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 #606, which first aired on January 3, 2013. For more SNY recaps, click here.
In this week’s episode of “Selling New York,” CORE’s Mickey Conlon plays real estate matchmaker for a couple from Australia looking for their dream New York pied-a-terre. The bar is set high when they express they want a quintessential New York home for $600,000- $800,000. Views, premium finishes, iconic location? Mickey had his work cut out for him to find a listing with all of those boxes checked off (not to mention his buyer only has a few days in the states to view properties).
Advising that the budget set forth would be extremely limiting, Mickey takes a risk and shows his client, Sue Heath, an apartment priced at more than double their original budget to educate her on what price point would meet their expectations. 400 Fifth Avenue embodies New York City luxury living with premium finishes, breathtaking views and a sleek and modern feel. The buyers want to bring the price closer to their limit so they put in a low offer. Mickey advises against this because he is apprehensive the sponsor won’t take the offer seriously and they will lose their credibility as potential buyers.
Mickey’s fears were realized and Sue & Bruce lost the apartment. The pressure peaks as Sue is on a tight timeline in the city and has yet to find her perfect home. To add to the challenge, she is now fixated on the apartment at 400 Fifth Avenue and is having a hard time seeing herself in any of the other lesser priced listings Mickey shows her.
Down to less than an hour, Mickey is able to show Sue an apartment at 400 Fifth Avenue on a different floor that is almost identical to the listing they couldn’t get off their minds. To top it off, the price is slightly lower than the first home they saw appeasing budget concerns. With only hours to see the property and make an offer, Mickey works swiftly with his buyers to secure their dream home.
Keep on reading for some exclusive behind-the-scenes information on what didn’t make it into last night’s episode of “Selling New York” and what happened after the cameras stopped rolling!
1) Selling more than a home. Mickey was literally “Selling New York” in this episode. With buyers looking for an investment property embodying everything that is classically New York, the checklist wasn’t an easy one. Mickey says the key features that bring a New York feel to a home are views of Central Park or the Empire State Building, a modern and glossy design palette and proximity to the pulse of Manhattan.
2) Price jump. The episode begins with Mickey’s initial sit down with his client where she sets a budget of $600,000-$800,000 (which does not seem to line up to her expectations for a property). Mickey says its common with foreign buyers to have to educate them on the real estate landscape by showing them properties at different price points and the features they offer. The episode doesn’t show Mickey touring more than half a dozen properties with Sue before visiting 400 Fifth Avenue which is what opened her budget to the higher price range.
3) The Manhattan difference. New York City is a city like no other and its real estate market mirrors that. The pace and negotiation process can be radically different than other major markets. Properties move quickly putting the pressure on buyers to make serious offers on the spot if they are interested. In addition to the initial listing at 400 Fifth Avenue, Mickey’s buyers lost a couple of other apartments they were interested in because of their unfamiliarity with the negotiating process in Manhattan real estate. Mickey worked closely with his buyers to make sure the process went smoothly with the second property at 400 Fifth Avenue.
4) A la carte property hunting. When clients eyes get wider than their wallet it can be hard to manage realistic expectations. In this episode, Sue gets hung up on the features of the first listing at 400 Fifth Avenue and compares all the other apartments Mickey shows her to it even though it exceeded her budget range. At this point Mickey says its important to hone in on what the buyer is really looking for. Is it a certain layout, finishes, a particular amenity? More often than not there are a few specifics that can be found in another home at an appropriate price for the buyer. In this episode Mickey’s strategy succeeds when he shows Sue an almost identical unit at 400 Fifth Avenue that is available for a lesser price for its location on a lower floor. However it still boasts the quintessential features of a New York City home that his buyers are searching for.
5) Solo mission. This episode marks more than a successful purchasing story for Mickey, it was his first solo story line and earliest appearances on SNY. Of the experience Mickey says, “watching the story of Sue’s search for the perfect apartment brought back a flood of terrific memories that might otherwise have been lost to the march of time. I will never forget Sue’s unbridled enthusiasm for her views of the Chrysler Building, and think of her whenever I see it. Of course, the process of purchasing a home invariably takes longer than the eleven minutes viewers get to see, but the show handily captures the essence of the journey and, in some ways, distills the experience to its purest form.”