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‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ recap: persistence pays off

Here’s what happened on this week’s Million Dollar Listing New York

Tribeca’s 101 Warren Street, where Steve is selling a listing this week.

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 a bit of a snoozer—not much new real estate, not much drama—but we’re gonna recap it anyway. Here goes nothing!

Fredrik

Fredrik gets the least entertaining story line this week, mainly because we’re still focused on Steiner East Village, and really, there’s not much happening here. After Fredrik’s gentriciation dinner, the building is 50 percent sold, and so we follow the Swedish meatball around for private showings. He’s getting deals done. That’s pretty much the extent of it.

We then cut to Fredrik and his husband, Derek, talkin’ bout embryos—they’re still trying to have a baby, but now they’re going with a new team (egg donor, surrogate, and doctor) to help them do it. Because their attempts have thus far been unsuccessful, Fredrik is nervous. “I think when i take the lead it’s not meant to be,” he tells Derek, and asks him to take the lead in the process this time around. Derek, rightfully, thinks this superstition is silly, but Fredrik says he needs to let go of control over the process, and Derek agrees.

Okay, back to the real estate! Fredrik is back in the East Village and meeting with Doug Steiner, who’s multitasking, presumably because he’s a busy dude. But Freddy has good news—he’s gotten contracts on the penthouses, and all at full ask! “Not too shabby,” says Steiner. “I’m elated,” he says, with not a single trace of elation. (“I’m pretty flat-affect,” he admits.) Fredrik seems relieved, and is back to thinking about what he can do for the neighborhood.

So he takes a walk in Tompkins Square Park with his driver, Alberto, and muses on how he can continue to give back to East Village residents. “It’s important to get out of the car, out of the glass bubble,” he says, to which we say: duh. But we’re not going to rib him too much for wanting to make a difference; at the end of the episode, there’s a note that says Fredrik (and his Elliman partner, John Gomes) launched the Eklund/Gomes Foundation to help homeless youth, in part because of this experience. Which is nice!

Ryan

Ryan does get new real estate this week: He’s courting developer David Amirian, who’s launching a new project with the somewhat ridiculous moniker “The Twenty 1.” Ryan and Emilia (who seems to have lost her pants) have been invited to a Shabbat dinner at Amirian’s house, and it’s serious, with a rabbi saying prayers and everything. Ryan, seizing an opportunity, pushes the developer on the Twenty 1. “This is what real estate is,” says Ryan. “It’s about being consistently persistent.” (Though maybe a Shabbat dinner isn’t the most appropriate venue for it? Just a thought.)

There’s a musical improv group “entertaining” the assembled guests, and surprise surprise, Ryan gets called on to share details about his relationship with Amirian, so a little ditty can be improvised about them. It goes about as well as can be expected, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys musical improv, and at the end of it all Ryan is gifted with doing sales for the building—except, oops, not so fast! Amirian tells Ryan he’s just going to be selling one of its pricey penthouses, to the tune of $18.5 million. Ryan is sad!

We cut to the sales gallery for the Twenty 1, and it’s very tricked out: there’s Taj Mahal marble, custom Italian kitchen, swanky chevron floors, a model of the building, you know the drill.

A rendering of the Twenty 1, one of Ryan’s new properties this week.

Amirian decides that it’s time to quiz Ryan about the penthouse: “What do you think is the most important feature of this floorplan?,” he asks. Ryan says entry vestibule, but apparently that was the wrong answer—the answer is that it has four bedrooms. “What do you feel is the second most important feature of this apartment?” Amirian asks. Ryan says the finishes; Amirian says the parking. Ryan is not passing this test, and he’s nervous—especially when Amirian says he’s going to hang out for the broker event that Ryan is throwing.

But during the event, Ryan seems to be doing a good enough job of selling the place, emphasizing the space and the parking, just as the developer wanted. But there’s a problem: folks are interested in units that aren’t the penthouse … which Ryan doesn’t have the authority to sell. He takes those offers to Amirian, who merely responds: “great.” What does that mean, bro?

Next, Ryan is meeting with a client’s financial advisor about the penthouse, but they only want to offer $17.5 million—adding one and seven equals eight, and that’s a luky number, you see. The advisor tries to sweeten the deal by telling Ryan that if he can make it happen, he’ll get Ryan on board to sell a Hamptons property he’s representing—you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Ryan is intrigued—“I take bribes!” he exclaims.

So now it’s time for negotiations: He brings the $17.5 million offer to Amirian, who counters with $18.25 million. It goes on like this for a bit, and when Ryan and Amirian meet face-to-face, Ryan brings a best and final offer of $18 million—and the deal is done! Ryan is excited, because this means he gets to market the rest of the property, right?

Well, not exactly—Amirian was already in conversations with another broker, and he wants Ryan to co-list with that person. Ryan is dejected, and pouts for a bit, until Amirian reveals something else he had up his sleeve: another development in the East Village, which he wants to give Ryan the exclusive on, assuming all goes well with the Twenty 1. (The East Village development is “Thirteen East + West,” which launched sales last spring, FYI.) Ryan is no longer dejected.

Steve

Steve also gets new real estate this week, in the chi-chi 101 Warren in Tribeca. “It made Tribeca what it is today,” Steve enthuses. He’s working with Ian, who you’ll recall from the 11th Street eco-friendly apartments from a few episodes back; Ian is representing the seller of this particular unit, which is a 3,034-square-foot four-bedroom duplex that Steve calls “one of the most amazing properties I’ve ever seen.”

And it is pretty incredible: The space has north-facing views, incredibly high ceilings, leather walls, Venetian plaster—basically every fancy thing you would expect to find in a renovated Tribeca apartment. (It was purchased by a developer who spent $300,000 renovating it.) There’s also a double-height loggia with limestone columns. Sheesh.

According to Ian, the sellers want it to go for $13.5 million. Steve hesitates at first—it’s a little high, he thinks—but after some encouragement from Ian, he signs on. “I’m super stoked that I got this,” Steve says.

He starts by bringing in a financial advisor, Ken, who’s representing the folks who own the apartment the unit. Steve is trying to get them on board to buy his listing and combine the two units, which he says would “only” cost $300,000 (which apparently is a drop in the bucket when you’re the sort of person who can buy Tribeca apartments at whim). But Ken balks at the price. “You know nobody is getting asking price,” he tells Steve, which is true in many cases. He gives Steve a starting offer of $13 million, on the condition that the apartment not be shown to other people. “Take the known over the unknown every single time,” he tells Steve, before making fun of the sweater he’s wearing. (Why? Because it makes him feel like a big shot? To take Steve down a peg? Cool story, bro.)

Unsurprisingly, Ian’s not on board with that offer, so it’s time for private showings. Steve has lined up 19 showings in two days, and he’s getting right into the salesmanship game, showing off the apartment’s views and the plush amenities on an exceptionally windy day. (And we have vertigo from watching folks stand near the loggia’s ledge on a gusty day.) It’s obviously a divisive apartment; one potential buyer thinks the living area is too small, while another thinks it’s perfect for entertaining.

But surprise! Ken wants to meet with Steve again, because all of those showings have his clients nervous—they now want to offer $13.2 million. It’s still below asking price, and based on past experience, we can assume Ian’s reaction to that will not be good. But he counters will a best and final offer of $13.35 million. “The bad news is you’re still waring that ugly sweater,” Ken tells Steve. “The good news is you have yourself a deal.” That’s great and all, but seriously, dude, what’s with all the sweater hate?