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Million Dollar Listing New York S3E05: House of Horrors

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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: 4/30/2014

The third season of Million Dollar Listing New York is well underway, and so far we've already had our fair share of heartache, high kicks, and heated arguments. While we (see: me) are still reeling from last week's devastation, last night's episode began on a lighter note. Sir Eklund has just arrived in his favorite neighborhood—Tribeca—to view a new listing at 101 Warren Street. He meets with Zeke (pronounced Zeekie if you're Fredrik), the bro-in-law of the seller, to check out the ridiculous 3,034-square-foot duplex penthouse.

Fredrik is so overwhelmed with emotion he can only manage a meek squeal/high-kick combo. The apartment will be listed at $11 million, sans furniture, which Freddy thinks should be a completely separate contract so not to "complicate things." Suuure, Fredrik, if by "things" you mean "your commission."

Next up is Luis, who appears to have brushed himself off after losing the exclusive on 30 Lincoln Plaza last week. He's in the heart of the Upper West Side at 88th between Amsterdam and Broadway, "an area with very independent little restaurants." Oh, like Pinkberry and La Pan Quotidien? Luis is meeting with Sam, a kind man in his middle ages, who's in the midst of trying to sell his 1,413-square-foot 2BR, 2BA at 215 West 88th Street. After 30 years in the city, he and his family are ready to move on to the next chapter in sunny San Francisco. The apartment has a great layout and incredible bones, but needs a bit of sprucing up to get it sold.

Sam has had the apartment listed at $2.195 million for four months to no avail. But, with some clever staging and simple renovations, Luis is confident he can get it sold at $2.295 million—$100,000 higher than original asking price. Nothing like a good old fashioned staging to get the party started, amiright?!

Speaking of getting the party started, Ryan Serhant is in the heart of the hill—Murray Hill to be exact—to look at a historic townhouse at 115 East 35th Street. Ryan says that Murray Hill is known for "hot moms and post-NYU grads," although I'd argue that Murray Hill is best known for Boston transplants and 20-somethings in Uggs and North Faces. Alas, there's no time to split hairs over the quirky little neighborhood above Curry Hill before Ryan hits us with this gem: "Fun fact, I lost my virginity there [Murray Hill]... at least 12 times."

He shows up to the 5-story, absolutely massive brownstone in his best Willy Wonka-inspired suit, saying, "if all goes well hopefully Patricia lives up to the reputation of the neighborhood." Surprise, surprise, Patricia is actually an older woman with a penchant for broken baby doll heads in her basement. Oh yes...

The historic house was built in the 1850s, and sits pretty at 4,095-square-feet, complete with an elevator, courtyard, and five bedrooms and bathrooms. Sure, the place is dated. OK, it's a lot dated. But damn! That is some real estate. With the right buyer, this could be the perfect spot—OH GOD WHAT IS THAT??

As Ryan weighs the pros and cons of selling a potentially haunted house, Patricia slyly tells him, "It's easy to look at you, Ryan," and "I think you can do anything." Looks like this may be lucky number 13! They both agree at a price of $3.395 million—time to sell this cobweb-laden beast.

To help spice up his UWS listing, Luis brings in Anne, an expert stager (how do you get that job?), to facilitate the apartment's re-decoration. Sam seems excited, but when it's time for them to wheel him out of his office he's hesitant.

Sam comes back to a completely redesigned apartment. He's taken aback, but pleased. But wait, where is his desk? And does he really need to plug and unplug his computer every time he wants to work from home? (Furthermore, why doesn't he have a laptop?) Also, whose couch is he sitting on? Luis assures him that "nobody has had sex on this couch," but wonders that his client might be too attached to the old digs to sell it.

Fredrik is at his tantalizing new listing at 101 Warren Street. While the promotional pictures he's getting taken will be done in less than 24 hours, time is still money, and he starts his own personal photo shoot for his Instagram page. I mean, he does have over 300,000 followers for the love of God.

Ryan and his babe-a-licious assistant Olivia head over to the ghostly listing in Murray Hill. Hoping to appeal to townhouse brokers, they set out platters of crumpets and tea. (Would anybody go to an open house if there weren't the promise of free food and drink?) But, something spoOoOoky is happening in the townhouse that day: creaks and cracks coming from everywhere, faucets running and doors opening on their own, Ryan even gets stuck in the elevator! He calls to Olivia for help, but she can't hear him, and the cameraman would rather make dramatic television than rescue Ryan from plunging to his death down an elevator shaft.

