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Million Dollar Listing New York S3E07: Wheels (Up) and Deals

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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: 5/14/2014.

After Ryan sold his Murray Hill mansion last week, and Fredrik settled the dispute between Zach and Zeekie, things are all quiet on the MDL home front. Maybe a little too quiet.
The episode kicks off with Fredrik heading to his favorite building from childhood—the Apthorp—where he's meeting with Ari, a.k.a the world's crankiest real estate developer, to discuss a new listing in apartment 2A. Fredrik hopes to sweeten the deal by bringing along a cake. Ari's response to the baked bribe: "Why didn't you bring cupcakes?"

The 4,252-square-foot, two-level duplex was built in 1908 and still features ornate hand-crafted wall details. But Freddy must hold in his high kick when he discovers that the bathrooms and kitchen leave a heck of a lot to be desired. Keeping in mind the terrible bathroom tile and mismatched kitchen cabinetry, they agree to price it at $9.9M, including kitchen and bathroom renovations.

Ryan, Ryan, Ryan—what are we going to do with you? We catch up with this perpetually lost soul at NestSeekers Int'l., where hottie assistant Olivia informs him that no, Emilia has not called, as she is still pissed at him for that childish outburst last week.

He'd love to patch things up, but looks like it'll have to wait until he gets back from a trip to L.A. (Gasp, betrayal.) His longtime client Light (yup, that's his name) is flying him out to show him a property he'd like Ryan to negotiate for him.

Enter: Luis, who is still dealing with the shenanigans of real estate developer Ian Reisner at 230 Central Park South. They meet to discuss strategy on their seemingly one-sided "partnership," with Ian clearly trying to seduce Luis with alcoholic beverages whilst barking orders at him. Professional photography, brochures, open houses, business lunches—all expected in 10 days, with the money being taken straight from Luis and Ian's commission. But if they're co-listing, why is Luis doing all of the work? Ian's response: "Me work for you? Are you f*cking kidding me?" It seems Ian has gone from calling Luis "Ricky," to purposely Americanizing his name to Louis. Unfortunately, Luis sucks up the disrespect, condescension and racism because it's the most expensive listing he's ever had. (And because we're trying to make TV here, people.) It all feels very... wrong.

Back at the Apthorp, Freddy is getting ready to begin showing his and Ari's new listing. He takes an immediate liking to Alice, a woman with so much fur (both living and around her neck) and pizazz, she must be rich! Right? Freddy even flirts with her so successfully that she's almost distracted by the kitchen's mismatched cabinetry and shoddy bathrooms. Almost.

Despite the "flaws" of the apartment, Alice likes it and says she can visualize her renovations. Score!

Ryan arrives in L.A., all suited up and sunblocked down. He's ready for a East versus West, Biggie versus Tupac real estate battle. And we all know how well that ended for those two...

Sales for the giant combo listing at Central Park South have begun, and Luis is eager to get a deal done before Ian rips away his final shreds of self-respect. Ian has begun treating Luis less like a business partner and more like a—dare I say it—slave. He even asks him to pick up (and pay for) his dry cleaning, forcing him to be late to their first showing while Ian steals all of his thunder. Luis desperately tries to get his seller swag back on, but is foiled by Ian's inappropriate "size queen" joke and order-barking. And then in comes that damn peeing dog...

Is anybody else finding this whole thing a little racist?

Ryan and Light arrive at the L.A. digs and are greeting by the seller's agent, Sam.

The apartment is big, bright, and boasts beautiful views, but there's definitely some room for renos. Salesman Sam tries to play hardball with Ryan, telling him the best and final asking price is $3.9M. Normally I love to hate Ryan, but in this moment I kind of just love him for the way he mocks the Californian broker so perfectly: "Do you use price per square foot out here or is it more 'what you feeeeel,' brah?" Unmoved by Ryan's mockery and East coast sass, Sam's best and final offer comes in at $3.75. But Light already made it very clear to Ryan: "I won't go any over $3.5M." For now Ryan has to walk away from Sam, and a $31,250 commission. Oh well, time to hit up an In-N-Out Burger.

