It's Season 4 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: 4/22/2015.
Still riding the high from last week's 215 Sullivan Street sale, this week's ep begins with Fredrik heading to the (now-scandal-tinged) Time Warner Center to sling more high-priced real estate. Located at 25 Columbus Circle, Freddy claims it is "one of the most expensive buildings in the Western Hemisphere," although we cannot confirm or deny that claim. He's meeting with "seller/socialite" Cheryl (no, seriously, that's the little blurb they put under her name on the show) to check out her staggering multi-million dollar duplex.
Cheryl, a documented manhunter, has spent the last four years completely renovating, and now has to move because it's not family-friendly enough for her son, because kids ruin everything. In a theme that will present itself often in this episode (who are we kidding, this happens in every episode), she wants $50 million—$18,000 per square foot!—despite the fact that comps in the neighborhood are around $6,000 per square-foot. Even the money-hungry Fredrik can admit that it's too high, but ultimately says "screw the comps!" and agrees to an asking price of $34.975 million. His hope? That an international buyer with no concept of money will come and swoop it up. (Seems reasonable, actually.)
Angel and his family are finally out of their apartment at 92 Laight Street, which has allowed Luis to do a complete makeover on the outdated crib. It's looking hella good with new paint, new furniture and new energy. As Luis says, "I gave this apartment life!" Y'all know what comes after a staging, right? An open house!
Luis is in the middle of discussing apartment details with a realtor when he is suddenly distracted by another attendee's "beautiful eyes." OMG, how unprofessional can you be? Maybe you should get back on Tinder.
Ryan is off to Tribecaor what he refers to as "the mullet of New York" because it's business in the AM, and party in the PMto see a new client's apartment. But this isn't just any client… it is the owner of Nest Seekers, Ryan's boss Eddie. Eddie shows him around his 1,900-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom duplex. Despite the fact that is has a nice open layout—And a usable airshaft! Airbnb, anybody?—Eddie wants two times the normal asking price. (See, I told you this would be a theme throughout the episode.) His adorably mohawked son, Julian, tells his dad they should drop the price from $5M to $4.5M. See? Kids ruin everything. Even though he's probably right. But wait—we're not done yet. Besides selling the apartment at a ridiculously high price, he also wants Ryan to help him sling a massive art collection by the late Louis Coonch. Yeah--we've never heard of him either. Apparently, Eddie thinks Ryan's Instagram following qualifies him to also act as a gallery docent. Says Eddie: "We've been watching you… all of that social media work that you've been doing." First of all, who is "we?" Second of all, is this what he's referring to?
Luis prides himself on following up with clients, a.k.a. day-drinking with a purpose, so he's meeting with Angel for some Pinot Grigio (just lost all respect for you, Luis). Angel is angry because it's been two weeks since his apartment has been on the marketand since he has been living in a stranger's subletand still no offers. Angel says he's "not a patient person" and for Luis to call him when he gets some results. Aaand then he gets up and storms away. Awkward…
Ryan invites art appraiser Danielle to check out his collection of Coonches. She nicely tells him that the frames around the artwork are worth more than the actual art, and that the best chance he has of selling them is to "hope that somebody who loves the apartment loves the paintings." How much are we paying her for this advice?
In preparation for his party at the Time Warner Center filled with international buyers, e.g. massively rich Asian businessmen, Fredrik is going all out. He's prepared authentic Asian cuisine, brushed up on his foreign languages, and even bought a special-occasion silk outfit to wear!
Say what you want, but this guy knows what he's doing. Schmoozing the Asian brokers, busting out with Japanese hellos and Chinese how-do-you-dos. But all of his charm isn't enough to convince the guests that the crazy overpriced apartment is worth the money. How do you say "price chop" in Mandarin?
Dealing with a crazy client is hard enough, and unfortunately for Ryan, that crazy client happens to be his boss. He's barely settled into work when Eddie saunters in, ready to hear the news about his high-priced Coonch collection. Ryan plays it to him straight: the art is worth nothing, and no amount of Instagramming is going to change that. Eddie claims something is worth however much somebody is willing to pay for it, and orders Ryan to "sell it."
The next scene opens with Luis writing a letter in pen and ink to his client Angel. Yes, pen and ink. He's expressing his apologies for uprooting him from his home while he tries to sell his apartment. The ink isn't even dry on the page when his friend Adam—ya' know, the one who is letting Angel live at his place—calls and tells him he needs to move back into the apartment. He instantly blames it on the wife, "She's the boss!" but you know they had a conversation where she was like, "Just blame it on me, I don't care!"
It's five weeks into the 92 Laight Street listing and so far there has only been one offer for $4.75 million, which is significantly lower than Angel's $5.1 million ask. The two meet at a boxing ring to discuss, because as Luis says, "the one thing they have in common is boxing." (And they're both Spanish, which Angel pointed out several times in last week's episode.) Angel, either disgusted by the whole real estate process or tired of sleeping in another man's bedsheets, counters with $4.9 million.
Ryan is holding the first open house on Eddie's Coonch-filled apartment. He's calling it an "art-partment open house." So basically while he slings a way-overpriced apartment he's going to simultaneously sling way-overpriced artwork. Why didn't I become a broker again? Oh wait, because it seems like a terrible job. While we have to sit through confused buyers ask why Ryan is pushing awful paintings on them, we fortunately get our first sighting of Olivia, Ryan's
assistant former assistant who graduated to be an actual broker! Love her.
Ryan is failing miserably at selling the artwork, so instead he just starts blatantly lying to attendees about the painter. "He was partially blind." "He was the oldest living man to have an umbilical chord attached to him." "He painted with artificial limbs," Ya know, things like that. Even the brainless bimbos—I mean, fine young women— attending the party for the free champagne can see through the BS, saying: "At the end of the day, it's just a piece of cardboard with paint on it."
Warning: Intense boxing metaphors ahead! When a potential buyer for 92 Laight Street counters Angel's $4.9 million offer with $4.85 million, he's about ready to bow out and take it. But Luis thinks that he can get more for the apartment if they hold out. Looks like the gloves are off, and the mouth guards are in. Round one! When Luis gets a second offer from a new prospective buyer (how convenient that it happened to take place right as they're filming), he tries to create a bidding war. After a few go-arounds, punches to the gut, and a lot of sweat and confusion, an offer of $5 million comes through. DING DING DING!! Luis & Angel win!!!
Fredrik meets with delusional client Cheryl to discuss progress, or lack thereof, on the Time Warner apartment. For fear the listing will go stale on the market, she wants to raise the price to $42 million... because that obviously makes sense. Fredrik pleads with her that by raising the price she will ruin all of his current momentum. He's huge overseas! But she and the Pomeranian that she takes with her everywhere don't care.
Ryan nervously meets with Eddie to present him with a $3.5 million offer, all cash, on his apartment. Not only is the price one million less than asking, but the buyer has no interest in the art. Shocking. While Shake Shack seems like an odd choice for a lunch spot to butter up your boss, as Ryan says: "If you're going to get whacked, go somewhere public." Ryan gives him the buyer's max offer—$3.725 million—and Eddie counters with $3.95 million. Ryan points out that Eddie is fighting him over $50 a foot, and Eddie relents. Perhaps the grasshopper has become the master? The deal is done, with the stipulation that Ryan will still help Eddie sell his art. They shake hands, and then Eddie gets pooped on by a bird.