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 #504, which first aired on February 16, 2012. For more SNY recaps, click here.
In “NYC Newbies,” CORE agent Kirk Rundhaug races against the clock to find his clients — Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin and his wife, Kelley — their downtown dream home. After trying to find a home through another NYC broker after selling their Flatiron District apartment, Melvin and his wife decide that their previous unpleasant experience isn’t going to derail their search. Kelley finds her broker match with Kirk and explains that time is of the essence since she’s currently staying with her daughter while trying to find a place prior to the end of baseball season. Always up for a challenge, Kirk agrees to be the Melvins’ broker and takes Kelley to a variety of downtown properties.
First stop is a TriBeCa loft at 68 Thomas Street (which has since sold) with a great outdoor deck priced just under $2 million. Kelley prefers the neighborhoods to the north — Greenwich Village and SoHo — so it’s on to a beautiful open 2BR/2BA loft with exposed brick walls on West Broadway in SoHo. It’s love at first sight for Kelley and her daughter Alexi, but Kelley can’t commit since Bob is in California. Kirk decides to show Kelley another property, this time in the classic Chelsea Mercantile building (another apartment that has since sold), to show her a different neighborhood. After touring the Chelsea property, Kelley quickly realizes that she must have the SoHo loft.
Kelley and Kirk hop on Skype with Bob to discuss making an offer on the loft. Following Kirk’s suggestion, the Melvins agree to make a competitive offer at $2.3 million, and they successfully become the new owners of a classic SoHo loft. The episode ends with Kirk and the Melvins sitting down to dinner in the Melvins’ new home. 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) Not all brokers are created equal. It’s safe to say that Bob and Kelley Melvin’s experience with their first broker wasn’t a home run, but how did they decide to work with Kirk? The Melvins actually attended one of Kirk’s open houses about 3 weeks before asking him to be their new broker. They immediately felt comfortable with Kirk and were ready to start anew with someone they could trust. In the end, the Melvins ended up with an amazing apartment, which proves that finding the right broker helps you find the right place.
2) Tourists weren’t a turnoff. Despite the neighborhood’s incredible loft apartments, many New Yorkers would prefer not to live in SoHo, with its famed shopping scene that attract tourists by the thousands. But Kelley didn’t mind the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood. In fact, she craved it. Her goal was to move where there are tons of shops, restaurants, and action in the streets, and she was vocal about wanting that from the start of her search. When she visited the West Broadway loft, Kelley knew it was right, and the crowds added to that notion.
3) Visual aids were crucial in this long-distance deal. Since Bob was in California when his wife was apartment shopping, the thousands of miles between them made the house hunting process rather difficult. Kelley fell in love with the West Broadway apartment and wanted to buy it before she lost her dream home to the fast-paced world of NYC real estate, but Bob couldn’t drop everything and fly to New York City to see it. So they relied on dozens of photos and floor plans that Kelley sent to Bob. After reviewing the materials like a scouting report on a rival team, it was easy for Bob to hand over the reins to Kelley and his daughter and trust the ladies in his life with this very important purchase.
4) There was a backup plan in place. Bob and Kelley would have been in quite the pickle if they didn’t find an apartment before the close of baseball season. Their daughter’s one-bedroom apartment in NYC barely had room for Kelley to begin with. Thankfully, Kirk had a Plan B: renting a fully-furnished apartment in SoHo until he was able to match the Melvins with their dream home. Kelley and Bob were thrilled that they didn’t have to resort to “Plan B,” but were happy that Kirk took the time to think of a viable alternative for them.
5) Calling in the closer. Typically, closing on a property takes a few months, but in this case, Bob and Kelley didn’t have that kind of time. Luckily, they were financially prepared for practically an all-cash offer and the process was a breeze. On top of that, the homeowner was eager to sell. It seemed like the stars were aligned and the apartment was theirs within a few weeks. They couldn’t have asked for a better ending, save for a World Series win by the A’s.