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Selling New York S4E5: Sky High Strategies

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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: 11/10/2011.

Holy Heights, you guys! Last night's episode of Selling New York was all about atmospheric apartments with matching sky high price tags. Oh, and all the agents featured were juvenile non-liquents (as in way young and successful, as in under 30 but over 26). First, a baby-faced real estate buck grows some antlers when he tells the owner of a not-selling Lincoln Square apartment that she needs to lower the price or he's dropping the listing. Then, a trio of under-30-year-old brokers band together to help one of their own market his parent's trumped-up condo in Turtle Bay. Will the real estate youth of today elevate their income or languish in listing limbo? Strap on your parachute and hold onto your stomachs as we fling feet-first into this head-spinning recap!

CORE agent Michael Graves is in a tizzy over his client's 1,329-square-foot pad at 10 West End Avenue. He's been showing it for the past six months and no one's plunked down the firm $1.775 million asking price yet. Could it be because of the blinding sunlight or pervasive odor of truffle oil?

The main ish is that the Riverside Center megaproject is being built and will block river views from the 21st-floor windows. Way to obstruct, Riverside Center. So uncool of you. And also, the same pad a few floors up is selling for $100,000 less. So uncool of you to undercut, higher apartment!

Michael hosts yet another showing just to prove the overall negative reaction he must bear:

Anguished with the absence of interest, Michael takes a moment to contemplate his future and his connection to nature on the balcony:

Then, he meets up with owner Rosalind Rodbury to talk some lowering-the-price sense into her. But Ros is resolute. "I cannot drop the price and I don't want to drop the price," she insists. She is not going to let trifling truffle oil spoil her spoils!

Displeased, Michael counters that he'll need to lose the listing if she doesn't drop the price. He's got no time for Miss Stubborntrufflebury.

Like all good ultimatums, this one worked! Sorta. Ros shoots back with a tantalizing offer-matum. If Michael promises to sell her apartment at asking price, he'll get her business for the new place she buys AND commission for that place when she retires and moves out of Manhattan.

Who's going to pass up the exclusive on three commissions? Not Mikey. "I'm gonna dig deep," he says about re-approaching the listing. Will he find gold in the mines of his mind?

Next, Michael takes Ros to a pre-market listing at 300 East 23rd Street's Tempo building in Gramercy. We're quite familiar with ol' Tempo. Ros is hesitant to look at another place when hers isn't sold, but Michael is hoping she'll fall in love with it and want to move quickly on a sale.

Ros' temperature on the Tempo is 98.6 degrees of LOVE IT:

She's digging the $1.885 million digs, but not enough to lower the price because the lady does not waver unless it's in her favor.

Every ambitious youngster has a mentor, and for Michael that's James Bondy boss Shaun Osher. During their sunglassed sidewalk saunter, Shaun advises him to "breathe new life into the listing" and to pretend like he just got it. Sell the neighborhood, kid, not the effed-up view.

Note the matching hands in pocket action?way to mirror your mentor, Mikey!

Michael heeds the advice and rassles up another showing?this time with knowledge about the growing nabe and brochures to hand out:

Shaun was right! When Mikey emphasizes the Riverside Center amenities (3.5 acres of greenspace! A movie theater! Other crap!), he gets smiles instead of frowns:

So much so that... offer comes in! Mikey negotiates the numbers up to $1.7 million, which is still $50,000 less than Ros requires. He gets Ros to meet with him in person to sway her into the deal...

But c'mon! We know Ros by now. She's not going for it. Though Michael does get her to put in an offer of $1.5 million on the Tempo unit so she doesn't miss out on it before it hits the market AKA so he can nail down at least one of the promised commissions.

And hey! The updater shares that Michael scored a second commission from Ros when he sold her apartment for $1.75 million. And Ros scored her Tempo for $1.65 million. Hurrahs for patience, persistence and pocketing that cash!


Meet Warburg's "3 under 30" triumvirate of wrinkle-free agents: David Jacobs, Margaret Wailes, and Jay Glazer.

Dave's trying to unload his parent's condo in the Trump World Tower at 845 U.N. Plaza in Turtle Bay. He brings Mags and Jay along to get some feedback on the 23rd floor property and to help him with pricing. The challenge? His parents sunk a million (!!) bucks into fancy renovations that need to be reflected/recouped in the market price. No wall-creeping carpet in this unit, darn!

A tour of silly hi-tech sound systems and overpriced custom cabinets awaits!

The triad agrees that the price should veer towards $3 million, even if comparable non-reno'd pads are going for $2.4 million.

Oooh, look! A boat view! For people who like to wave at boats, or maybe just space out the window watching them go by:

Now that they've nailed down a price range, the brokers have to figure out a marketing strategy to pump up their Trump. Off they elevate to the 39th floor (in the same building) to look at a comparable unit, priced at $3.39 million:

The brokers bond brains to figure out an alluring hook for an open house...something useful that the youngsters can teach the elders...JACKPOT! They come up with the idea to have a "tech seminar" for their fellow Warburg colleagues to school them on the latest real estate internet tools. But they all seem committed to the idea.

Before the open house party, there's a pit stop at the Central Park Boathouse. Warburg Prez Fred Peters and his wife are being honored for their work with the Neighborhood Coalition For Shelter. Way to give back, Freddie! There, Fred advises the threesome to "get the feet of the brokers who work the neighborhood" into the open house. But aren't they just inviting their co-workers?! Just send an e-mail blast for crying out loud. Maybe there is a need for a tech seminar!

AnyI'vestoppedtryingtomakesenseofthismessways, it's open house time and the hosts are whipping out iPads and teaching the old folks which end is up:

So now that fellow Warburg brokers are aware of Dave's $2.95 million parent's pad, I know you're foaming to know what happened. In a word: Nothing. In five words, courtesy of Dave: "Traffic's strong, but no offers." I'd link to the listing, but it's nowhere to be found...was it even on the market?!

Episode Grade: Points for Ros finally packing her duffels and fleeing the truffles. But annoyance with Dave and broker buds for boring ideas means these aspirers get only 2.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.

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

Trump World Tower

327 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

10 West End Ave

10 West End Ave, New York, NY 10069

Tempo Luxury Condominiums

300 east 23rd street, ,