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03-01-2013 - Curbed

Selling New York S6E13: That’s a Tall Order


HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Kleier Residential, 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 Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 2/28/2013.

Well folks, season six of Selling New York is finally coming to an end. The last 13 weeks have been great—really, they have. No no, it's not you, it's me. Actually, it's HGTV. But why bother pointing fingers? Let's just enjoy the last of our time together while we reflect on this week's episode. And if there's anybody who can help turn that frown upside down, it's Warburg Agent Deborah Lupard. Unless, of course, she's trying to look for rentals—for her cousin. Need we say more? We're also introduced to the hunky Tony Sargent, associate broker at CORE. He needs to help a client sell her current apartment, while purchasing one at the same time. Can he get it done before she gets back from vacation? Or will she come home to homelessness?

We get two Lupards for the price of one this week, when we're introduced to Deborah Lupard's curly-cue cousin Rebecca. In a crazy turn of events, Deborah didn't even know she had a cousin until she was getting her nails done and Rebecca introduced herself. So, that's not sketchy at all. Nevertheless, Deborah is now helping Rebecca find a rental. Not her usual forte, but hey, family is family.

Rebecca is looking for a 3BR in Tribeca and has a $10K budget, which seems pretty hefty until she begins to list her requirements: en-suite bathroom, pet-friendly for her 98-pound rottweiler, lots of natural light, large kitchen, and laundry in the unit. Oh, and she only has a month to move. Deborah's response: "Oy." She's clearly already regretting the decision to help her "cousin."

The first rental they check out is a 2BR, 2BA at 84 Thomas Street.

So, already we know that it's missing a bedroom, and what they think is an en-suite bathroom is actually a closet. Right away, Rebecca knows she wants to see more. Anything for you, 'cuz!

They haven't even hit up a second loft yet, and already Deborah thinks they might have to start crossing items off of Rebecca's wish-list. Before bursting her bubble, they head to their next property.

The 2BR, 2BA is listed at only $8,200, but the low price isn't enough to make up for the lack of a third bedroom and the fact that the en-suite bathroom is missing again.

Deborah is starting to display the type of frustration that only your family can induce in you. And Rebecca is displaying the "I-don't-give-a-whatwhat" attitude you can only give to your family, because anybody else would tell you to screw off. In all fairness, despite the laundry list of requirements for the rental, the two biggest things Rebecca had asked for are a third bedroom and an en-suite bathroom, and Deborah hasn't been able to deliver. Is she low-balling her own flesh and blood?

The two meet up at Le Pescadeux to have lunch and regroup. The clock is ticking and they still haven't found the right apartment. Deborah insists upon them checking out a previous listing at 16 Warren Street even though it only has two bedrooms. What Deb calls "concessions" Rabs calls "sacrifice," and tensions are, like, kinda' starting to flare.

Deborah thinks the 16 Warren Street listing is seemingly perfect: $9,595/month, 2BR, 2.5BA. Wait, what? Only two bedrooms? OK, now even I'm starting to get annoyed.

How come they haven't tried to check out a different location? Or possibly upped the budget? Why haven't we seen Lupard bust out some classic real estate tricks of the trade?

When we next meet up with the cousins Lupard they're taking Rebecca's dog Lexi for a walk, which is code for "talking about WTF they're going to do about this unsuccessful apartment search." Fortunately, Rebecca was able to extend her current lease—so she won't be homeless—but that still doesn't change the fact that they can't seem to find anything. Deborah tells her she just needs to look slowly, perhaps make some compromises, and they'll eventually find something. Rebecca nods knowingly, "Yeah, yeah," but her eyes say it all:

To the camera, Deborah goes on an awesome tirade about how awful it is to look for rental properties: "It's always torture. Period. It's just torture." Six weeks later, Rebecca found a three-bedroom apartment with another broker. Well, we know who's NOT getting invited to Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Enough with the family affairs, let's get down to brass tacks. And who better to do so with than this tall piece of man, CORE Associate Broker Tony Sargent. He's working with Sarah Stewart, who—after trying to have a second baby and ending up with twins—needs to find a new space while simultaneously selling her current apartment at 195 Bowery. The only problem is she and the fam are heading to New Zealand for vacation in just a couple weeks. We love a good—gasp—TIME CRUNCH almost as much as we love a—dun dun dun—PRICE DROP!

Tony and Sarah hop to it. While her family needs to sell in order to buy, she doesn't want to end up on the da' streets. So first things first: find an apartment to move in to. They check out a 3BR, 2BA loft in Tribeca (hmm, wonder if Rebecca looked at this one?) listed at $3.6M.

Sarah is easy to please, and with such an awesome apartment, who can blame her? There's an amazing river view, tons of light, and an awesome open floorplan. She loves it, but is so anxious about selling her current pad she's having a hard time imagining living in a new spot. Tony reassures her that his team is working on an open house for her current property, and that he can get the job done.

The next spot they check out is at 28 Laight Street.

Sarah is immediately enthralled with the $3.28M, 3BR, 2.5BA. It has tons of storage space, natural light (of course), and even a playroom for the kiddies. There's no doubt that this is the perfect apartment for her family, but there's just one small problem: she needs to sell her own apartment! Tony, cool as a cucumber, says he will get it done. Time to start planning an open house!

Tony says that, according to his research, folks buying on Bowery are in the arts/entertainment business. He enlists the help of Cole Schaffer, from Culture Fix, to let him use some of the gallery's cool art to make the space pop.

The soiree seems to be successful, but time is short. Tony the Tiger tells the camera that after the open house he's heading straight to the office to call any brokers who expressed interest, so he can get that baby sold. Damn, New York real estate is SO intense.

While touring another property with a different client, Tony receives a call from CORE. There's a bid on Sarah's Bowery apartment for $2.66M. SOLD! He rings her to give her the good news, and you can feel her smile all the way from New Zealand. In the end, he ends up not only closing the Bowery deal, but—more importantly—getting Sarah's new pad for $3.8M. He's gggggreeeeeat!

I loved watching the beef between Deb and Rabs (although the world may never know if they're actually cousins), and Tony the Tiger is probably the best broker I've seen on the show. Also, it's the last episode of the season. So for that reason, I give this episode 5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.