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Selling New York S5E11: Doctoring Up A Model Home

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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: 6/21/2012.

Last night's Selling New York was full of pretty faces, places, and apartments in stasis! In the first selling story, a model-turned-broker tries to talk down the price of her model pal's Washington Heights haven. Will she strike a stunning sale? Then, a busy doctor calls on Mama Bear to prescribe the perfect apartment near Mt. Sinai hospital. Will viewing a still-under-construction apartment (see above disaster zone pic) have her reaching for life support? Strap into this recap because we're headed down the real estate runway (or strap into this recap because we're gurneying through a real estate journey, if you prefer a hospital vibe).


Warburg broker Rebecca Edwardson, a former model, is off to Washington Heights to meet with her model buddy, Marie-Claude Hamel. Marie has been trying to sell her 1,600 square foot pristine pre-war pad at 790 Riverside Drive for $925,000. With no takers in sight, Rebecca recommends putting the asking price on a diet.

Marie pops a reaction pose:

Werk it, girl! Marie is not into price-slicing for a few reasons: a) she needs the dough for a move to L.A. and b) she believes "the price is right."

Well, it's not for Rebecca! The ladies strut across the street to see another Warburg comparable property so Rebecca can get an "opinion-based conversation" AKA Knock Knock? Who's There? The Reality of Prices in Washington Heights, That's Who.

Brokers Joel Moss and Jocelyn Turken give a tour of this 1,711 square foot unit priced at a leaner $895,000.

With a more open and modern layout, the brokers think the apartment appeals to prospective buyers. Looking for a second opinion on Marie's place, Rebecca brings Joel and Jocelyn over for a look-see:

While impressed with the renovations and details, the brokers ain't buying the price. Over dinner, Rebecca tries to get Marie to agree on an $865,000 asking price.

Will succulent roast chicken make Marie see the light?

You know it does! Good chicken will make you say yes to anything, I tell you.

Rebecca thinks that a mid-level 8 number will bring in a new season of shoppers and Marie reluctantly goes with it.

And now for the requisite open house, where Rebecca tries to sell the Washington Heights scene as an "up and coming neighborhood:"

With a butler's pantry in the floorplan and all that wood paneling, the open house looks more like a Clue murder mystery party:

Professor Plum in the study with a candlestick totally did it.

Back at the office, Rebecca's cube mate Judy Thorn may have a buyer!

The good news: an all cash offer!
The bad news: it's a really low offer! $800,000 is the max bid.

Marie rejects the cash and decides to hold out for the gold. Which, update!, 10 weeks later Rebecca is fielding four more lowball offers. But...Marie also says non! to those. Although according to the listing, Marie's apartment is in contract. Fierce!


Michele Mama Bear Kleier is ready to sniff out an apartment for buyer Dr. Abby Allen, who Mama got to know when Samantha's daughter was delivered at Mt. Sinai. Wanting a shorter commute to work, Abby is interested in a building a mere block from the hospital.

But first! Abby shows Mama her current 2BR/2BA completely unadorned rental she shares with her hubs, Ron:

It's a little...antiseptic. Next, the ladies head over to Abby's dream digs at 1212 Fifth Avenue to see an apartment in the OR. Under construction, Mama urges Abby to "bring her imagination" when touring:

Unable to envision a recuperated renovation, eventually Mama shows Abby a finished and furnished model apartment courtesy of Hearst Magazine's "Designer Visions" project.

A peek at the luxed-out $1.54 million 2BR/2BA model unit:

I'm a little scared of the REDRUM! REDRUM!

But way into the secret champagne mirror in the bathroom:

Raid those bubbles, ladies!

Abby likes what she sees (and so do lots of buyers?1212 Fifth was a hot sell this year) but needs a second opinion from Ron. Also, she's not sure how the layout will work for socializing...

...which is perfect, cuz Mama invites them to a Hearst party there later. At the soiree, Ron likes what he sees. Especially this shiny painted wall:


Mama is ready to toast a sale...

...but the Allens need to evaluate the prognosis.

At lunch, Abby and Mama meet up for the final diagnosis.

The good news: there really isn't any!

The bad news: They're not ready to buy because a two-bedroom is too small for their future family plans. They want to save money by renting now and buying bigger later.

Mama agrees with Abby's logic, saying "New York is so expensive so you really want to buy smart." Meanwhile, Mama continues the search for their someday apartment and Abby referred a client to the Kleiers. What a healthy relationship!

Episode Review: An apartment kind of sold while another sale gets put on hold! Two stars for Marie's marvelous apartment and 1 star for REDRUM equals 3.0 out of 5.0 SHOULD I MOVE TO WASHINGTON HEIGHTS?!? cackling Kleiers.

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

1212 Fifth Avenue

1212 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

790 Riverside Drive

790 Riverside Drive, New York, NY