Ryan tries to shake off his heebie-jeebies by the time the brokers arrive, but ultimately does a half-hearted job of showing the apartment. He even forgets to put away the doll skulls before showing folks the basement. Rookie mistake, Ryan. Rookie mistake.

We take a break from the hustle and bustle of the real estate world to catch up on the personal life of Fredrik and Derek. They're looking for surrogates to serve as the "oven" for their child (Freddy's words, not mine). While Derek has always come off as the sentimental half of the relationship, he seems to be the one with second thoughts about the whole thing. Or perhaps he knows that Fredrik is the one constantly busy with his career, and doesn't know if he's ready to devote the time to being a father. To be continued...

Olivia doesn't know what he means, and doesn't care to find out. She's just trying to do her job and pay her rent.

Ryan is convinced that the Murray Hill listing is haunted, and tries to rope Olivia into finding a "ghost hunter" to cleanse the apartment. Olivia has the best IDGAF attitude, and the fact that she doesn't feel the need to pile on makeup for a camera crew makes her the most likable person on the show.

Luis arrives at the 88th and Amsterdam listing to find Sam eating chicken salad and playing Snood on his computer (or something). Is he trying to sabotage this open house? Folks are loving the apartment, but Sam can't seem to keep away. Luis is too sweet to say what he's thinking in English, so instead he says it in Spanish:

Luis begins to fear that San Francisco is but a pipe dream, and that Sam will never be able to truly let go of New York City and his chicken salad-scented home.

Fredrik and Derek meet up with our favorite power couple, Zach Vella and Hot Blonde Girlfriend, to eat dinner and discuss business. He wants to check in on progress for the penthouse at 11 North Moore, but he also has a question: What's the deal with that 101 Warren penthouse?

Po-po-po-poker face, po-po-poker face...

The next day, Freddy shows Zach around the still-unlisted property. As usual, Fredrik is chatting away to his old friend but Zach remains unusually quiet... Zach makes an offer: full asking price with furniture, so, the opposite of what Fredrik wanted. He flounders when trying to explain why they should have separate contracts for the apartment and the furnishings, but Zach knows the business well enough to know that a full price offer is a great offer indeed. He uses some mind-melding tactic and tells Fredrik: "write up an offer, I'll take it for $11 million, fully furnished."

Back at the Murray Hell Museum of Horrors, Ryan enlists the help of several different "ghost experts" to try and diagnose the townhouse. They all come to the same conclusion: that shit in the basement is weird. Through sage burning, bell dinging, and some weird motion with a feather, they cleanse the house. Mama Donna even blesses Ryan with the "purity of his intention"—well, now we're all screwed.

After less than six days on the market, Luis gets a full ask offer on the UWS apartment. He calls Sam excitedly, but Sam is clearly taken aback by the swift sale, and not in a good way: "I was thinking I'd have a little bit more time to wrap things up here. Can we wait for another offer?" Determined to not let another sale fall through his fingers, he heads down to Brooklyn Bridge Park to have the conversation face to face.

Fredrik meets with Zeke to discuss the $11 million offer. He's hoping that Zeke accepts Zach's terms, because the last thing he wants is a deal to fall through "because people are fighting over a damn sofa." It does seem petty to argue over something so arbitrary when millions of dollars are at stake, but boys will be boys. Zeke refuses to settle for $11 million fully furnished, and it seems that this drama will have to live to die another day. Or at the very least, next Wednesday.

I'm sorry, was that a hand job joke?

Luis meets with Sam at the park to talk a little sense into him. Sam admits that after 30 good years in the city, he's having a hard time letting go. So many memories—just over there was where he and his wife went on their first date to get pizza! But all it takes is a little Latin charm from Luis, and he agrees that it's time to move on to greener pastures and take the full-ask offer on his digs.

Now, who wants a slice of Hot & Crusty?
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing [Bravo]
· All Million Dollar Listing recaps [Curbed]

101 Warren Street

101 Warren St, New York, NY 10013