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Million Dollar Listing New York S3E02: Distraction Tactics

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It's Season 3 of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three 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 Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 4/09/2014.

Episode two kicks off with the ever-grimacing Ryan Serhant, who, when we last saw him, was trying to make an action video for a $23 million unfinished apartment at 200 11th Avenue. So while construction is still going on at operation Sky Fall—er, Sky Garage—Ryan lends his hand to one of the peons working "underneath" him at NestSeekers. Agent Linda needs help with a 1,350-square-foot apartment in NoMad—short for North of Madison Square Park. (It's the hip new spot.)

While a wee bit barren, the modern apartment, a 2BR/2BA located at 225 Fifth Avenue, still looks sleek and spacious. Unfortunately it faces a brick building, so the views leave something to be desired. Ryan needs the seller, Angela, to come down from her price of $3 million. His tactic? Pour on the charm.

If this is Ryan's idea of charm, I don't even want to know what he was like as an aggressive, drunken frat boy in college.

It's time to check back in with Luis and Todd, our favorite odd couple. In the last episode, Luis agreed to take on a $6 million UWS apartment as long as the family's son, Todd, was allowed in on the deal. Todd has come a long way since the day he stood awkwardly in Luis's living room getting a suit tailored for him, but he still has much to learn, young grasshopper.

They're brainstorming ideas for the upcoming open house—Luis suggests a fancy tea party, Todd suggests getting everybody drunk on "Jamaican rum." Wait... does he think Luis is Jamaican? Is all rum Jamaican? So many questions…

Next up: Fredrik. He's tasked with selling a "green" penthouse on 16 Warren Street that's been on and off the market for years (known as the city's saddest penthouse around these parts). Lined with solar panels and UV-coated windows, the apartment promises to be low on electricity costs. But with common charges coming in at a staggering $9,000 a month, it still won't sell. (I won't even mention the 900-square-foot deck that's bigger than my entire apartment.) The real-estate developers grapple with Fredrik over the asking price, and they settle at a cool $6 million.

Back at NestSeekers, Linda manages to pull Ryan away from his triple-monitor setup to discuss the best way to market their view-less apartment up in NoMad. After shooting down Linda's half-hearted suggestions, Ryan decides on an evening "after party" where he can liquor up brokers and distract them from the shoddy view. Get 'em drunk, take advantage of 'em. Wow, this really is starting to sound like college.

Meanwhile, Fredrik is in Tribeca preparing for his open house. In an effort to downplay the crazy common costs, he will play up the "green" aspect of the townhouse using "lots of gizmos," including a blender that will only run through bike power.

Sure you'll pay an extra $9,000 a month, but that comes with at least two pre-stocked rolls of recyclable toilet paper. So… kinda worth it. A gaggle of brokers arrive, and Fredrik keeps telling them everything is green: "This is great for all of you greenies like me." What does that mean?! Who cares—here's a smoothie! I blended it using my calves.

Back in Todd-land, the big day has finally arrived: It's time for the open house! Looking dapper in his new suit, he begins showing clients around his parents' UWS pad. A bit rusty at first (rusty = mute), all it takes is a pep talk from Luis for him to step out of his shell.

In NoMad, the glow sticks are out, the black lights are on, and the punch has been spiked (with Ecstasy). Ryan's rave is in full effect, and he's about two G&Ts away from doing the worm across the hardwood floors. Besides being a great excuse to bust out his white suit jacket, the party also served its purpose: he has several bites and an appointment to show the place to a potential buyer in the morning.

After showing the apartment "day in day out," Luis finally has an offer on the Central Park West digs for $5.5 million. He calls Myra and Sandy to break the news, and manages to wrestle them down to $5.975 million as a counter offer. The best part?

The entire conversation happens while he's in his boxer-briefs.

Ryan arrives at the apartment post-party, and is shocked to find it covered in glow sticks and trash. He and Linda scramble to clean it up just as the broker and client's sister arrive (the actual buyer is still living out of town). As he distracts them with his usual song and dance—"look at these faucets!"—Linda cleans up the rest of the mess and no one is the wiser. In fact, they even put in an offer: $2.4 million, all cash, best and final.

He meets with seller Angela to give her the news and deliver a sage piece of advice: "When somebody puts $2.4 million in your hand, you close your hand." Despite this pearl of wisdom, Angela won't budge. He calls the broker and she won't budge, either. Could it be? Has The Charminator has met his match? Ryan collects himself and then comes up with a solution: deceitfulness. Although it would be illegal to contact the client directly to negotiate price, technically the broker is representing the client's sister. So, it's totes fine, right?

WRONG! Broker Nicole calls Ryan completely steamed and feeling betrayed: "I can't believe you would call my client! I would never do that to you." Loopholes or not, she's upset, and Ryan seems to have burned yet another bridge in the industry. But business is business, and she's forced to put her anger aside to tell him that the client has another best and final: $2.5 million. Angela reluctantly takes the offer. Perhaps Ryan's charm rubbed off on her after all.

Eager to close the deal and get the monkey that is Todd off his back, Luis and his pupil head to the UWS to discuss the recent negotiations on the apartment. Ecstatic, Luis shares with Myra and Sandy that he got the potential buyers up to the asking price of $5.975 million. So you can imagine his shock when Myra and Sandy tell him that they'd actually like to increase the price to a staggering $6.2 million. Frustrated and tired, Luis is unable to communicate with the bullheaded couple. If only there was some way to get through to them…

And we have a deal! Thank God. The apartment is sold, and we don't have to deal with Todd's extreme awkwardness anymore. Time to eat fish. Or… something.

Sadly, Fredrik isn't having the same luck with his 16 Warren Street property. Although his open house was chock full of eager brokers, nobody can handle the common fees. I mean, $9,000 with NO amenities? (No, "being green" doesn't count as an amenity.) The episode ends on a sour note when Fredrik heads to a real estate mixer in the hopes of finding a buyer. Instead, he runs into Ryan, whom he confronts regarding his behavior at the end of last season.

If Fredrik was looking for sympathy from Ryan, he's barking up the wrong tree. Oy – this is going to be a looong season.
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing [Bravo]
· All Million Dollar Listing New York recaps [Curbed]

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