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Selling New York: All the Apartment's a Stage

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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: 8/11/2011.

Are you in the market to market your apartment? Look no further than last night's Selling New York, a primer on how to pimp out your pad for your croissant-munching (AM shift)/shrimp-dipping (PM "party" people) open house public! In the first Stage-O-Rama segment, the never tired Kleier family works the Boca Raton luxury condo circuit with their heat-seeking NYC connections. Then, a pair of hands-on brokers help a Brooklyn Heights seller turn her slightly lived-in home into a less slightly lived-in home for an (yawn) open house.

Warning: real estate parties and excessive amounts of coral and turquoise "resort wear" chunky jewelry ahead!

Also ahead? This recap!
THERE IS NO CRISIS #1: BROKERS STAND TO MAKE TONSLOADS OF $$ WITH NEW BOCA BUSINESS CONNECTIONS

The show kicks off with Mama Bear having a fancy lunch at The London NYC, which just happens to be one of the properties owned by her luxury-lapping lunchmate, Jamie Telchin (President of LXR). On the menu is a discussion of the party Mama is throwing in NYC to help Jamie find Manahttan buyers for this high-end habitat:

Something tells me this isn't some magical undiscovered section of Brighton Beach. And that something is the address. Welcome to 1000 Ocean in Boca Raton, FL. Where really rich people go to maintain their tans, wear lots of white and have old-people affairs.

While Mama doesn't have a license to sell stuff in FL, she and Jamie worked out a referral deal where she brings him interested buyers and she gets a cut. Of course, this "is totally legal and above board" Mama explains. Like she'd do anything shady?Mama 2 klassy 4 that! Jamie has 18 units left at 1000 Ocean, and because many of the pads have already been sold to New Yorkers, he figures working with a local NYC broker like Mama will help him sell even more. Plus, she has "a personal touch". Mama is all over the opportunity, especially since she considers Boca "the sixth borough" and has been going there forever, as evidenced by this family snap:

Well, hello 1986! What's up crimped hair? I've missed you scrunchie around the wrist.

Later, Jamie and Mama whiz up to the London's penthouse for the big bash. Brokers and prospective buyers mill about as Mama gets peeps interested in flying down there for an on-site shindig. Everyone is wowed by the 1000 Ocean presentation and even wowed-ier about how quickly units are selling. For some reason no one will ever care about, Kelly Rutherford from Gossip Girl was there:

Work those LBDs! Next, Mama and her cubs Sabrina and Samantha wing down to Boca to do this:

My fave part is the champagne drawer in the wardrobe walk-in:

For when you need to get drunk in your closet! p.s. Did you notice Sam is preggers? Mazels!

Mama is stoked for later that night when she and Jamie will host "the party that will end all parties" AKA the apocalypse party. Here's a peek of what right before the end of the world looks like (hint: it's filled with all you can eat shrimp, elaborate ice carvings and Venus Williams! And check out that floorplan porn!)

Venus is apparently maybe designing one of the units at 1000 Ocean. I don't get it, but OK. Is she a giant?

Mama's feeling the pressure to give Jamie some buyers since he's "expecting a lot of big deals". Mama's not too worried, though?a buyer might be in the bag. Plus, if all goes well she's thinking of opening up a Kleier outpost in Boca! But dum, dum, dum...does it go well?

Dear lord, when is this crisis over? Jamie and his wife meet up with the Kleiers in NYC at the Palm Restaurant, a place they frequent so often, this is on the wall:

He tells 'em he got two closings from the Kleier referrals and everyone toasts their new profitable relationship with each other. If you care, seven units were sold?including the penthouse?for around 35 million dazzling dollars.

WHERE IS THE CRISIS #2: BROKERS TEAM UP TO MAKE MINOR ADJUSTMENTS TO BROOKLYN HEIGHTS PAD FOR OPEN HOUSE

Warburg agents Jocelyn Turken and Joél Moss hoof it over to Brooklyn Heights to check out the apartment of seller Andrea Mazur. Andrea's moving to Maryland with her family and needs to sell her pad at 75 Livingston.

A tour of the 1500-square-foot 2BR/2BA abode:

Joc and Jo think the place is gorgeous, but not up to aesthetic snuff for the $1.195 million asking price. "Staging is about making the place look like a canvas" Joc says. Which means the windows need to be windexed, the pile o' papers stashed, and errant toys tucked away.

But Hungry, Hungry Hippo would only make me want to buy the place more!

Joc and Jo instruct Andrea to put her Hippos away and clean up the kid's room by Monday for when the photographer arrives. Also, she has to take down her family photos so the place is "depersonalized." Jo emphasizes that sellers get resistant about stripping their home of its hominess but that it's necessary so the buyer can project their own vision onto the space, AKA not be reminded a million times that you live there. Andrea's a little PO'd?but not really, cuz she's actually friends with Joc. I know you care.

Next, Joc and Jo head over to James Koster's apartment?he's one of the building's co-op board members. He's an architect, so you get a bonus tour of his apartment too!

Why are the brokers making friends with James? I'll tell you! They want all of 75 Livingston's residents to attend Andrea's open house as a marketing strategy to rustle up more clients. James isn't gonna give them the mailing list for the building until he runs it by the co-op board. I think we know how that's going to end up.

It's open house time and Joc and Jo run around cleaning up dishes, arranging flowers and OMG WHAT IS THIS? hiding family photos:

Uh-oh, no one is coming to the open house and it's been 5 minutes! Phew...some people come, including James, who did not provide the brokers with a mailing list BUT sent out a notice on their behalf. How co-oppy! Some open house action:

Soon after, Andrea meets up with the brokers in the park to get some news...she has a (act surprised) offer! They had a second open house (unfilmed, so you are spared), and a buyer put in a bid close to the asking price. Andrea appreciates Joc and Jo's involvement with the staging, especially since she saw some expensive crap-holes in Maryland. "Brokers are not trying hard when they don't make their sellers clean up." she concludes. It's my new mantra. So, did the co-op board approve Andrea's buyer? Hells yeah they did!

Episode grade: We got to vakay in Boca, meet unexciting celebs and be reminded Hungry Hippos exists, which bumps up this drama-rexic episode to 3.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers!

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

75 Livingston St

75 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201