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Selling New York S6E3: Picky Kids and Astrologers

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HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Kleier Residential, 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 Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 12/20/2012.

In this episode, we follow the babe-a-licious Rebecca Edwardson, associate broker at Warburg, as she tries to help Steve and Colleen Savage find an apartment. After nearly 100 showings, the only problem standing between this family and their dream home is - drumroll, please - their son, Noah. Also featured on the episode is Vickey Barron, managing director at Core. She's helping previous client Robert Leighton sell his massive 1BR, and has to contend not only with his a-bit-too-high price point, but the financial advice of his astrologer. God, people in New York are so weird.

The episode begins with Rebecca and The Savages discussing their next real estate plan of attack. They're going to check out apartments on the West Side (nothing past 100th street because Steve says it "gives him nosebleeds") and need to see something that's located close to their son's school. Rebecca points out that the next property they see will be the 90TH APARTMENT SHE HAS SHOWN THEM.

The first pad showcased is a $2.8M 4BR, 3BA, with a terrace *swoon* located at The Boulevard on 86 and Broadway. With a great view, open floor plan, and a ton of windows, by any other standard the apartment is amazing.

Colleen loves it, Steve likes it, but little Noah is feeling kind of meh. But why? Shh, don't bother him he's reading his book.

Perhaps in an act of frustration, desperation, or just plain delirium, the lovely Rebecca takes Colleen and Noah to a property listed way above their price range. Colleen is really liking the 4BR, 4BA marked at $4.435M. In fact, she says she's liked a ton of the apartments they've seen: "I know Steve has very high standards, and Noah – of course – has his standards, and they can be hard to please." Aka I hate my family.

Noah isn't very impressed with the completely fabulous view, and says the bedroom is a little too small for him. Listen, you little twerp, your bedroom is bigger than my entire last NYC apartment, which I had to move out of because it was infested with mice. You're gonna' live in this apartment, and you're gonna' like it!!! Uhh, I mean... whatever you want, Noah. You're a good boy!

Any Twilight Zone fans in the house? Anybody?

Despite the luxuriousness and general awesomeness of the apartment, Noah reminds his mom and Rebecca that it's too expensive, anyway. So now they have this kid running the family finances? Rebecca, who clearly has the patience of a saint, grins and agrees to find them something else.

For the third round (well, our third round, their 93rd), Rebecca decides to try a completely different approach, and sends the Savages listings for apartments that are below their price range. Perhaps they'll be so happy with saving money that they'll be willing to make some concessions on other aspects of the digs. She calls Steve and they set up time to check out a 3BR, 3BA listed at $1.65M on 320 West 76th Street. Just one question: Can the two of them go without Noah?

(Sidebar: Does anybody else think that the dad and Noah are in cahoots, and he's purposely telling his son to hate on every apartment just so he gets more face time with Rebecca?)

Although it's on the low end of their budget, Steve is really into the apartment. This is the type of floor plan he likes, and while he hasn't cooked in two years (wait, seriously?), the large kitchen area and massive countertop might inspire him to get back into it (clearly trying to impress Rabs with his domestic skills). The only problem is that butt-ugly wallpaper in the master bedroom. You're about to drop $1.65M on an apartment, and that's your major concern? The freakin' wallpaper? With the OK from Steve, they just need Noah to agree. Oh yeah, and that other woman Colleen.

After the rest of the family checks it out, they agree that this is the right place for them. It's a Christmas miracle! Noah even likes the green paint on his future bedroom wall, and says the apartment is muchos buenos. Well, at least we know that private school education is paying off. High-five!

Our next adventure in apartments veers less on the exhausting side, and more on the eccentric. We join Core's Vickey Barron as she tries to help a previous client, Robert Leighton, sell his apartment on 256 West 10th Street. After 35 years in Manhattan, Robert is ready to move out of this city and into a home in Nyack. His current apartment is a 1BR, 1.5BA, which he previously renovated from a 3BR when he first moved in. The result is a massive open space, which is kind of cool, but at the same time it's like eh, let's put some walls up in here.

The well-decorated space is filled with kitschy artwork and antique furniture. In fact, his wooden doors are from "some palace in the south of India" aka Ikea.

Robert works with an astrologer who says he must sign the contract with Vickey within the window of 12:35pm - 12:45pm in order to get the proper energy around the deal. Hmm, I cannot imagine why this man is still single. Because of all the work he's put into the place, his asking price is listed a bit high at $2.825M. Vickey, who might be the coolest and most straightforward broker I've seen featured on this show, knows that without some swift and proactive solutions the apartment won't sell at that price point.

Vickey decides to host a party at Robert's crib, and invites all of her single clients to come over for some boozing and cruising (for apartments... and tail).

Judging by the turnout, the party is a success! But if it doesn't end in an apartment sale then it's all for naught. Of course, Robert is there to help along in the process. And by "help" I mean "hit on potential buyers."

"Yeah, I'm moving to Nyack. It's pretty cool."

Post-party, Richard invites Vickey to his new studio space in Chelsea for which he's signed a lease. I have no clue what the man does, but apparently it's lucrative enough for him to own an apartment, a home in Nyack, and now pay a monthly rent for his "new audio business." Sounds like a made-up profession, but at least he can fit his awesome antique doors from India in the office!

Vickey shares the good news with Richard that they've received two strong bids on his previous property, one of which includes a $2.6M all-cash offer. Richard says that he doesn't need an astrologer to tell him what to do in this situation, and he accepts the $2.6M of straight cheddar. Well, thank God for that.

A family who refuses to make any major apartment decisions without the approval of their small child? A grown man who refuses to make any major financial decisions without the approval of his astrologer? This stuff basically writes itself. We give it 3 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.

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