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Selling New York S6E6: Like Comparing Apples and Oranges

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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: 1/10/2013.

On this week's episode of Selling New York, sassy Samantha Kleier works with first-time buyer Karen Cherrone to find a pad good enough for both her and her dog, Winston, within budget. In the least shocking news since Lindsay Lohan's last DUI, apparently in New York you do not get what you pay for. Also featured on the show is Warburg Agent Deborah Lupard, who is having trouble pricing a unique loft space in Tribeca. Luckily, she finds a friend in Laurel Rosenbluth, SVP at Gumley Haft Kleier, who shows her comparable apartments uptown. But will the large square footage and low price be enough to get Upper East Siders to make the trek-a to Tribeca?

This episode beings with Samantha Kleier-Forbes meeting up with her latest client, first-time buyer Karen Cherrone, on Riverside Boulevard, where she is walking her dog Winston. We're well into the sixth season and, besides a few cameos at open house parties (you know the Kleiers love their cocktails), we've hardly seen the Kleier mother-daughter posse, so Sam's face is a welcome one. Her client is looking for a pet-friendly 2BR, 2BA with a view for her future cat and an elevator for her arthritic dog. Her budget is around $800k.

Samantha is thinking, "So, do I have to, like, touch this thing?"

The first space she's taken to is a 2BR, 2BA at 301 East 22nd Street in Gramercy Park, priced at $799k.

Immediately, Karen wants to take the kitchen wall down and do some major renovations. She's used to new appliances, new flooring, new everything. Even though the apartment features a huge terrace, she isn't impressed. Who cares about the terrace, honey, you have Gramercy Park at your fingertips! I'd kill for a key to that Secret Garden. Karen, a newb of apartment shopping, says, "The biggest surprise for me today is how little you get for the amount of money you spend." Uh, duh, Karen. You're buying an apartment in New York City. Space, a renovated apartment and a good neighborhood?have you ever considered Queens?

After Karen's dismay at the fixer-upper in Gramercy, Samantha takes her to a smaller, but freshy fresh, apartment at 505 West 23rd Street. Priced at $785K, this apartment is a large 1BR, 1BA.

Although it's not the 2BR she was hoping for, Karen is willing to make the compromise for a more turn-key space. Unfortunately, she has the rest of her family to consider, and Winston the Dog might get scared by the loud noises on the street. Hmm, all signs point to Queens.

In a stoke-of-genius move, Samantha brings in Brian Siegel, her mortgage banker (aka a guy she hired to make clients feel good about their financials), who evaluates Karen's finances and tells her she can spend up to $1.2M on a property.

Yeah, I'm a baller.

Now that the ladies know they can ball out on a budget, they head to Tribeca to see a $1.114M, 1BR, 1.5BA at Reade57. The apartment is located in a new building, and has floor-to-ceiling windows, a great street view, and – wait a second – is that a doggy food dish and rope toy? Oh man, Winston is going to geek out when he sees this!

By the end of the apartment tour, Karen finally learns to accept the fact that buying an apartment in Manhattan means that you're going to pay more and get less. Unless she just sucks it up and moves to Queens, which is probably what she should do.

As their apartment journey comes to an end, Karen says she feels like she's learned a lot and is comfortable putting in an offer on the 57 Reade space. Fortunately, her bid was accepted and she and Winston are starting their new life together in Tribeca.

"Beat it Kleier, three's a crowd," said Winston.

Speaking of the perfect segue, next up is Warburg's Deborah Lupard, who is trying to price a new listing at 152 Franklin Street in Tribeca. The unique 3BR, 3BA has similar square-footage to an uptown property, but a much more open layout in what is clearly a very different neighborhood.

Warburg President Fred Peters suggests she check out some Upper East Side "comps" (that's real estate slang for "comparable apartments"). Man, first the whole art show/staging idea, and now this? No wonder he's running the show.

I don't know where I get these ideas, they just come to me.

To help educate herself on UES apartment pricing, Deborah recruits the help of fellow broker Laurel Rosenbluth, SVP at Gumley Haft Kleier, who specializes in UES properties. Wait, wait, wait, a Kleier and a Warburg working together? Is this allowed?! Well you know what they say: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The first comp is an apartment at 521 Park Avenue.

The 4BR, 4.5BA has high ceilings, pre-war details, and is a quintessential Upper East Side pad. Which is why it's listed at $8.25M. Yowzas! Deborah knows that in order to create buzz around her Tribeca apartment, she'll have to price it much lower, despite its similar size.

A broker in need is a broker indeed, so Laurel takes Deborah to another listing on the Eww-Eaze (phonetic spelling of UES). It's a $6.1M, 3BR, 3.5BA, with 3,163 square feet, compared to the Tribeca space which is 4,058 square feet.

It's a light, bright and modern space, but is vastly different from the listing at Franklin Street. Sure, the apartments weren't really comparable, but at least she got some girl time in with her new bestie.

When we next see Deborah, she's playing hostess with the mostest at her Franklin Street Tribeca property, where she is hosting an open house. While she concedes that it was a difficult property to price, in the end Deborah is happy with the $5.595M she's listed it at. True Blue Laurel is there, and even brought some of her Upper East Side clients to check out the crib. They're all really excited about the size of the bedrooms and the exposed brick (you know how uptowners love their exposed brick). The value in the apartment is evident, and Laurel even has a client in mind who might be perfect for the space.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Following the open house, BFFLs Deborah and Laurel meet up again in Tribeca where Deborah is going to show Laurel some comps of her own. Sadly, the potential Franklin Street client fell through, but that's all right because there's still two minutes left in the episode...and that means there's time for one more apartment tour!

The $1.775M, 2BR, 2BA at 25 Murray Street is 1,807 square feet, and features the same lofty design common in the neighborhood, including an open kitchen, which is apparently all the rage now. Knowledge is power in the real estate world, and Debaurel (that's their Hollywood couple name) are happy to educate each other on different properties and areas of Manhattan.

Currently, Deborah has received one offer on the Franklin Street Tribeca property that she feels needs to come up significantly.

Episode review: We're happy to see the return of Samantha Kleier, and we like the watching Warburg and Kleier work together to make a sale (even if they didn't actually make the sale). This episode gets 4 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.

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

521 Park Avenue

521 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021

57 Reade Street

57 Reade Street, New York, NY 10007