Freddy and Ari have a meeting with Alice and her real estate agent Bobby, and they've brought along blueprints for the changes they want made in the Apthorp unit. While they've already agreed to include the cost of renovations in the asking price, Alice also wants to redo all of the closets and completely move the location of the bathrooms—for $9.2M. After the usual scrobbling, Ari agrees on $9.5M best and final. And when Ari says best and final, he means best and final.

I am a robot. I feel nothing.

After a short and relatively painless cat-and-mouse game, the foursome settle on Ari's asking price—renovations included. Hmm, something smells... furry.

Ryan is traipsing the streets of L.A. alone, his tall, Gumby-like physique sticking out like a sore thumb amongst tan romper-clad residents. Sad, dejected and alone, the only person he wants to talk to is Emilia. And she wants nothing to do with him. Stay strong, girl!

Just when Ryan is almost forced to examine his own life and behaviors, Sam calls him back to tell him "Hey Mr. NYC Man," and agrees to get the deal done at $3.5M. Oh well, guess he's back to not giving a sh*t about his girlfriend!

Luis comes bounding into Ian's apartment to deliver good news: he has an $11M, all-cash offer for their shared Central Park South listing. Before Luis even has time to give Ian a bro hug, Ian has some of his own news to share: he, too, has an offer on the apartment... for $11.5 million. Teamwork at its finest, right? Not so fast: the offer was from the buyer that had an exclusion out on the apartment (which we learned about last week), which means Luis will receive nothing for commission.

OK, I'm actually offended at this point.

Good thing Luis has practice in self-control from his fight with Ryan earlier this season. Sure, he unleashes on Ian a bit, but fights for one more chance to make a deal happen. Luis has until 10am the following day to get a full-ask bid on the apartment. If he can do that, he will win the listing—the two even shake on it. But judging by Ian's character thus far, I wouldn't take his word for it.

Everything seemed to be going a bit too smoothly this episode, which is why when Fredrik gets a call that Alice's financial advisors lowered her purchase power to $5M, we're unmoved. Turns out Freddy's Rich Radar is off, and her fabulous fur was likely faux. Jordan pours them stiff scotch drinks to help Fredrik break the news to Ari.

The clock is ticking, and Luis is running out of time to sell Ian's apartment. He has 18 hours to bring his clients up nearly one million dollars to full ask on the Central Park South pad, and he's going nuts. Luis is normally a ball full of energy anyway, so in between badgering and relentless phone calls (red flag, ladies!) he does some calisthenics.

If Ryan was upset about Emilia earlier, he certainly seems to have gotten over it. With his $3.5M deal done, it's time for the grand opening of the first Beverly Hills NestSeeker's office.

Sure, he can charm a crowd and eat pigs in blankets with the best of 'em, but what does it all mean without Emilia? She returns his phone call while he's at the party, and begrudgingly agrees to see him when he gets back to town. He even squeaks out an "I miss you!" Oh Ryan, the West Coast is doing wonders for you.

According to Fredrik, the layout of the Apthorp's 2A is a better layout than the layout of his face, but he and Ari are still unable to find a buyer for it. Ultimately Freddy comes to the stinging realization that in an effort to appease Ari, he misjudged the apartment. They should've completed renovations first before putting it on the market. Take note, Jordan.

The time has come, and Luis arrives at the Central Park South listing to give Ian his news: he's gotten his seller to $11.95M—full ask. Naturally, Ian tries to back out on his deal and wants proof that these buyers won't go bust, but Luis has come prepared with bank statements, reference letters, credit reports and letter of intent. Ian must relent, and the deal is done! And for all of Luis's hard work (in this case, "hard work" means tolerating his racism), Ian even agrees to give him 3 percent commission.

· All Million Dollar Listing New York coverage [Curbed]

Apthorp Building

390 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023