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.
A fun thing about recapping this show is seeing how the deals that our brokers are working on actually play out—after all, we’re seeing things that took place months ago, which can be an eternity in real estate time.
Case in point: The property that Fredrik is working on this week is a gorgeous townhouse at 838 Carroll Street in Park Slope. Astute Curbed readers will remember that this beaut hit the market last spring with the slightly ridiculous asking price of $15 million—which, if it had actually sold, would have been a record-breaker for the borough.
But things don’t always work the way that sellers (and brokers) want them to; the house got several price cuts, and was finally de-listed earlier this year; now, it’s back with Corcoran, asking just $10 million. It sort of deflates the drama of the show a bit to know what’s going to happen in the future (whoa), but hey, I’m here to recap, so recap I shall.
So yeah: Fredrik is in Park Slope, meeting with developer Jeanne (who he’s worked with in past seasons) about this big ol’ townhouse. “Some parts of Brooklyn are still emerging and gritty,” says Fredrik (hmm), “but not Park Slope.” And this house definitely doesn’t fall into the gritty category. You know the details: built in 1888, designed by C.P.H. Gilbert, 32 feet wide, 13 wood-burning fireplaces, tons of space, yada yada yada. “I just want to lick it,” says Fredrik. Okay!
Of course, there’s a back-and-forth over price: Jeanne wants to sell it for $16 million. Fredrik, rightly, knows this is too high, and tries to get Jeanne to go for $11 million, which Jeanne calls a joke. (Oh, Jeanne, we have some news for you from the future.) Finally, they agree on $12.75 million, and the deal is done. (Weird that it listed for $15 million, though?)
Fredrik holds an open house, and while folks are impressed with the home, the general consensus is that the price is too high. And then Jeanne shows up, harshing Freddy’s mellow—she’s getting business cards, she’s micromanaging, and he’s clearly nervous. “The only thing that can defuse a situation like this is to present an offer,” he says.
And yet: Despite Fredrik’s best efforts, no offers are coming through, and Jeanne is pissed. “I’m expecting more,” she tells him. “I want a contract now.” (Welp.)
Fredrik has an offer, finally: someone who will pay $10 million, but wants to wait six months to close. And Jeanne is pissed—she’s not happy about the time limitation on closing, and she’s not happy about the under-ask offer. “This is just a huge disappointment,” she tells Freddy. And with that, she fires him. Fredrik seems to be taking it pretty hard—and blaming himself!—but uhhh my man, if you can just fast-forward, you’ll see … it’s not your fault.
Ryan is bored with his life, poor guy. “Do you ever get tired of doing the same thing all day every day?” he asks his driver, moodily. He wakes up, goes to the gym, eats breakfast, shows apartments, answers emails, comes home to his wife, and does it all over again. What’s a poor broker to do? “I love what I do… but it does get monotonous,” he says.
But that pattern’s not about to break anytime soon, because he’s once again working with Yvonne, a developer who’s brought Ryan on to several of her developments. This one is the Jacqueline, on East 67th Street, and it’s fine. The building has just five units, including a penthouse and a ground-floor maisonette (seen here), and as Ryan notes, “there’s a lot of competition in the neighborhood.”
They agree to compromise on the price of the penthouse, and that cinches the deal—except for one thing. Yvonne wants to bring a woman on to work with Ryan, because she thinks he won’t understand the needs of Upper East Side moms. And she has a woman in mind: Amy Herman, a broker who, if you’ll recall, Ryan butted heads with last year (and then ended up hiring, because why not?). Yvonne has a pretty good reason for wanting to hire Amy—she’s a mom who lives in the neighborhood and knows the clientele. Ryan reluctantly agrees.
Amy and Ryan are doing an open house, and things are going … surprisingly well? Ryan wants to take credit, and says that Amy has turned into a nicer broker because of him. (Um … okay.) In fact, she seems to be doing better than Ryan at the whole enthusiasm-about-the-development thing—Ryan admits to feeling a little stuck, still. (It’s worth noting there are just two episodes left, so presumably there will be some conclusion to this.)
Ryan is in therapy, and this is uncomfortable—he says it is, I think it is, doesn’t this violate HPAA? Anyway, he’s talking to his therapist about feeling blue. “It feels like something’s missing,” Ryan tells his therapist. And you know, I kind of feel for the guy; it’s hard to change up a routine when you’ve gotten stuck in one. And his therapist gives him some good advice: there’s more to life than work … and Ryan should go watch a sunset. “You need to escape from [work] a little bit,” he says. It’s solid advice! Do it, Ryan!
Steve is visiting an old client named Sam, who he helped find an apartment a couple of years ago. The loft, at 69 Wooster Street, is … well, it’s something else. “Holy shit, is this the same place I sold you?” Steve asks.
I really don’t know how to describe this. There’s a powder room that was painted blood red, using 12 layers of paint. Some of the walls are metallic, but some aren’t. There’s a chandelier made from parts of a cathedral organ. There aren’t any doors to the guest room? There’s a bath tub labeled with a plaque that says “gold digger,” and another in the master bathroom—which is covered in gold mosaic tile—that says “golden showers.” There’s a couch that was made from a coffin! (Oh, and Steve’s pal spent $4 million on the renovation!!!!!)
It’s a 50 Shades of Grey fever dream with a touch of a bro’s industrial bachelor pad and just a soupçon of goth maximalism, and Steve is super into it because it’s not cookie cutter. (See for yourself.)
Steve thinks he can get $12 million for the place, but Sam is reluctant about selling; after all, he just renovated it to his tastes (…) and he hasn’t even had a chance to live in it yet. But Steve convinces Sam that he should put it on the market. Sam agrees, with conditions: he doesn’t want it on the open market, he doesn’t want any open houses, and he wants to be there when Steve shows it so he can explain his vision. (His really confusing vision.)
So Steve brings a couple of clients into the space, and despite Sam’s assurances that he would stay out of the way during the showing, he starts butting in and letting the clients know about his design choices. Steve is not happy. “What’s your thing with gold?” one of the potential buyers asks, and I am wondering the same thing, pal.
“This loft is super specific,” says Steve, and I’m still wondering why he tried to convince Sam to sell this place, which is so clearly tailored to his taste, and his taste only. But apparently Bradley Cooper, Steve’s driver, has a client who may be interested—his dentist, who must be a very good dentist if he can afford this kind of real estate. And it seems like he’s interested in the place! He offers $12 million, and wants to do an immediate close.
“Honestly, I don’t really know what to say about this,” says Sam. “I’m not ready to move out.” Whoops!