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Selling New York S5E2: Selling The Six-Month-Old Listing

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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: 2/2/2012

According to last night's Selling New York, six-month-old listings are knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door, and not in a good way. BECAUSE THEY'RE ABOUT TO KEEL OVER, PEOPLE! But not before some quick-thinking agents try to put some buzz back into their butterfly bathrooms.

An agent saddled with a costly, aging Midtown listing tries to convince the owners to revamp and reduce the price. Then, a broker enlists the help of a PR pro to market her old news Financial District listing to a wider audience. Will these over the hill homes get some love or languish in listing limbo? Find out their fates in this do or die recap!

CORE's show tuniest broker Tom Postilio is singin' the blues. Why? Because he's been trying to sell the triplex penthouse at 135 West 58th Street for some time and no takers. Hoping to lure a buyer (but probably just trying to prove his point that the price is too high), he takes potential buyer (and, ahem, undercover agent) Kleo Phili on a tour of the $3.495 million decorating challenged abode. (Ed. Note: Kleo Phili would like us to note that she was not a real estate agent at the time the episode was filmed.)

Shall we?

Kleo admits she's "having trouble getting past the color and artwork" in the pad, and says the price would need to be lowered and the apartment emptied for her to consider it.

I guess "sad, scared pony table" isn't her style:

Tom jets to meet the owners, Chuck and his artist wife Pearl Mintzer, at Ember Room for some straight talk over salads. He gently asks them to clean out the apartment for a staging, though Pearl thinks that will be too much of a pain.

Pearl's hair turns red when she's alarmed:

Then Tom drops the big bomb and requests the Mintzers to shave off a cool million from the asking price. "I'm not happy about that at all," says Pearl. She thinks the place is fairly priced for the nabe, thought Tom counters with "the market dictates the price." Burn! To back up with evidence, Tom takes the duo to a comparable listing at...

425 West 53rd Street aka The Dillon. The $3.43 million penthouse is gorgeously staged and mercifully free of clashing colors:

The Mintzers concede that the newer penthouse feels more spacious and can see why buyers would see the value in this 5 bedroom over their more cramped 3 bedroom. The result? PRICECHOP! P.S. We've been all over the reductions from the beginning.

With the go-ahead to re-list the unit at $2.5 million, Tom gets on the horn at a dramatic angle to share the news with previously interested buyers:

Oooh, it looks like a nice, older lady named Marie Ann Mordeno wants to see the property again now that the price is lowered! Tom takes Marie for a second look and she's feeling it. She's also feeling the furniture AND the art. So much so that she wants to put in an offer for the whole shebang.

Yes, even this armless Cleopatra piece has struck Marie's fancy:

Score one for Pearl!

Finally, Tom meets up with the Mintzers at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market to check out the wares and chat about cha-cha-ching:

Marie's offer of $2.3 million in all cash is too low for Chuck and Pearl, but they're stoked by the ALL CASH part. And Pearl feels justified in her non-staging stance now that Marie wants all her goods. Everyone is a winner when, as the update informs, Tom negotiated the home + decor for $2.4 million.


Warburg broker Deb Lupard has just inherited a listing at 55 Liberty in the Financial District. Which just happens to be where she had her very first listing in NYC. I smell a personal challenge!

Deb brings PR pal Robin Dolch to the $3.395 million manse for a tour and to pow-wow about how to create some pizazz-worthy press.

Feast your peepers:

The owners really like, um, original wallpaper:

The maintenance is a not-so-paltry $8k a month, but Deb's all "we need to find someone who'll focus on the price of the apartment" and not the staggering monthly upkeep. Robin suggests having a SUPER WOW open house and is going to try to get the Daily News to do an exclusive article on the property.

Next, the gals lunch at Suteishi and brainstorm about the party. Robin comes up with "a taste of FiDi" as the event theme and they immediately secure free party food from the Suteishi manager. Shake your PR thang, ladies!

Let's go around the FiDi and see what free food Deb and Robin can magic up:

Everyone is so agreeable to free exposure!

Maybe if I go into La Maison du Chocolat and offer to twitter/facebook about my event (me eating mint creams on the couch), they'll give me chocolates to expose (to my mouth)?

Le yum.

It's time for the FiDi food district to shine at the open house! Deb takes Daily News reporter Jason Sheftell on a whirlwind tour through the feeding frenzy:

Post-party, Robin brings in a hot off the presses paper to Deb at Rita Hazan Salon where they proceed to read the article whilst enjoying pedis.

Deb's real estate abilities and the unit get rave reviews in a 1 1/2 page spread:

"When stories get told, buildings get sold!" Robin enthuses.

Or not. As the update explains, there's an offer Deb's working on with the owner, but in the meantime another client is renting the space. And it looks like it's still on the market with a price snip at $3.145 million. Someone save this apartment from a listless listing!

Episode Grade: Palatial pads, a chocolate moment and a happy ending with Pearl's personal style make this episode worth 4 out of 5 cackling for cocoa Kleiers.

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

The Dillon

425 West 53rd Street, New York, NY