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Million Dollar Listing New York S3E03: Getting Emotional

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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: 4/16/2014.

Fredrik CitiBikes on into the third episode of Million Dollar Listing, endorphins pumping as he heads to a meeting with Joel, the developer of his listing at 16 Warren Street. Although the penthouse is fabulous— and eco-friendly!—due to the high monthly common charges (a whopping $9,000!) it simply will not sell at $6 million. Fredrik tells Joel he needs to drop the price of the penthouse to $5.75 million, arguing that "at 9,000 a month, that's around $100,000-$108,000 a year in monthlies. In some parts of this country you can buy a house for $100,000." In "some parts of the country"...i.e. anywhere but New York City. They finally shake on $5.5 million, and Joel quickly exists, clearly annoyed.

Luckily, our comic relief Ryan Serhant is featured next. He's heading to the Milan Condominium in Midtown East. According to Ryan, people who travel a lot tend to like living in Midtown East because they can easily get to the airport (probably to escape their hellish existences living in Midtown East.) He meets with Samantha the Seller, who shows him around her impressive 2,505-square-foot pad.

Complete with wall-to-wall windows, a 32nd floor view, and ridiculous terrace, the home is not too shabby, and Sam is having a hard time letting go of the place where her children have been reared. She's already bought an apartment uptown to be closer to her children's school, but wants to return to the Midtown East penthouse one day.

In an effort to avoid that dirty R word (rental), Ryan paints a very convincing picture of the strenuous life as a landlord, filled with apartment maintenance and destructive tenants. Perhaps it's her emotional ties to the property, perhaps she subconsciously wants the asking price to be too high so that the place doesn't sell—either way, she lists the UES digs at a steep $6.5 million.

It's time to kick this episode into high gear, and what better way then with our favorite ball of hyperactivity, Luis. He's meeting with Janet, the CAO of Milstein Properties at 30 Lincoln Plaza. The building is a historic one, and it sits pretty in the prime UWS location of 63rd street between Broadway and Central Park West. *Swoon*. For years, the Milsteins have represented this property along with countless others in the city, but today Luis is aiming to change the order of operations. Rather than have Janet's staff of brokers sell the property, Luis wants exclusivity on the prolific pad.

Luis hits Janet with the pitch: in NYC it's not about selling units, it's about selling them for top dollar. (So thaaat explains why my mouse-filled apartment on the Upper East Side cost $1,500 a month.) He promises her that with his top marketing tactics, he'll be able to sell the unit for $7.8 million. Impressed with his gumption and knowledge of the market, Janet agrees to give Luis the exclusive: one unit, six months, and the option to back out of the deal at any time.

Ryan is hoping that greed will beat out nostalgia, and he rushes to throw together an open house at the Midtown penthouse before Samantha the Seller changes her mind about moving. To cast a wider net of people, the open house is "non-exclusive" which means all of the crazies tucked away in the crevices of New York have come out to mingle. Ryan feels right at home with this eclectic cast of characters, and immediately starts poppin' bottles and guzzling champagne.

Despite the fun he's having mingling with all of the HONY rejects, his only bites are from a broker with two clients: one is an opera singer, and one is "the son of a drug dealer." Sounds promising!

Apparently, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Back at 16 Warren Street, owner Joel gives Fredrik some news that makes him go green. The building next door has begun a construction project that will obstruct the penthouse's terrace for two years—as well as create obnoxious noise for anybody living there. This is clearly a huge blow to the listing, and a flustered Fredrik tells him they must lower the price even further. Steadfast in his newly adjusted $5.5 million price, Joel yells at Fredrik: "WHY ARE WE FIGHTING?! This is your job!"

For Luis it's happier times, as he is spearheading a brainstorm sesh back at the office. He has his top marketeers gathered to come up with the best strategy for the 30 Lincoln Plaza property. An auction house event? Nahhh. What about a digital model of the apartment? Hmm, not even sure what that means. I know! What about a book?! People love those, right?

Over at Nest Seekers Int'l., Ryan gets a call from Sam the Seller. She's had a change of heart and can't bear to part ways with her current Midtown apartment. To not see the Chrysler Building out of her window anymore would be "too traumatic" for her. I mean for her children. Ryan convinces her to let him show the apartment to a few potential buyers before she takes it off the market. Little does she know, he still has to find said buyers.

Luis is busy on the UWS, prepping for his big event: a black tie gala that will showcase not only the great property at Lincoln Plaza, but the fabulousness of the entire building. He wants to tell the story of what it really feels like to live there, through visual, mental, and alcoholic stimulation. As the furniture he hand-picked for staging arrives, his vision slowly comes to life. He can hardly reign in his excitement as he moonwalks all over the hardwood floors.

Ryan scrapes together an appointment at the Midtown East building with "that drug dealer guy with the sunglasses" from the open house. The drug dealer, guy in sunglasses, and broker—also in sunglasses—arrive. When the buyer tells Ryan he wants to turn the bedroom into a champagne room, Ryan knowingly replies, "Thug life… thug life."

Despite his best efforts to relate to his buyer through the use of urban slang, he receives news that the client found a better (read: lower priced) property. Serhant is back to square one. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Fredrik is off being domestic with his hottie husband Derek. They're trying to buy a pet parrot when he gets a call from fellow broker Jack. Despite the whole scaffolding issue, Jack's client has placed an offer on the 16 Warren street penthouse for $4.85 million. Fredrik wrestles the offer around with Joel on the phone, while Derek is left to his own devices in the pet store. Awww…

He meets with Joel to present him with a counter-offer and brings along all the makings for a compost pile. That's right, a compost pile. Apparently in Sweden when you want to "make a deal" you bring along worms as a peace offering. (Duhhh, everybody knows that about Sweden.) But a bucket filled with dirt and worms doesn't move Joel to accept the counter-offer of $5.1 million.

After a screeching match that only Fredrik could get away with, they finally agree on a price of $5.35 million, best and final. The offer is accepted by the buyer via text message. Finally, these two can go back to being buddies instead of constantly screaming at each other.

It's the night of Luis's big gala. Everybody is dressed to the nines—even Howard Lorber, the owner of Douglas Elliman, is in attendance. It is Luis's night, and he's up for the challenge. He's even hired an actor to help take the event from reality to fantasy.

Ya know, I can't help but think that Todd would've done a better job with this... I miss him.

Milstein CAO Janet approaches Luis at the gala. After a pregnant pause, she gives him the thumbs up and tells him he did a great job. Phew: Janet is happy, the partygoers are happy, and Luis is on top of the world. Nothing could ruin this night for him… or could it?

To be continued…
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing [Bravo]
· All Million Dollar Listing recaps [Curbed]