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'Million Dollar Listing New York' Recap: Getting Lowballed

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This week's episode of Million Dollar Listing is full of high expectations and disappointing offers

It's Season 5 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: 5/19/2016.

Last week's episode of MDLNY ended in uncertainty, with both Luis and Ryan wading in murky real estate waters. This week, we pick up right where we left off, with Ryan reeling over his $25,000 worth of inspections at the massive townhouse at 38th West 87th. He calls Ward, who is naturally appalled and refuses to even entertain the idea. "I get that Ward is mad, but he needs to suck it up … Spending $25,000 to make $18 million is not that hard," says Ryan. In a matter of moments Ward hangs up on Ryan, causing him to burst into a slew of censored swears.

111 murray model
The $400,000 model of 111 Murray Street
Courtesy Bravo

Next up is Luis, who is visiting stock broker / financial advisor / total dude-bro Dennis at his office. Dennis is the financial advisor of a very big investor that Luis has worked with in the past, the type of investor that "will put your grandkids through college," he says. Luis comes bearing exciting news: through being a "persistent Puerto Rican" (his words) he's been able to get the very first showing at 111 Murray. The skyline-altering condo was developed in part by Howard Lorber, the owner of Douglas Elliman (this will come into play later). The two make plans to visit the building later in the week, and Luis goes about his merry way.

Next up is Fredrik, who's discussing the messiness of his office (which is littered with strategically placed copies of The Sell) with Jordan when Mona calls. She feels badly about the way things ended between them, and has an idea that she thinks he will find "mutually agreeable." If he can sell out 50 percent of The Williamsberry in two weeks, then he'll receive exclusivity on the 12 units she's withholding whenever she puts them back on the market. So, 18 units in 14 days. That seems reasonable, right?

The Williamsberry

Meanwhile, Ryan and Sebastian are at the palatial property on the Upper West Side, reviewing the never-ending list of fixes on the inspection sheet. Stubborn Sebastian refuses to take any item off the list, while Ryan begrudgingly slaps down sticky notes to mark every area of concern—i.e. leaky shower, scuffed floors, dirty grout. The potential buyer is a major player in the entertainment industry, and Ryan is willing to pay for the updates out of pocket, declaring "there is nothing worth losing a deal over."

Ever the clever marketeer, Freddy has discovered the beauty of ad retargeting and has used it to start hawking his Williamsberry listings throughout the Internet. Apparently it's working, as his days are stacked with back-to-back showings. With more 50 brokers coming to see the digs in just two days, he should sell out the building in no time.

The big day has come, and Luis and Dennis are on their way to check out what 111 Murray has to offer. The building is so exclusive it hasn't even been built yet, so they're actually just going to a sales floor that houses a $400,000 miniature replica of the skyscraper, and one full-sized sales model. Even the fake views are glorious, and Dennis thinks his client will be very interested. He's been authorized to go all the way up to $13.5 million, but the lavish penthouse has a schedule A (that means official listing price) of $13.75 million. Luis begs Dennis not to put in an under-ask offer, telling him "we're going to look like a joke," but Dennis just doesn't get it. Luis is forced to present the offer to the on-site seller Peter, who tells him he is going to "offend the developers" and that there is a list of 1,000 people who want to get into the building. (So you're saying it's a maybe?)

Fredrik has been hard at work slinging apartments, and with one week to spare he has just one unit left to sell. After yet another late night at the office, he comes home to a hunky Derek laying shirtless in bed. After some real estate talk, Derek asks him if he's happy with the decision they've made to move forward with having another baby. With three embryos on the line, they're letting the universe decide what going to happen. Now, time to cuddle.

Ryan is in a holding pattern until he hears back from Sebastian's client, so he heads to Jersey to hang out with his old college buddies. They all have kids and wives now, so instead of pounding beers, everybody is changing diapers. Ryan is nervously feeding a bottle to a random child right when his phone rings—it's Sebastian! After all the work he's put in Ryan is expecting a juicy full-ask offer, so when Sebastian comes at him with $15.5 million, he's visibly disgusted. What's scarier: dirty diapers, or Ward's reaction to a $2.5 million-under-ask offer? We're about to find out.

With only a few days to deadline, Freddy can't seem to get the final unit at The Williamsberry sold. The best apartments have already been taken, and potential buyers are struggling with that pesky bridge and/or that pesky price. Though he's trying not to get stressed out, Fredrik wonders out loud if he'll ever get to 50 percent. "Yes," says Jordan, assuredly. And this is why we love Jordan.

111 Murray

After waiting 24 hours for a response from Peter over at 111 Murray, Luis decides to call him for an update on the under-ask offer he and Dennis put in. The news on the other end of the phone isn't good: since they saw the condos, three other brokers have also seen them and put offers in. Now they want to increase the asking price by five percent (so, $600,000). All the work Luis put in to be the first broker on the scene is for naught, and his reputation with Howard Lorber is on the line.

To say Ryan isn't happy with Sebastian's offer would be an understatement, but nevertheless he must present it to Ward. They meet for drinks and he gives him the $15.5 million number, and predictably, Ward is unimpressed. It seems neither Ward nor Sebastian know how to negotiate, and getting either of them to budge in price is like pulling teeth. Ryan chastises his employee over the phone: "Didn't you learn from me? What the f*ck?! Get him up, get him up, get him up!" After a game of tug-of-war that leaves them at a best-and-final offer of $16.25 million, Ryan gives Ward some tough love ("If we don't take this, we're going to be here in two years talking about renting it") and Ward finally caves. Sold!

With one day left and one unit away from completing Mona's challenge, Fredrik has a potential bite at the 'Berry: His broker friend Philip, who says his clients are very interested but are also checking out some waterfront properties. Freddy pushes him: "You don't need to look at anything else, because I know this is the best!" Philip says he can't force anybody to do anything, but he'll let him know as soon as he hears back. Fingers crossed.

Luis heads to Dennis's office to break the bad news. Schedule A is off the table, and the new listing price is $14,437,500. Dennis suggests they "sit back and wait," as if the price will decrease over time. Wow, he reeeeally doesn't get it. Luis is finally able to break through his stock broker skull, and he gets on the phone with his client who agrees to the original schedule A pricing. Luis tries to tell him that schedule A no longer exists, but Dennis keeps saying "you can do it, you can do it, get it done." Luis decides it's time to go directly to the source: he needs to meet with Howard Lorber.

Fredrik's time is up, and he arranges to meet with Mona on the Brooklyn Bridge for an update. He runs up to her with a bundle of red balloons (how German of him), exclaiming that he's finally sold the last unit. "I knew you would do it!" says Mona, who reiterates the he will indeed get the commission on the remaining 12 when they hit the market. Hooray! Now, what to do with all of these balloons?

At his wits end, Luis goes to Howard Lorber with his tail between his legs, explaining his conundrum. Lorber isn't impressed, telling Luis: "You're not doing the right job for the client. You didn't do the right thing for anyone in this transaction." This is almost as bad as your parents telling you they're not mad, just disappointed. Luis wonders how he can fix the amount of credibility he just lost—I guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out.