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Selling New York S5E13: The Art of Persuasion

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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: 7/5/2012.

Brokers in last night's Selling New York had occasion to break out their persuasion when it came to convincing their clients that BKB (Broker Knows Best)! Mama Bear and her cubs shift into staging madness for their Upper East client who has a temptation for overdecoration. Will the seller stage a staging strike and tell Mama to take a hike? Then, a real estate prez tries to convince a developer that his Tribeca loft building conversion should expand beyond mere studios. Will the developer be miffed at the square footage shift? I promise not to give you the short shrift in this ALL-OUT shifty nifty partially heat-stroke induced recap! P.S. Happy Two Days After Independence Day!

It's fancy lunch time at the Upper East Side's Agata & Valentina and Mama Michele Kleier and her cubs, Samantha and Sabrina, are snacking with long time client Mary Canter. Mary and her hubs are selling the unit Mama sold them six years ago at 408 East 79th Street,The Arcadia. Where are they moving? The Land O' Liberty Bell!

Mama's reaction to Philly:


She's all "PhilaHOWCOULDYOU,YOUCITYTRAITORdelphia?!" Mary's daughters live there and they want to be closer to the grand/kids, something Mama completely understands given her "must live within three-block radius of children" rule.

The problem with Mary's pad? "She bought a modern apartment but does not have modern taste," says Mama.

A gawk at Mary's 2BR/2BA ode to old-school style:

Mama is concerned that buyers will be distracted by Mary's many, many beloved items such as tchotchkes on the wall, ornate crap and stenciled stuff. Sensing Mary will not agree to a complete overhaul, Sab and Sam have a suggestion: NEUTRALIZE!

Sab in Wonder Woman mode about to neutralize the you know what out of Mary's place. Note her gold dress belt doubles as a neutralizing whip:

To further persuade Mary to drink the neutralizing Kool-Aid, Mama and co. show her a comparable yet sleekified apartment in the same building listed at $1.85 million:

After seeing the spotless space, Mary reluctantly agrees to allowing a stager to soup up her apartment. Mama heads to Gracious Home and calls on designer Rebekah Brown for some decor 911.

The cure? This pillow!

Mama is digging the purple and sparkly motif and gives a thumbs up to Rebekah's brighter, lighter vision. But will Mary modify her taste so drastically for the sake of a sale?

Yes she will! Next, Mama and Rebekah meet up at Mary's for a style shift. Dark pillows get replaced by glittery ones. Seventy-five percent of her things get whisked aside in favor of clean lines and unobstructed views. Rebekah maintains that the look is still "big and bold," but less of it.

Now open house ready, it's time for the big reveal! What a diff a few cosmetic changes and a ton of hiding of things like this makes!

A post-staged look at the $1.85 million, 1,424-square-foot unit:

Later, at lunch, Mama and cubs give Mary an update: there are two offers on the table, both low-ballin' in the mid $1.5 millions. Mary ain't biting, but Mama suggests a counter offer to keep potential buyers talking. Mary wonders if a short-term rental might be a good option since the comp apartment ended up doing that, to which Mama says HELLZ NO. A counter offer is the way to go, mmm'k?

Did Mama's strategy work? The update informs that one of the offers increased to $1.65 million...aaaand, my update informs that the listing is still open and has been decreased to $1.65 million. Seems like the offer fell through, but the downshift in price stuck!


CORE head Shaun Osher has his eyes on securing the S&M (Sales & Marketing, people!) for a new shmancy converted loft building at 335 Broadway in Tribeca. He meets the Israeli developers,IGI, at the mid-construction building to pitch CORE's services.

Shaun and the IGI men in hard hats looking like a trio of...

Shaun sees a $300 million sales potential in the development, but isn't keen on IGI's square footage strategy:

Shaun is adamant about having more 3 bedroom units and less studios since that's WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. And to further prove his point, he takes Eldad Blaustein, one of the Israeli dudes, on a tricked out Tribeca tour:

Rule #1 in Tribeca: everyone must wear black coats, sunglasses and super serious expressions:

Shaun calls Tribeca "the most changed neighborhood in NYC," what with all the babies, restaurants, and boutiques.

Why is there no mention of the frightening influx of inflatable zebras and superheroes threatening the sidewalks?

It's like that mom pushing the stroller doesn't even notice her baby is about to be lightly swatted at by Spiderman.

Eldad appreciates Shaun's tour, but wait! There's more tour! Shaun takes Eldad to a comparable converted loft development at 95 Reade Street to show him a 2BR/2BA unit listed at $2.25 million:

With the prospect of raking more shekels with larger units, Eldad is starting to see the light. Meanwhile, Shaun is wondering if Eldad is going to take his suggestions and WILL HE GET THE LISTING? Or will Eldad take the suggestions and run away to another agency?

Later, at Tribeca's Plein Sud, Eldad reveals he is going to reconfigure the units to mostly two- and three-bedrooms with a sprinkling of studios and one-bedrooms. And, much to his dismay...Shaun is not awarded a rejection from Eldad AKA HE GOT THE PROJECT! I was trying to trick you for a sec?did it work?

The update explains that sales are set to start later this year aaaand Shaun and Eldad have already shaken hands on another project. Mazel tov!

Episode Review: It's always fun to see someone's style get subjected to a stuff-ectomy! That, and Shaun's super-sized success earns this episode 4.0 out of 5 THIS IS THE LAST NEW EPISODE FOR A WHILE, HAPPY HYDRATED SUMMER EVERYONE! cackling Kleiers.

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