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Selling New York S4E9: Market Fresh

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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: 12/15/2011.

Ooohwee, there's nothing like a brand-new building for a broker to bite into! The desired taste? A little cha followed by a lot of ching (fact: cha isn't as delicious as ching). If you've been desperate to be enveloped in developments, then last night's Selling New York will blanket your square-footage-seeking soul. A Tribeca tally-up tale is told when a developer seeks guidance from his brokers on how to price the rental units in his prized project. Then, a group of agents is charged with staging a still-under-construction Chelsea condo building into an open-house ready hotspot. Will tempers get wild or will everyone just be really reasonable and mild? Discover the deep, dark secrets of developmental delays and dire dollar designations in today's DUM DUM DUM...dramatic recap.

CORE prez Shaun Osher and CORE agent Doron Zwickel are doing a walk through developer's Francis Moezinia's latest loft conversion at 83 Franklin in Tribeca. The pre-war building is almost done being divvied up into eleven luxe rentals?each one around 2,000 square feet and loaded with high-end furnishings as well as access to the building's amenities.

Care for a 700-square-foot terrace?

Don't mind if I do! Francis says he remodeled the building "as if he were building it for myself" AKA "well, aren't I tasteful!"

Sure, the skylight is nice...

But I'm not seeing any built-in nacho bars.

Anynachosaremylifeways, Franciepants needs CORE's help to determine how many dollars a month he can get for the rentals. Shaun explains pricing "is more of an art than a science" and sends Doron out on a worldwide (if the world = a few Tribeca blocks) tour of comparable rentals to feel out market capability.

Doron embarks on his exploration at 6 Murray to size up this $6,000/month loft sporting 1,700 square feet:

Yael Dunsky?the pad's broker?reveals to Doron that this unit was recently rented and that she didn't have to lower the price one penny.

Perhaps this positive news is the result of a secret "I hope this unit went for asking price" wish Doron made moments before on the magically-timed oven clock?

The mystical art of pricing continues when Doron world-tours around the corner to 45 White Street. There, brokerNeil Nerich shows this $11k/month giant duplex loft:

After seeing this 2,700 square foot fiefdom, Doron feels confident with coming up with a pricing structure. Then, ShaunDo (agent hybrid alert!) catch up with Francis at 83 Franklin to share their artistic findings. Shaun exclaims that with pricing, it's the brokers job to "be the voice of reason" since "the owner of the building thinks their building is always the best."

Shaun asks Francis to release one unit at $8,500/month, which surprises Francis. He wants closer to $9,000. Doron explains he looked at a bunch of other somewhat comparable places and thinks $8500 is a good place to start. Hey...isn't $8,500 the average of the featured Place #1 ($6000) and Place 2 ($11,000)? Phooey "the art of pricing"...smells like solid science to me!

Francis relents to $8,500 when ShaunDo tell him that it's better to start lower and gauge the market. If there's interest at that price, they can always pump up the monthly lump sums on the other units.

Finally, it's time for the soft launch party and to take a look at a finished unit:

The party was a success as the update informs that a month later nine of the units were rented?all above the original price. And as of now, 83 Franklin has a blinking no vacancy sign. Tribeca, you so fancy!


Warburg agent Jocelyn Turk is meeting with a trio of developers from Broad Mill to discuss marketing plans for 159 West 24th Street?The Carriage House. Seems that their lender lawsuits have been cleared up, and now it's time to hit the sell button on this former parking garage!

The developers want Joc to throw a kickin' open house where peeps actually want to stay. Paying homage to the garage, Broad Mill created an eight-car indoor lot that stashes four of the cars underground. Press the magic mechanical lift lever and zap your ride up!

Though not every vehicle likes to be hidden:

The developers say "the garage needs to be a focal point" to the "coming out party", so Joc suggests stocking it with sophisticated wheels. Joc also says she'll form a team to tackle staging the second floor. The time frame? Une semaine! ¡Una Semana! 1 week! Joc is feeling the pressure to furnish the footage and raise the roof. Like that Eminem song even my mom's heard of (no she hasn't), she's only got one shot. Game. On!

Next, Joc assembles her Warburgtastic team comprised of fellow agents Joél Moss and Herbert Chou. Joél's the brains behind the decor and Herb's got the hook-up to haute connections. At San Rocco Restaurant, they discuss strategy while maintaining 2 out of 3 team member smiles:

So jovial! Herb's going to market Chelsea as "the center of Manhattan" and Joél's going to make the space look buyable. Go team JoHeJo! JoHeJo journeys to Carriage House to see the still-under-construction property.

Ruh-roh! Is there time to turn this (hardly a) mess into a masterpiece?

Looks like JoHeJo's got a couple screws loose in their party planning:

Next JoJo go to an antique store to scoop up stuff for staging. There, they check in on Herb, who's burnin' up the phone lines with invites to movers and shakers.

Herb's land line looks like a phone version of KITT from Knight Rider, ryeeet? Also lovin' his old-school pencil eraser tops:

Can Herb star in his own series, Knight Broker? Thanks in advance TV people for making that happen.

It's pre-party time and JoHeJo gather at Carriage House for some last minute team efforting:

Joél's not that pleased with how the penthouse staging went but takes some deep yoga breaths and lets it go. Let's get to this poppin' party already...and see some makeover magic! And sexy sports cars. So much awaits:

JoHeJo finds the response "overwhelmingly positive" and the developers seem hesitantly hopeful it will translate into $ales.

Champagne + rifling through pocketbook = DRUNK BUYING! (it's like drunk dialing except you booty call the owner with a monetary offer) :

The woman was probs just looking for a mint, but I like to dream big. Was the open house a hit? Um, that's like asking if Team JoHeJo is super sweet and works well together. Turns out that eight weeks after the party, more than two dozen offers came in and five signed contracts! Eminem would be proud.

Episode grade: Hard-working agents brought their A-game, the money came, and the developers weren't insane! These tag team tales earn 4 out of 5 Happy Holiday cackling Kleiers.

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

159 West 24th Street

159 West 24th Street, New York, NY