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Selling New York S6E11: Real Estate Fantasies

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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: 2/14/2013.

It's a real love-fest on this week's episode of Selling New York, and I'm not just saying that because it aired on Valentine's Day (eh, yes I am). First, we learn of Talk Stoop host Cat Greenleaf's love of upstate New York, and she and bosom buddy Deborah Lupard head off on a romantic getaway to try and find her the perfect second home. Back in NYC, love-of-our-life Michele Kleier teams up with Michele Peck to sink their teeth into a majestic apartment in the classic Gainsborough Studios building. Will Cat get off the stoop and take the financial plunge? Will Michele-squared be able to sell such a unique and historical apartment at the right price?

It's a lovely day in Brooklyn as Warburg Agent Deborah Lupard meets up with her friend Cat Greenleaf. You know, Cat? Cat Greenleaf? Talk Stoop TV host extraordinaire? In one of the most exciting moments of my adult life, the episode kicks off with us going past the famed stoop and inside Cat's actual apartment, which is large and loft-like, contemporary with rustic touches. Cat explains that she and her family spend lots of time in upstate New York and she's tired of renting. Fortunately, Deborah says she has a friend who designs, builds and sells homes in the Catskills. What a coincidence! It's time for...wait for it...Cat to go to the Catskills.

The duo hit the road for the long drive to The Catskill Farms. I know she says they're "friends," but all I can think is: what are these guys going to talk about in the car for so long? The ladies meet up with Chuck Petersheim to check out his properties. The first house they tour is a lovely 1,409-square-foot 4BR, 3BA, listed at $445K.

Clearly we're not in NYC anymore. Cat is immediately taken by the high ceilings and large (like, HUGE) kitchen, but she's going for a more contemporary vibe. As Jay-Z says, "On to the next one." Cat wants to check out the property that they looked at on Deborah's iPad back in Brooklyn, and not only does Chuck oblige, but he tells the ladies that he's arranged for them to spend the night in one of his other homes before checking out the aforementioned property in the morning. SLUMBER PARTY!!!

"Do you want the inside or outside?"

The second cabin is a $380K, 2BR, 1.5BA, 1,400-square-footer. It's filled with windows and flooded with light, and not in that Manhattan apartment way, but in the "I live in an actual space fit for a human" way.

Cat says she can see her family being happy in any of these places, but I know for a fact that she has two adopted children and no talk show host of mine is going to make her kids share a bedroom. OK, so I may or may not be obsessed with Talk Stoop.

The next morning, after staying up all night watching horror movies, eating Cheetos and making prank phone calls, Cat and Deborah meet up with Chuck at the cabin that piqued Ms. Greenleaf's interest online. It's a 1,150-square-foot 3BR, 1.5BA listed at $305K. God, why do people want to live in NYC so badly?

The views are incredible, the ceilings are high, and the architectural design is the perfect balance of woodsy and contemporary. Cat is instantly swooning, and I would be, too. I mean, did you SEE that bathtub? I'd sit in there all day until I was wrinkled and soft like a Sunkist raisin. In what I think is a first on this show, Cat has nothing negative to say about the property. She "can feel her fantasy coming closer to a reality."

The trio discuss logistics over a quaint breakfast in the neighboring town of Narrowsburg. Now that the reality of her potential purchase is sinking in, Cat isn't ready to jump the gun just yet. She needs to go home and sleep on it, and maybe, ya know, discuss such a huge financial decision with her husband.

But... we watched the sun come up over the Catskill Mountains!

When we next catch up with Deborah, she's on her way to see Chuck, who has asked her to show him a few properties in the city. Deborah has been anxiously awaiting Cat's decision, and she finally calls her to find out what the deal is. So I guess now that the upstate New York honeymoon is over, Cat's waaay too busy on her stoop to give her ol' pal the time of day?! We played Ouija Board together, dammit! Cat says that while she "loooooved" the house, she and her husband think that with the recent adoption of their second child, buying a second home is probably not a good idea. Uh, you didn't know that before you signed on for the show?

Disheartened Deborah meets up with Chipper Chuck to show him an amazingly sick 5BR, 4BA, listed at $5M.

She waits until after the tour to break the news: Cat's passing on the crib. Although he's disappointed, Chuck understands how the biz goes and tells Deborah he'd still work with her in the future. Two months later, she has continued to refer clients to the Catskills but so far no sales have been made.

That jaunt in the country was certainly refreshing, but I miss Manhattan, don't you? And who better to reintroduce us to the Big Apple than the Big Mama herself: Michele Kleier. Hooray!!! Kleier Residential President Mama Kleier is working with her pal, Michele Peck, to try and get an exclusive on an apartment in the historic Gainsborough Studios. Calling this property "the quintessential New York apartment" would be an understatement. This apartment IS New York, honey.

The 2,500-square-foot property has 3BR and 2BA, and is filled with history and artifacts. Seller Sunil Lekhi says his godfather used to own the space and lived there for over 40 years. Thank God Michele Peck is there because the woman is smart as a whip. She's sold apartments in the building before and is extremely knowledgable about the space: "Did you know that these were originally little Juliet balconies?" *cough* know-it-all *cough.* Sunil is impressed, and he gives them the go-ahead to sell the apartment.

"I better get some commission for this."

Michele and Michele meet at Oyster Bar Restaurant to discuss strategy. First thing's first: what will they price it at? Normally a price is based on square footage and the amount of rooms, but in this case it's based on the history and artwork of the space. They come to a compromise at $4.75M, and Michele Peck has a stroke-of-genius idea. Because of the property's connection to NYC history, why not contact the National Academy to see if they'd like to donate some of their art to help with staging? Michele Kleier agrees that it will work perfectly for their party. Wait, who said anything about throwing a party?

Mama Michele drags Sabrina to the New York Public Library to read up on her Gainsborough history. "But, MOM, I don't WANNA!" Meanwhile, Michele Peck meets up with the Director of the National Academy School, Maurizio Pellegrin, to see if he'll bring some current artwork to the apartment reception. She says reception, Mama Kleier says rave. Either way, I'm bringing glowsticks.

Everybody looks like they're having so much fun.

The invitation-only reception is filled with historians, artists and people pretending to be historians and artists. The ladies work their magic while finger food and drinks are passed out. It's all very...proper. Even Laurel Rosenbluth turns out, and she and MK ogle the view of Central Park South. During the party, interior designer Jane Gould approaches MP and says she has a client who would like her to preview some apartments for him in New York City. She'd love to come back again for a private showing?holla!

The ladies tour the space during the daytime, when the apartment has a less dramatic and more welcoming vibe. Jane is even able to school Ms. Smartypants Peck on some visual aspects of the apartment that she was unfamiliar with. While the bathroom and kitchen need a bit of work, the potential client is used to restoring old buildings and Jane doesn't think it would deter him. Wow, this was almost too easy!

That's not creepy at all!

And it was: At the end of the episode we learn that Jane's client ultimately passed on the apartment, but there are currently two solid offers on the table. And actually, according to StreetEasy, the place sold for $4 million after the episode was filmed.

Four words: Michele Kleier, Cat Greenleaf. This episode gets 4 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.

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