It's Season 2 of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three amazing brokers, Fredrik Eklund, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Serhant, show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps by Eater New York's fearless nightlife editor Scott Solish. Episode air date: 6/5/2013.
Crisis 1: Stepping Into Someone Else's Shoes
Fredrik is flying high off his 6 Swedish Meatball performance on Lispenard, and now Jasmit, owner of the neighboring building and everyone's favorite developer, wants to bring that Eklund charm into his world. Will these two mix better than Luis? Will Fredrik get to actually stage the building? Will Jasmit blink? These are the questions of the week.
Not yet. Fredrik wants to know why they haven't settled on a broker to sell their building. The reason? They have put a few up to the Luis challenge of selling one unit in one week to get the rest of the building and they all failed. Do you think the other competitors rallied their entire office like Little Man? No matter, since it didn't work anyway. More importantly, will Fredrik allow himself to be tricked into taking Jasmit's challenge? We're guessing no.
Fredrik tells them that they have to stage the apartment if they want to sell it, but Jasmit and his partner tell him that if he wants it staged, he has to pay for it.
He is shocked, but before he says no, he wants to talk pricing. Fredrik gets them to come around on their sales expectations in exchange for picking up the staging bill. Oh, and one other thing?he gets to list the whole building. Fredrik think the developers are too aggressive on their goals, but he is up for the challenge. We smell a broker's open house coming soon!
But before the open house, Fredrik needs to get staging. What's his concept?
Genius. Fredrik's hired gun Cheryl Eisen comes to help execute the goal. There's just a leeetle tension with Fredrik about who's in charge, but it all works out.
The open house kicks off?with Fredrik's own for-sale photography on the walls for a personal touch?but guess who shows up? Luis! And he is just a wee bit unbalanced about being back in the building.
Just look at those crazy eyes! He says he got emotionally attached to the building, like an Objektophilie who falls in love with an inanimate object. If Fredrik isn't careful, he might find Luis licking the bricks again.
But Luis is able to see Fredrik has some skills he is lacking, and actually invites him out for drinks to pick his brain. How congenial and so not what we want to see. But good for him!
A few days after the open house and Fredrik gets his first nibble on the penthouse, but sadly, the offer is only for $3.5 million, a full $500k below the ask. Will Jasmit, the man of steel, go for it? Fredrik is doubtful, but he heads to a late night meeting with Jasmit to go over the proposal.
This opening is all-time classic.
Glug Glug Glug. But despite the vino, Jasmit is not pleased with Fredrik's offer and wants more. A lot more. Fredrik is nonplussed.
But he is willing to make Jasmit happy in a way that Luis never could, and tells the buyer that it's $3.65 million or nothing. Can he get it?
SWEDISH MEATBALL TIME! And now Fredrik gets the rest of the building to boot!
Crisis 2: Picking That Dirt Off Your Shoulder
Luis is still coming to grips with last week's failure in Tribeca, and he already has another listing lined up in Battery Park. But he takes a cab to get there!
A cab! You want to list a whole building and swerve with it, you better get yo self a driver brah. Fareal! We have a hunch that this big comeback listing is a studio or something.
Luis heads into The RiverHouse at 2 River Terrace for his meeting with an ex-client who just bought the apartment six months ago but already has to sell it for work reasons. She also has a son who's Luis's buddy.
Anyway, the three-bedroom digs are pretty sweet. Let's take a look around, shall we?
But while the seller wants to get the $2.2 million she paid for the place plus the money she sunk into all of those swank blinds and custom cabinets and closets, Luis is a bit more pessimistic. One woman's $45,000 blinds is another woman's garbage. But desperate for a deal, Luis tells her what she wants to hear and proposes to list the place at $2.65 million. Deal.
So what's his plan to try and come through for his surrogate family? Kids. Take a look.
This is a page out of Michael Lorber's playbook and only slightly weirder because Luis is allowed to take someone's child out unsupervised. Would you let your broker do that? Would you also let your child stay behind with your broker for the open house? Are they trying to sell this place or get a free babysitter for a few hours? While Arthur runs around jacked up on sugar, Luis tries to charm the families who come to check the place out.
A few days later, the strategy pays off with an offer of $2.25 million, which is low. The buyer doesn't want to pay $400,000 more than the price from a few months before, but Luis's seller refuses to go lower than $2.35 million. Luis tells the buyer's rep that they will need at least $200,000 more, knowing that whatever he gets above the seller's goal is just gravy. Maybe that time he spent in Fredrik's presence paid off?
Before Luis can close the deal, he decides to get a suit. But Luis can't shop like a normal man. Let's find out why.
Whoa dawg! Who knew you were so fresh. No wonder Jasmit gave you that shot. And you know what? He is able to close the deal on the 2 River Terrace three-bedroom at $2.375 million, squeezing an extra $25K out of the buyer's rep at the last minute, leading Luis and the rep to laugh about raising the price at the end for absolutely no reason other than Luis said it would be better. It's a great job out of him, but proves how insane this real estate market is, where you let two people negotiate on your behalf and then are told where everything shakes out. Can you imagine this in any other field?
Crisis 3: Whatever Cora Wants, Cora Gets
When we last left Ryan, he was trying to deal with the fallout when his seller Pat found out he shot a Mary C. music video extravaganza in his Park Imperial penthouse without permission. And just as Ryan is about to get fired, he turns the tables, explaining to the seller that his having gotten a link to the video from his friend already shows how viral its gone! TAKE THAT, PAT! Ryan keeps the listing...for now. But the rules still haven't changed, meaning no shoes!
Ryan is really trying to be on his best behavior and keep the buyers there, too.
But not Cora, a young woman who is looking at the apartment for herself and spending her parents' money. She even introduces Ryan to the concept of the KiKi room.
Oh yeah she is! Let's all have a KiKi together. Ryan is really smitten over her, especially when she tells him that her parents will just let her pick any apartment she wants because she is a princess. Just look at this face.
Doesn't that just scream princess? But what 20-something girl with an unlimited budget is looking in the West 50s for an apartment? Our Cora is, that's who. But while she loves the apartment, her daddy Faja won't pony up any more than $6.5 million, which is a million less than the ask. Ryan isn't happy, Cora isn't happy, and Pat definitely won't be happy. And he isn't! He actually hangs up on Ryan when he finds out that Ryan wants to make a counter. This guy is real intense.
But Ryan is able to get Cora to come up to $7 million even, if Pat is also willing to throw in all the furniture. Pat reminds Ryan that the furniture cost about $500,000, so the value he thinks he got him is really going right back to where it came from. Also, why would Cora want an apartment that is clearly furnished for an older man? She seems fake. Ryan tries to sell Pat on how much money he will clear once the sale goes through, but that doesn't work so great.
Until it does! It's a deal! Great job Ryan and especially great job to Mary C., without whom this entire deal wouldn't be possible.