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Selling New York S4E1: Massaging The Message

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HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Gumley Haft Kleier and Warburg as they try to sell fabulous properties fabulously. Here's our recap of how the NYC real estate industry is portrayed to the world, penned by Molly Reisner. Episode air date: 10/13/2011.

Greetings, Selling New York recap readers! Let us rejoice, for we have a brand-nouveau season of SNY to DVR! Last night's kick-off was all about the hands-on approach brokers use to hook a sale. First, a broker whose nickname rhymes with Lllama Pear (read on to find out who!) must find a buyer for the enormous Upper East Side exclusive apartment she needs to unload. Will a strategic massage relax the right bank account? Then, another broker's got an exclusive on a pad in his own Midtown condo building. Will his show-em-around-town tactics score a buyer? Will I answer these questions for you, or just keep asking more? Let's sherlock the shenanigans out of this recap most immediately!

It's been a long time since you've seen a new episode, so it's my pleasure to announce that this segment is CFOMB (Chock Full O' Mama Bear). Michele Kleier's in a good place. Raizy Haas, an Extell Development SVP, and Mama are walking to the luxurious Lucida building at 151 E. 85th Street. Mama has an exclusive on unit #12A, priced at (holy frijole!) $7.811 million. It pays to be tight with Extell.

There, Ray-ray introduces Mama to interior designer Felicia Zwebner. The unit is bare and needs some stagin', but will Felicia make Mama have a fit of ragin'?

Mama, no! Don't whip Felicia with your pretty pink scarf!

Phew, she was just taking it off without intent to whip. Ray explains to Mama that she hired Felicia since some people have no vision. Mama quips, "Most people have no vision." Burn to the people! Mama's all "we'll see" about Felicia's ability to showcase her decorating talents. Burn to the Felicia!

Next, the ladies head up to the mutli-million dollar 5BR/5.5BA. At 3,478 square feet, it's nothing less than hugeginormousgantic:

Felicia admits to being hesitant about working with Mama, but thinks they are "on the same page." Mama plans to emphasize the crazy amenities the Lucida has (sauna! pool! gym! playroom! other stuff!) and pitch it as a lifestyle building. She could also pitch it as a baseballer's hangout.

Ray-ray is fine with Mama's ways, as long as there are no parties. "I'm personally quite bored of going to them," she sighs. Um, it's not the parties that are boring. It's the, shhh,...people. Yay, I burned too!

What time is it? Open house time! Has Felicia transformed the place to Mama's liking?

She did! Except what's up with this giant sea urchin in the bedroom:

At the open house, Mama and her cub kin Samantha and Sabrina hold a raffle for all the buyers and brokers there. The winners get to use the Lucida's amenities for the day. Ray likes the idea, and will be "shocked and disappointed" if Mama doesn't snag a buyer.

The Kleier family convenes under the apartment's jellyfish chandelier to pick 3 winners from the raffle vase. Ian, watch out! Your eye's about to get stung!:

Later, Mama, Sab and Sam escort the raffle winners to their Lucida lifestyle experience. Care for a blast o' amenity?

One of the raffle winners, broker Barbara Fox, has an epiphany during the elliptical workout. The apartment is perfect for one of her clients! How convenient! Buyer Marissa Katz checks it out, loving that her kid's school is a view out the window.

The school has a gerbil cage playground:

Mama calls Ray about the potential good news but...

Marissa's offer fell through...but!

The update informs that Mama sold the apartment to someone else for $7.3 million. Which means another exclusive from her BFF, Extell.


CORE broker Tom Postilio doesn't have far to go to show his latest exclusive at 100 West 58th Street. Because it's in his own building! Tom and Mike Fischer, Windsor Park's board president, have a post-lunch chat while walking home. Mike's all "Windsor Park is undervalued" and Tom's like "Totes, I'm gonna change the perception, man."

Tom prices this underwhelming 2BR/2BA abode at $1.249 million:

Nothing spesh, right? Mike's worried because other 2 bedrooms in the building have sold for under a mill and he doesn't want the unit sitting empty all sad and depressed eating ice cream on the couch. Tom's confident that "a new day is dawning" for the Windsor and assures Mike he'll sell it for more.

If not, he promises to eat this squiggly plant:

Next, a bushel of buyers parade through the apartment thoroughly unimpressed:

The lack of sunlight, touristy feeling of the nabe and no great views leave everyone kvetching at the poor value. It looks the opposite of the building's tricked out penthouse.

Chipper Tom decides to host his "annual" (and by annual, I mean once, for TV) party at his pad with his partner Mickey.

The lime green bow-tied Mickey really needs to be cast on Glee. He's a grown-up Blaine!

At the party, Tom's broker friends advise him over martinis to give his clients the "Tom Postilio" tour of the 'hood to show them that yes, people can and do live in his neck of the woods. Like he couldn't think of the idea on his own.

Anymanufacturedstorylineways, Tom takes a series of clients around town, showing them all the special places he cherishes. The Oak Room! Carnegie Hall! Lee's Art Shop! "I refer to Central Park as my backyard," he tells a pair of ladies. Tom cranks the charm to uber-oozing.

That said, I'd gladly tolerate a Tom tour if he buys me one of these Petrossian cookies:

Finally, Tom's chilling with his board buddy Mike because...Tom's joined the Windsor Park board! At the board meeting, Mike shares the news that Tom sold the apartment for $1.2 million. Everyone is stoked because that means their apartment values have risen about 20 percent. The conclusion reveals that Tom's success has bagged him another exclusive within the building. Pimp that Windsor Park, Tom!

Episode grade: Two deals but who are the buyers? This unresolved matter leaves my inner Sherlock with more questions and leaves this episode with 3.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers!

· Selling New York [HGTV]
· Selling New York coverage [Curbed]