HGTV’s “Selling New York” follows CORE agents as they navigate the country’s most competitive—and compelling—real estate market. Here’s our behind-the-scenes look at Episode 407, which first aired on December 1, 2011. For more SNY recaps, click here.
In “Lucky Dogs,” CORE’s Parul Brahmbhatt helped longtime San Franciscans Chris Mancini and Brian Sauls (and their two Chinese Cresteds) find a rental apartment in Manhattan, which they knew little about. After walking into CORE’s Chelsea office looking for assistance in finding his family a new home on the East Coast for around $8,500 per month, Chris saw one duplex in the neighborhood, but immediately realized he needed to wait for Brian before making any decisions. Once the couple was reunited, Parul gave them a crash course in Downtown NYC neighborhoods.
The Financial District is close to Chris’s work, but the “concrete canyons” of Lower Manhattan didn’t quite remind them of San Francisco. The couple ended up falling in love with an apartment at 254 Park Avenue South near Union Square (New York’s, not San Francisco’s!). But there was a problem: It was way above their budget. After practicing the art of negotiation, Parul talked down the apartment’s owner to $8,750 per month, with Chris and Brian paying the entire lease upfront in cash. Chris was hesitant about the cash deal at first, but his trust in Parul convinced him to move forward. Once the deal was accepted, Parul let Chris, Brian and their dogs know it was time to pack.
Keep on reading for some exclusive behind-the-scenes information about what didn’t make it into last night’s episode of “Selling New York” and what happened after the cameras stopped rolling!
1) You don’t need an iPhone to go “AppHopping” in New York City. Parul likes to “AppHop” with her out-of-town clients so they can really get a feel for each of the city’s unique neighborhoods. “AppHopping,” as Parul describes, is appetizer hopping. She took Chris and Brian to the Flatiron District, Chelsea, Financial District and West Village, showed them one or two locations in each ‘hood and ended the visits in local restaurants for a quick bite to eat before moving on to the next neighborhood.
2) Heat waves don’t stop the cameras from rolling. Taping doesn’t take a break in the blistering heat of summer. When this episode was taped last July, temperatures in New York City were upwards of 100 degrees. The excellent production team always come prepared with plenty of bottles of water, but the real MVP was the makeup crew. Trying to look calm, cool and collected when even the air is sweating is not easy.
3) All-cash offers for rentals aren’t out of the question. The building owner wanted to hold firm at the home’s listing price of $9,500 per month, but with Parul’s persistence and creative on-the-spot thinking, she was able to make the deal happen closer to the client’s price range. Parul’s negotiation was shown quickly in the episode, but it took much longer to hammer out the deal with the apartment’s owner.
4) Psychology can help in real estate hunts. Chris and Brian owned their space in San Francisco and were nervous about renting – especially in New York City where the market moves so quickly. Used to the charm of San Francisco’s Victorian-style townhomes, many of New York’s modern, all-glass apartments felt too impersonal for the couple. Parul helped introduce the clients to the local rental market by finding a balance between San Francisco cozy and New York modernity. Parul’s technique to gauge a client’s taste consists of showing them a variety of locations and gauging their thought processes from there.
5) The holidays are about family, friends and your broker. After three weeks spent helping Brian and Chris find their perfect home in New York City, the gang felt like old friends. Since filming, the trio has become even closer, and Parul was even invited to Thanksgiving with the couple in Las Vegas. She’s confident that when Chris and Brian are ready to buy, they’ll consult her expertise again.