Selling New York Recap: Grooming and Guidance

CurbedFebruary 10, 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: 2/9/2012

Helping hands were extended in last night's Selling New York when two newbies dared to dip their careers and wallets into NYC real estate's raging waters. First, a fast-talking agent agrees to bring his sweet daughter-in-law under his wing for a crash course in real estate know-how. Will she ever be able to ditch her training wheels? Then, a potential buyer is more interested in her broker's under-renovation apartment than a move-in ready unit. Ethical drama ensues! Bring your GPS because that storyline is ALL OVER THE MAP. Feeling lost already? Hint: Scroll your mouse due south for the next 8 feet of recap routing!

First, click on the blue text >>

It's family dinner night at Orsay for Warburg broker Richard Steinberg. On the menu? His daughter-in-law, Jill Steinberg, asking her pop-in-law if she can work with him. Jill'll be taking her real estate exam and getting her license in a few weeks and wants some heels-on experience stomping around the real estate world. Richard had a feeling Jill would ask—and now, for the first time ever, his "I knew it" face exposed!

"I would be honored," says Richard—but she has to start at the bottom as his assistant. He explains she'll shadow him (AKA no talking, woman!) when he goes to pitch for a 10 condo exclusive at...

Williamsburgh Savings Bank. The one at 175 Broadway in Williamsburg, not the one at 1 Hanson Place in Downtown Brooklyn. There, he meets with The Dome Voyagers developers Juan and Carlos to check out the space and offer his services.

Check out the soaring lobby, and some manufactured meddling from Jill who's just trying to unsubtly make Richard look good:

Jill's untimely interruptions to Richard's pitch unsurprisingly earn her a "less is more" lesson from pops. Next, Richard takes Jill to Level 2 of Real Real Estate Experience with an apartment showing at 205 West 19th Street in Chelsea.

Richard leads a potential buyer through the layout of this $3.695 million beauty. Jill? She watches. And listens. And learns. FROM THE MASTER!

Why are these candles bent over? WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THESE STICKS OF WAX? CSI: Special Candle Unit needs to get on the case!

The buyer likes the size and the light, but not so much the open kitchen or bathrooms. Pass! Richard commends Jill on a job well done (of keeping her trap mostly shut). Richard has one more level for Jill to complete. There's an open house at 39 East 29th Street and SURPRISE! Richard makes Jill in charge of showing the $2.035 million listing.

Will Jill carpe the open house or crash n' burn? Jill handles questions, knows to call a regular bathtub a "soaking tub" and is all around pleasant and professional. Richard thinks Jill did a Steinbergtastic job and explains it's all about confidence. Back at Jill's home, the family is in a celebratory mood. Richard says that since the open house, there have been two offers and two contracts signed on units in the building. And, Jill passed her real estate test and is fully licensed. Even better? Richard wants Jill to work at Warburg and tap into the young families demographic.

All this good news is too much for Elmo—he has an unnoticed fainting spell with his eyes open. I know, why is no one paying attention to this?:

Where is Jill now? Well, she's got her own page on Warburg's site for starters. And the update shares that she's working on a Warburg initiative to sell NYC properties to overseas clients. Get it, girl!

CORE agent Vickey Barron has one goal: to sell a recently renovated apartment at 280 Park Avenue South in Gramercy. Maybe it will be to potential buyer Irasema Alonso. She's been looking for just the right 1 bedroom in the nabe to snatch up, but she hasn't seen her dream digs. Will this $1.35 million unit compute with the Yale economics professor? "

"This apartment has everything I'm looking for" Irasema gushes. But it doesn't have cans of paint all over the place, ladders in the middle of the room and exposed wires! Irasema is intrigued when Vickey mentions she's renovating her own apartment which is right around the corner. Maybe she wants to renovate a place too! She asks Vickey if she can see her place. Weird, but OK! (And actually, it's apparently not the first time this has happened.) The ladies go down the block to Vickey's for a look at her $1 million unit, with $250k already sunk into renovations:

Could this tubing be the latest trending NYC amenity...a gerbil chute?! Because gerbils need indoor slides too:

Vickey's no amateur when it comes to reno'ing real estate—she's done 10 apartments in the last 18 years. Hello, side business! "Renovating takes vision, time and commitment" Vickey explains, which is why she doesn't encourage buyers like Irasema to embark on the headache of renovating places themselves.

It seems that all of Vickey's reno-bashing has only made Irasema want her apartment more! When the two sip some outdoor drinks, Irasema has lots to say. First, she wants to offer $1.215 million for the Park Avenue South pad. All cash, baby! Second, she'd rather buy Vickey's place for $1.3 million cash money.

Vickey seems almost annoyed at the offer:

Because she needs to focus on selling Park Avenue South, not wheel and deal her own stuff. Despite her negative reaction, Irasema still wants Vickey to think about her offer. So much so that when they grab some grub at Socarrat, Irasema asks about her apartment AGAIN. No dice. Vickey sticks to her ethical guns and says her responsibility is to sell her listing. Whose owners have counter-offered Irasema's bid with $1.250 million.

It seems that Irasema shied away from the counter offer since Vickey is showing the place to other buyers. She miiiight consider selling her own apartment once 280 is in the can... Hey! 280 got sold! Irasema goes to Vickey's now finished home to see the final product:

Dazzled by the design and layout, Irasema extends her offer again to Vickey. But it's not enough dough to put a dent in Vickey's reno costs. Bright side! Vickey agrees to be Irasema's broker and help her find the perfect spot to call home. Yay? Episode Grade: A cockles-warming tale of helping one's family mixed with a meandering story that kind of went nowhere leaves me lukewarm with 3.0 out of 5 cackling THE STEINBERGS ARE TAKING OVER THE SHOW!