There are few new properties, but plenty of drama, on this week’s episode
It’s season six of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three brokers—Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, and new guy Steve Gold—show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps.
Alas, there wasn’t much new real estate to gawk at on this week’s episode of MDLNY, but there was plenty of drama. Let’s get right into this, shall we?
Fredrik Eklund gets the week’s only new and noteworthy listing: 25 and 27 Mercer Street, a set of boutique condos (and one überpricey townhouse) carved out of two historic Soho cast-iron buildings. Fredrik is very excited, and not just because his potential commission is $1.8 million.
But there’s a problem—developer Michael Kirchmann of GDS Development thinks Fredrik works on too many glassy high rises, and not enough historic properties. “You’re not really in touch with the historic side of downtown,” says Kirchmann. And Fredrik is not having it—he reads history books! He wears history glasses! (…wait, what?) He moved to NYC because of old New York, dammit—and he rattles off some historic facts about Soho to prove his point.
Kirchmann still isn’t convinced, and tells Fredrik this is merely an interview—“we’re not hiring anyone today,” he says. Fredrik counters that he’s not leaving without shaking the developer’s hand—and after a tense stare-down, the deal is done. (Are all real estate deals this dramatic?)
To prove his worth, Fredrik decides to throw a big open house for the development. But trouble arises when Michael shows up, under the guise of checking on Fredrik’s progress. “When I throw a big party, I want to see a beautiful unit, not a nervous developer,” Fredrik scoffs. Plus, he’s in party mode—dancing with clients, touting the finishes, and the like—but Kirchmann is harshing his mellow. So Fredrik does something drastic: Even though he’s supposed to be selling the townhouse, he takes a client, Renee, into the as-yet-unfinished penthouse—something the developer didn’t want him to do—to try and make a sale. The problem? She wants to design the space herself—another big no no.
After the event, two of the units are in contract, but Renee still hasn’t put in an offer on the penthouse—and according to her broker, she and her husband are still shopping. Freddy is pissed. So he calls his good pal (and soon-to-be reality tv show costar) Bethenny Frankel. He gets her to agree to take a peek at the townhouse, because, “when you need to sell a house, sometimes Freddy calls a housewife.”
Ryan Serhant is apparently “so busy I don’t even have time to look at people’s vacation photos on Instagram” (poor Ryan!) thanks to the 50 Brooklyn townhouses his team is suppsosed to sell in the next few months. But even though he has brokers working those angles, Ryan himself is still making deals—including for 119 Vanderbilt Avenue, a.k.a. the dreamy townhouse once owned by actress Lake Bell.
But the Serhant team is doing okay, having sold 23 townhouses within a month of getting the job from developer Brett. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, 1305 Albemarle Road, thats what. Brett calls Ryan with the news that the contract was pulled and the deal is dead—which is somehow news to Ryan. Apparently, the inspection did not go well, and the buyer decided to call it quits. So it’s back to the drawing board for Ryan, which means back to finding a new buyer for the massive, somewhat crumbling property. He decides to target a group who may be willing to work with the home’s myriad structural issues: architects.
But every architect who sees the place says the same thing: the cost of renovating the home—wavy floors, water-damaged walls and all—would be too high to justify the $3 million price tag. Eventually, though, Ryan hooks one willing architect who wants the enormous Ditmas Park mansion for $500,000 under the asking price.
If you guessed that Brett the developer would be pissed about a low-ball offer, give yourself a gold star. He doesn’t care how many houses Ryan’s team has sold (52 in two months, to be precise); he wants the full $3 million. But after some theatrics—Ryan’s driver Yuri brings in a box of all the contracts the Serhant team has brought in—Brett agrees to $2.75 million. (Spoiler alert: it closed for that amount.)
Steve is still dealing with the other, more annoying Steves from last week, and when he shows up to the listing on 23rd Street for an open house—one that was requested specifically by the dudebro Steves—there’s still crap in the kitchen. Quelle suprise! He gets to work moving crap out of the way, but there’s another problem: it’s raining, which could mean a low turnout for his open house. Uh oh.
Eventually two brokers do show up, and they seem impressed by the space—until it’s time to discuss the $12.5 million price tag, which, if you’ll recall, the sellers refuse to budge on. “We’re not in Soho,” scoffs one. And unfortunately, Steve is starting to look desperate. “Let me show you the other three bedrooms,” he implores. “Nah, bro,” say the two brokers (more or less). “Enoy your open house,” one says, with more than a touch of sarcasm, as they leave. Ouch.
Back in his office, Steve is complaining about the 23rd Street clients to his assistant, Jessica (and his dog, Pablo). “It’s a resounding ‘overpriced,’ blinking in red neon,” gripes Steve. “Have you considered maybe talking them into renting?” Jessica asks. Steve’s not crazy about the idea, but decides to give it a go, pricing the rental listing at a whopping $50,000/month.
And if you guessed that the two Steves would not be into the rental idea, you get another gold star: When broker Steve meets up with the not-so-dynamic duo, who have now somehow absorbed a third Steve into their crew, they get pissy. But the actual seller—one of the Steve’s dads—agrees with broker Steve (this is getting confusing), so the rental is going to happen.
“I really need to be done with this listing,” says our Steve—we feel you, buddy.