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: 5/13/2015.
The episode opens on Luis, who is heading to 46 Carmine Street located in the irresistibly tree-lined West Village. Luis says the neighborhood "is a place for movie stars, artists, writers..." Not sure what kind of artists and writers he's hanging out with, but I think most of them are living with five other roommates in Bushwick. Seller Bianca bought the 800-square-foot apartment back in 1972, after it was owned by influential American painter Jackson Pollock for just $27,000.
Now Bianca hopes to cash in on a big pay day by flipping the property. After the typical pricing squabble, they agree on a $1.25 million offer, with the promise of an epic bidding war to drive up the value.
After multiple failed attempts at serious apartment viewings, Ryan has to meet with his crazy Russian client, Arty, for some tough love. (You know, the tequila drinking artist who wants to invest $20 million in NYC real estate?) Ryan explains that in order for them to be taken seriously by brokers, he needs to leave his posse of women at home during showings. At first Arty is super offended: "Honestly, I'm really pissed off right now," but Ryan stands his ground and Arty agrees that for the next showing he'll fly solo. Then they take a shot of tequila, obvi.
After a successful double-date last week between Ryan, Freddy and their respective partners, Emilia is making good on her promise of letting Derek paint her portrait. What she doesn't know is that Freddy and Derek are also planning on stealing, errr, asking for her eggs. And I'm not talking about the ones that go in an omelette. While Emilia and Derek get set up à la Jack and Rose in Titanic, Freddy quickly runs out to meet with one of his stagers to check on progress at West 19th Street. Staging assistant Andrew shows him a bunch of fur samples (faux fur, of course), they agree on some sheepskin and Freddy makes a quick exit to get back in time to pop the big question to Emilia.
Freddy gets home, and without much beating around the bush, asks Emilia if she'd consider donating her eggs to them. (What is this, a canned food drive?) He says she "wouldn't have to be a mother," which is a complete contradiction of what he said in the last episode, which is that they'd definitely want the egg donor in the child's life. In the sweetest way possiblewhile looking completely freaked outEmilia says that it's a huge decision and she'd really have to think about it. Sooo... I'll take that as a maybe?
There's a line around the block to enter the Jackson Pollock-branded open house on 46 Carmine Street. Ronita says she can "feel his spirit" which, if you know anything about Jackson Pollock, probably means she feels drunk and angry. The flood of sunlight and refreshing layout of the pad is enough to overshadow the smaller square footage. But will it be enough to sell it? Maybe, baby.
Emilia and Ryan are catching up on their work days and eating a delicious salad when she hesitantly tells him about Derek and Freddy's request. Ryan goes back and forth between confused, angry, and amused, before joking that if he and Emilia have a kid that they don't like, they'll just give it to Derek and Freddy. Problem solved!
Before Ryan can put Freddy in his place, he has to deal with Arty. It's like a Men With Ridiculous Requests Parade up in here. He's taking him on a showing in FiDi to see the new development at 50 West. So new, in fact, that it hasn't even been built yet. Ryan takes him on a virtual tour of the penthouse, plus shows him a model version of the apartment. Arty is sold on the views, and the fact that the apartment will take up an entire floor. (He doesn't seem to care that it's also a couple million dollars under budget.) He's ready to make a deal... as soon as he gets the okay from his girlfriends. Wow, maybe he's a better boyfriend than I thought.
It seems that Luis's "price low, aim high" strategy is working, as it's been 24 hours and he already has six offers on the 46 Carmine Street apartment. Two of them are at full-ask, all cash. Time to start the bidding war!
There's an issue with the co-exclusive contract at 138 West 19th Street (wow didn't see that coming from an episode away), so Fredrik invites Ryan to his office for a "business meeting." I put "business meeting" in quotes, because the first thing Freddy brings up is that Emilia declined his request to donate her eggs to his and Derek's sperm. Ryan tries to change the subject, but is instantly put on the defense as Freddy plays the "I don't have female reproductive organs" card.
Seemingly the only sane one in the room (not counting Jordan who's trying to be invisible at his desk), Ryan explains that it's just straight up weird for Freddy to ask his girlfriend for her eggs, especially without running it by him first. Freddy, clearly miffed by Ryan's lack of empathy, tells him without explanation: "Something with the contract didn't work out and we can't do the co-exclusive anymore." Go on take the money and run, Freddy. You just put the last nail in the coffin of your and Ryan's nonexistent friendship.
Luis, with the help of Ronita, has successfully created a bidding war. The two have managed to drive the price of 46 Carmine from $1.25 million to $1.4 million, but they're not done yet. They meet with Brendan, the broker representing the second-highest offer at $1.35 million. His clients reeeallly want the apartment and are willing to go toe-to-toe for it. Luis says if they commit to $1.46 million (because Pollock's favorite number was 46--get it?!?) the apartment is theirs. Brendan gets the go-ahead from his clients, and the three break bread over a job well done. Thanks, Jackson! I'm sure this is the legacy you would've wanted.
Arty and his gals love the 50 West apartment and want to buy it, but only on one condition. He makes Ryan meet him some random race-car track, probably in Queens, to explain his terms. (Would be remiss not to point out that Arty has hella armpit sweat during this conversation. Like, hella all-encompassing armpit sweat.) As Ryan stands confusedly watching cars fly around a track, Arty says: "If you win, I buy. If I win, I fly." That's rightRyan has to race Arty for his commission.
Clearly unfazed by his betrayal to Ryan, and already deep into the delusion that Ryan has somehow wronged him, Freddy gears up for the open house at 138 West 19th Street. The staging is done, and it's ready for public consumption. Too bad the air conditioner is broken, and it's hot as f*ck. (Maybe you shouldn't have pushed so hard for those furs, Freddy!) The penthouse is filling up with potential buyers, but all of them start fading due to the unbearable heat. They're dripping in sweat and seemingly too frazzled to truly enjoy the digs or commit to a $6 million investment. Karma, baby!
Ready, set, go! Ryan and Arty are racing around the track to determine if Arty will buy the 50 West apartment. Ryan's goals are clear: 1) Win the race, 2) Don't die. He starts slow but builds speed, and on lap eight surpasses Arty for the win. (Psst, don't tell RyRy that Arty actually lost on purpose so he could buy the new crib.) The two jump for joy as Ryan feels his wallet grow by half a million dollars.
Apparently the non-air conditioned open house wasn't as much of an issue as Freddy thought, because since the event at West 19th Street he's sold out all of the lower units at full-ask. The slightly overpriced penthouse is still up for grabs, but the market is hot (no pun intended) and Freddy is confident... until he gets on the phone with developer Erez.
Despite his excitement about the other units being sold, he wants to take the penthouse off the market and wait for more buzz to build around it, and then re-list it. "This is the end of this conversation," he says, and hangs up. I'm no real-estate expert, but pretty sure that makes no sense. Fredrik, bewildered, vows to figure out something, anything, to get the unit sold. But first, some unintelligible swears in Swedish.
Until next week...
· Million Dollar Listing New York [Bravo]
· All Million Dollar Listing coverage [Curbed]