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Selling New York Recap: Tag Team Time

Curbed // Mar 23, 2012

March 23, 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: 3/22/2012.

A few key lessons were imparted on last night’s episode of Selling New York:

#1: There’s nothing like some good ol’ Hunger Games-style competition to bring out a team’s best efforts.

#2: Mama Bear is the real estate version of Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid

#3: Hit up Sunday morning open houses because it’s like a free brunch!

In other words, an agent challenges her marketing group to come up with the best ideas to sell a Greenwich Village penthouse quickly. Will the winner get a pat on the back, cash, OR BOTH?!? Then, a matriarchal Manhattan maven guides two fresh-faced brokers as they try to sell their first apartment in the Financial District. Will her charges nail a sale? Find out all this and maybe more in this recapulous recap!

And remember, there’s no I in team >>

CORE agent Vickey Barron is meeting with her client, seller Ivan “I’ve had it with New York” Schneider. Ivan’s anxious to sell his penthouse at 11 Fifth Avenue and fly down to Flaw-ree-da forever.

The two chat n’ chew in my favorite place to admire hanging salamis:
Katz’s Delicatessen, of course!

Ivan’s giving Vick a six month exclusive to unload his $6.995 million pad and wants it done quicker than it takes for me to eat a Katz’s hot dog. Vick assures him that her marketing team doesn’t “just sit and wait for the phone to ring.”

They make stuff happen! Vick recruits four newer CORE agents to survey the apartment. Let’s eavesdrop:

With a no open house policy, how will Vick drum up excitement? A competition, that’s how! Vick breaks up the agents into two teams and asks them to each come up with a marketing plan for the apartment. There will be a presentation later to share their ideas, and the best one wins…$5,000 to $10,000 of Vick’s commission cash* (*if she sells it). “May the odds ever be in your favor,” Vick says in the Hunger Games version of this episode.

First, Vick meets with Team JenTon (comprised of agents Jennie Ma and Tony Sargent) and architect Luca Andrisani.

JenTon propose working with Luca to develop renderings of how the space can be renovated:

Vick’s concerned that their plan to show a gut reno might turn off buyers, but JenTon isn’t deterred one bit.

Next, Vick pow-wows with Team DavIv (David Beare and Ivana Tagliamonte) and architect Matthias Hollwich. Uh-oh! DavIv wants to do renderings too. Vick steers them away from that concept (JenTon’s turf!), but warms up to their idea of focusing on the fantastic view.

DavIv created a flipbook featuring the view’s sunset:

Oooh, aaaah! It’s so cool…for about 3 seconds.

Finally, it’s time for the teams to get in the ring and knock each other out with their hard-hitting marketing plans. Brokers, buyers and CORE peeps gather at NYC Loft Kitchen to cheer (watch politely) and boo (watch politely):

Ding, ding ding! And the winner is…

JenTon. They get to live! Their inclusion of the building’s history really impressed Vick and her trusted CORE voters, while DavIv’s focus on the view felt distracting from the actual apartment.

Later, Vick gives a round of showings and gets good feedback on the presentation: On the phone, Ivan’s not falling for any of Vick’s positive posturing and tells her to “get me an offer.” A mere three weeks later, Vick does just that, and is also helping Ivan sell his furniture. Ivan ain’t jivin’ when it comes to getting the heck outta NYC!


Michele Mama Bear Kleier has deemed her youngest agents, Isabel Solmonson and John Liss, ready to graduate into their first exclusive listing. Mama lives by the credo “you don’t learn by watching, you learn by doing” and wants her lil’ cubs to take the reins at 88 Greenwich Street in the FiDi.

As part of her mentoring regime, Mama brings JoBel back to the apartment with a photographer. They learn how to compose a shot, which rooms to snap and Mama’s three golden rules before the camera clicks:

#1) Put crap away

#2) Make sure you can’t spell your name on the windows with grime

#3) Make sure the decor smiles—real smiles, not faksies!

JoBel may be young, but they’ve got that glimmer, that go-getter-ness, that GUMPTION:
Heyyy, it’s time for JoBel to shine on their Sunday morn open house day. They’ve got beaucoup de bagels and fruit salad…but hardly any people:

I call cinnamon raisin! Apparently, Sunday morning is the exact not right time to host an open house in FiDi.

This, and basically just this, is discussed over lunch at Burger Heaven (where burgers go when they die, so comforting):

A peek into the $1.495 million 2 bedroom/2 bath property:

The sellers have their eye on a much bigger apartment, but want to wait to sell this first. Which = BIG TIME PRESSURE for Team JoBel!
Later, JoBel go to Mama’s den to discuss progress AKA there is none. They decide a good option would be to lower the price and show the world the sellers are motivated:

At first JoBel suggest a $200k price cut to Mama, but then lower it to $100k before they call the seller. He agrees which is a coup for JoBel and their nascent negotiating skills. Did the dollar drop snag a deal? Well, the update explains two offers came in…but according to the listing, it’s still up for grabs. JoBel, you gotta sell!

Episode Review: There was no teamwork tension to heighten the stakes, but a penthouse was sold and a commision was raked! Plus I got to name teams, celeb-hybrid style which leaves me elated with 4.0 out of 5.0 CLEARLY I NEED A MENTOR cackling Kleiers

Original Article: Curbed