker bribery alert: Taking Michele Kleier's advice earlier this season that brokers love to be fed, Sal Rizzo?owner of De Gustibus (the cooking school inside Macy's that we just learned exists)?gets L'Artusi and Dell'anima chef Gabe Thompson to prepare the food for a brokers' open house at his apartment. Just curious: Is there an unwritten broker rule that the better the food, the more overpriced the apartment?
Unintentional Synergy Award: Goes to the editor that paired a shot of the Pearline Soap Factory (most famous buyer: Justin Timberlake) with Postilio's voice-over describing Tribeca as, "one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Lower Manhhatan. A lot of major celebrities walk the streets down there."
Made for TV moment: One of the brokers seen snooping curiously around the River Lofts open house is none other than fellow CORE broker Maggie Kent. Trying to boost attendance, are we? (We know, we're so cynical!)
Time it took to make EV Grieve's head explode (had he been watching): About 10 minutes, at which point Postilio barely dances around admitting he's slumming it when he takes Sal and Gary to check out the above East Village apartment priced at $1.15 million (here's the listing). The walk-up near Avenue D has since sold for $995,000.
Shaun Osher, voice of reason: "Right now we're in a buyers' market, which means that buyers are dictating the terms of the market."
The "Why do we live in New York, again?" moment: Straight from the million-dollar walk-up near Avenue D we're whisked away out to the Kleiers in Connecticut, who are touring a bonkers 14,000-square-foot mansion with a 10-car garage, swimming pool, guesthouse, ballroom (above), ginormous kitchen and 10 acres of land. Price? $3.695 million. Why do we live in New York, again?
The Upper East Side power broker's must-have tool:
Digital is too Downtown.
Happy ending: "Two months later, the Kleiers' client decided to bring the country to the city - buying a larger apartment with a huge outdoor terrace." So take your ballrooms and 10-car garages and acres of lush lawns and shove 'em, Connecticut!
Unhappy ending: After a tightly edited 22 minutes of soul-searching, River Lofts sellers Sal and Gary finally agree not to drop their asking price, but to be "flexible on offers." Hooray! But in January they cut the price by $100,000 anyway. It's still on the market.
Final thought: Our five favorite Tom Postilio quotes: 1) "We have a five fixture bathroom. Five fixture. I love saying that. It sounds very official." 2) When asked how flexible his clients are on price: "Not. Very." 3) "We've got two Juliet balconies. Step out there and do a little Evita." 4) "We have spedini, we have crostini; we've got a lot of nibbling going on." 5) When asked about ceiling height at the River Lofts apartment: "[Sigh] ... [pause] ... Let's guess."
· Selling New York [HGTV]
· Selling New York coverage [Curbed]