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‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ recap: lowball offers and inflated egos

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On this week’s episode, developers and sellers refuse to admit it’s so not 2013 anymore

The townhouse at 7 Hubert Street, which is one of this week’s featured properties.
Douglas Elliman

It's season six of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three brokers—Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, and new guy Steve Gold—show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps.

This week’s episode was rather tepid, which seems to be a theme for the show thus far. Maybe it’s because we rarely see the three brokers together; maybe it’s because I already know how these deals end up; but the episodes haven’t really delivered on juicy drama, real estate or otherwise. Maybe that’s why the tease for next week’s episode brings back Luis Ortiz, who, you’ll recall, left the show to go be happy in Paris.

Anyway, let’s get to the real estate for this week, shall we?

Fredrik

Fredrik is at the launch party for 5 Beekman, tied to the opening of Beekman Hotel, where “everything needs to be perfect.” Freddy’s been on it for three years, and the building is two-thirds sold. The developer wants Fredrik to sell the 41st-floor model unit, but Fredrik has a few buyers interested in the penthouse. The developer isn’t budging. “It’s a mistake… but I have to agree,” says Fredrik. Something tells us that he won’t abide by that rule for too long.

And yes, indeed, after the commercial break a very European designer named Bernt wants to go see the penthouse—and Fredrik, sensing a deal may be afoot, obliges. The penthouse is a literal construction zone; there’s no lighting, and raw material is everywhere. But no matter; after some hemming and hawing, Bernt smiles. “Fredrik, I think we did it.” Fredrik is happy!

But later, the client’s broker, Geno, calls Fredrik and offers $10 million. Oops! The penthouse is supposed to sell for $12 million. And because he has to disclose the offer to the developer—it’s the law!—Fredrik may be in trouble.

One of the residences at 5 Beekman Place in the Financial District, which is one of Fredrik’s properties this week.

So he heads to developer Eric Bass’s office, where he presents the offer for the penthouse. “Nobody’s supposed to see the penthouse,” says Bass, crankily. Fredrik is laying it on thick—calling a potential penthouse sale a neighborhood game-changer—but Bass is still mad, and even more so when he hears that the offer is nearly $2 million before the asking. “I’m starting to second guess myself for hiring you,” he tells Fredrik. “We’ll have to revisit our relationship.” Fredrik is crestfallen. (Spoiler alert: he’s still selling those apartments—including the penthouse, which entered contract last year—so presumably they patched things up.)

Ryan

“We’re going to 7 Hubert in Tribeca,” says Ryan, and astute Curbed readers will recognize that address: it’s the home of financier Alan Wilzig, who’s been trying to sell his tacky Tribeca mansion since 2014. Things are off to a great start: Alan is late, his bathing suit-clad girlfriend is wandering around the house, and he eventually pulls up to the meeting in his Incredible Hulk-themed sports car. “This place is insane,” says Ryan.

And he’s not exactly wrong: The house is 40 feet wide, is decorated with exotic animal parts (seriously), has a massive roof deck—oh, and did we mention that the master bedroom is a panic room with bulletproof glass windows? Yeah, it’s that kind of place, and Wilzig wants to sell it for $25 million. He’s leaving Manhattan, you see, to spend more time upstate.

Things seem to be going pretty smoothly: Ryan suggested selling the place for a hair under $25 million, which Wilzig went for; and one of the Serhant team’s most enthusiastic sellers, Danny, is working on the property with Ryan. (He’s very touchy-feely, suggests bringing a tiger to an open house, and calls Ryan “my bearded king.” So, not like Ryan at all, is what we’re saying.)

They have 700 people confirmed for an open house, and when Ryan arrives, Danny says he has something “very, very, exciting to show you”—an ice sculpture of Ryan. “This is going to be delightfully awkward,” says Ryan. (It eventually breaks, which is perhaps a portent for what’s to come next.) But the open house goes well, and there are even a couple of potential offers—including one from a guy who only wants to deal with Danny.

Alas, that’s not an attitude Ryan is getting from his client: Wilzig has been calling Ryan non-stop , and he’s pissed. “I call you, I email you, I text you,” but he never hears from Ryan—he’s constantly being shifted to Danny. “There’s no substitute from speaking to, hearing back from, a principal,” Wilzig complains. He calls Danny a glorified paper shuffler (rude!), and tells Ryan that unless he starts handling Alan’s listing personally, they’re done. (Maybe this is why the property has been through several brokers and price chops in three years? Just a thought.)

Steve

Steve lost $5,000 on the botched open house at his friend Sam’s apartment, but the seller is calling to apologize, and Steve decides to take him back on. “What can I say, I’m a softy.” Sure, Steve.

He heads back at London Terrace, where there are 12 showings lined up. They’re going better than last time—the brokers coming through actually get what Sam did with the space—and one of the attendees says he may have an interested client. So far, it’s all pretty drama-free.

We cut to Steve on a date with a blonde girl named Taylor from New Jersey. They start off by talking about plastic surgery and it’s basically downhill from there. (This is boring, we’re not here for the dating, we’re here for the real estate, so let’s move on.)

After the whole dating ordeal is over, Steve meets up with Sam with some good news: He has an offer! But there’s a problem: The client offered $1.15 million—quite a bit less than the asking price—and Sam sees it as a bit of a kiss-off. Steve says the client is a young guy who “doesn’t have a ton of money” (uh, eyeroll), and recommends “entering a conversation” with them. Because real estate is all about negotiation, remember?

Steve goes back to the potential buyer, telling them that Sam will only say yes if they tack on $15,000; the buyer counters with $1.2 million, but they want all of Sam’s furniture. Sam, who knows how much time he spent making that stuff (and thus, how much it’s worth) says no way, and the deal is off. Or is it??? (It’s not.)

“Some of my most difficult and time-consuming listings” are ones that are low-priced, according to Steve, but this one ended happily: The buyers accept Steve’s final offer of $1.2 million.