Curbed - Selling NY Recap: Full Nesters vs. Empty Nesters

CurbedMarch 09, 2012
HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Gumley Haft Kleier and Warburg as they try to sell fabulous properties fabulously. Here's our recap of how the NYC real estate industry is portrayed to the world, penned by Molly Reisner. Episode air date: 3/8/2012.

Most New Yorkers know what's it's like to not have enough space (duffle bags crammed with clothes under the bed, only accessible by lifting up metal mattress frame, anyone?), and a very lucky few have the opposite "problem." We got a taste of both worlds in last night's episode of Selling New York, when sellers put their ill-fitting square footage on the market. A pair of brokers help a family of five flee their two bedroom Upper East Side apartment. Will a double-listing with the upstairs apartment bring in more bucks for the space-strapped family? Then, an agent assists an Upper West Side empty nester with marketing her too-massive sky-high manse. Oh, and her building doesn't allow public open houses. How will this apartment ever get sold? Find out the fate of two families with not much to lose in this twist-trying recap!
Family fun time starts now >>


Brokers Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern and Daniel Kerin are en route to seller Kristen Mulvoy William's apartment at 150 East 93rd Street.

Kristen's had three kids in a whopping 13 months—an adopted daughter, followed by twins in pregnancy. Someone get this woman a spa treatment and a plate of nachos, stat.

With her kids sharing a bedroom Brady Bunch style, Kristen is more than ready for a move from her 2 bed/1 bath 1,000-square-foot unit. The price? $699k:

The space is well-decorated and recently renovated, but what I want to know is if this little munchkin comes with:

As they say in French and English: adorable!

Back at Kleier HQ, Dan shares a wacky idea with Sab. A sponsor unit (an apartment that's still owned by the original owner) directly above Kristen's is also on the market. Since it has the same layout as Kristen's, Dan's thinking it'd be a good idea to see if they can get "a combination opportunity" to list both units together. AND MARKET THEM AS A POTENTIAL DUPLEX, PEOPLE! The goal is that it will bring in more $$ per square footage, boosting everyone's income. Sab likes the idea, but wants a 3-D rendering done so buyers can visualize what the bi-level space could look like.

Next, Sab and Dan head over to meet broker Jude Dayani. She reps Kristen's upstairs neighbor and they need to sweet talk her into co-listing.

A peek at the $625k sponsor unit, looking a lot more rustic in its original condition:

Jude gets momentarily despondent about the hassles of co-listing:

But then when Sab is all "you have nothing to lose," Jude snaps out of it and cheerily agrees!
At the open house, architects Brendan Tadler and Young Kim offer their vision of what the rendered 4 bed/3 bath pre-war style duplex could look like:

The proposed duplex price clocks in at $1.324 million. Making the duplex conversion would be another $250-300k. Wait a mathematical moment! How is combining the two units a win for the sellers, if the duplex price is just the combination of the two asking prices? I know someone can explain this to me.

The renderings get a lot of interest at the open house:

Later, Dan, Sab and Sab's son Cooper hang out with Kristen and her kid posse at urban craft center Make Meaning:
While the kinder play with baubles, Sab and Dan tell Kristen there was a lot of interest in her apartment but nada offers. Kristen, happy with how it's all going, tells the broker duo that she referred her selling neighbor to them. The update reveals that a month later, Kristen accepted a $650k offer on her pad. And my research reveals that the sponsor unit sold too. Everybody wins...except the duplex.

Seller Rebecca Clemente doesn't need her 4 bed/3.5 bath Trump Place palace anymore. The 2,962-square-foot double-unit property is too big without the children home anymore. Enter CORE agent Emily Beare!

Em takes a tour of Rebecca's 220 Riverside Boulevard beauty:

Louie, Rebecca's parrot, says the nest should be priced at just below 15 billion saltine crackers (that's around $6 million):

Impressed with the apartment's layout and decor, Em says "it's not just another apartment, it's really a home." Public open houses aren't allowed in the building, so Em comes up with a plan to event. Invite only, open house crashers.

But who to pull off this elegant affair? Em pays a visit to uber party planner Colin Cowie at his office

Colin's into it, and also into getting paid. "Who do I send the bill to?" he joke/asks for reals. He suggests getting Gigi, an electric rock violinist, to make musical magic with her strings at the party. SPOILER ALERT: she makes so much magic!

Next, Em meets up with her daughter, Elizabeth (also a CORE agent) to check out invites at Kate's Paperie. The party is supposedly less than a week away and you're doing invitations now?! Basically, the invites are going to arrive two days after the party. And why do I care? I wasn't even invited!

Mother and daughter point out their favorite:

Heyyy, it's RSVP-only open house hour:

Cheeses come with their own topping selection. So fancy!:

Later, at pastry store La Bergamote, Em tells Rebecca there's lots of interest, and maybe even an offer.

A reminder that there is good in the world:

Em doesn't disappoint, as the update explains that she received an offer and is negotiating. Aaaand, it looks like it sold. Now that's the power of a Colin Cowie event!

Episode Review: Pads got purchased, a duplex perplexed, and watching Gigi burn up the joint moves me to give 3.5 out of 5.0 cackling I WANT A COLIN