This week's episode of Million Dollar Listing sees our favorite brokers standing up for themselves against crazy clients
It's Season 5 of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three brokers, Fredrik Eklund, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Serhant, show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps by Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 5/12/2016.
This week's episode of Million Dollar Listing kicks off in Luis's office, where he and broker Jordan are discussing their co-listing in Williamsburg. Luis is upset that Jordan went against their previously discussed tactic of not showing the penthouse during last week's open house, and wonders why he was recruited for a project where his suggestions are clearly being ignored. "If we're not dancing together, we're going to make a mess of ourselves," he intones, and Jordan agrees. He apologizes for undermining Luis's selling strategy, and they agree to go forward with a clean slate.
Check out renderings of the Williamsberry above.
Speaking of Williamsburg, Fredrick is on his way there now to meet up with seller/developer Mona at 338 Berry Street, otherwise known as "The Williamsberry" (ugh). He worked with her back when he first started in real estate, and now she wants his help selling out her latest project: a 1914 noodle factory converted in a fabulous, 60-unit apartment building. While the building isn't quite done, the completed model unit boasts two bedrooms, two (marbled-covered) bathrooms, a spacious living room, and a perfect view of the Williamsburg Bridge right outside the windows—as in, you could spit and hit somebody riding over it on their Citi Bike. Mona thinks the bridge is "fantastic" and considers it a selling point, whereas Fredrik thinks it could pose a problem. Naturally, this leads to a tug-of-war over pricing: Fredrik suggests $1,350 per square foot (still 35 percent above average), Mona says $2,000, but they finally settle on $1,500. The deal is on, and a potential $3 million dollar commission awaits Fredrik.
Next we catch up with Ryan, who's meeting real estate developer Ward at 38th West 87th. Ward has recruited Ryan to help him sell a renovated townhouse that's been sitting on the market for years. To call the property massive would be an understatement: built in 1890, the single-family home has seven floors, his-and-hers master bathrooms, and too many fireplaces to count. Listed at a fairly reasonable price of $18 million, Ryan asks Ward why they haven't had any offers in the three years its been completed. "We just haven't found the right buyer," says Ward, which makes sense—what family would ever have enough members to fill such a large space? All is well until they discuss pricing. Ryan wants to keep it at $18 million, but Ward wants to bump the stale listing up to $20. For the first time in MDLNY history, Ryan "goes with his gut" and says he'll have to walk away from the deal. Shocking! Unsurprisingly, as soon as he gets into his car he regrets his decision to give up a $600,000 commission, and something tells me this isn't the last we've seen of Ward.
Since Luis's last meeting with Jordan, he's developed a new strategy for selling the Williamsburg building: He wants to talk to top brokers with developments in Brooklyn in the hopes that if they have clients that aren't interested in their units, they will bring them to Luis, and vice versa. First on the list? Fredrik! Even though the last time they saw each other didn't end well (does it ever?) they're getting along like old chums, and Fredrik agrees to scratch Luis's back if Luis scratches his: "Let's do some deals." Then they spend the rest of the meal making fun of Ryan and how he has to pay for Instagram followers (a claim that Ryan, of course, disputes).
Back at NestSeekers, a distraught Ryan can't help but wonder if he made a mistake walking away from the UWS townhouse—and, oh so coincidentally, it's at that moment that Ward calls him. He says he's talked to several brokers, all of whom agreed on the $20 million price point. And for that reason, he thinks Ryan might be the guy to go with. (In real estate, could honesty really be the best policy?) They agree to list at $18 million, and it's game on.
It's open house time for Fredrik and Mona's Brooklyn listing, and it's popping off. With hundreds of brokers packed into the model unit, the sense of urgency is high and units are selling left and right. Nobody even seems to care about that pesky bridge outside the window! Things are going off without a hitch until Mona shows up. While she's thrilled with the turnout, the rapid sales are giving her anxiety, and she wants to pull 10-12 units off the market and hold them for herself to sell at a later time (and for a higher price point). A miffed Fredrik tells her "you can't cripple me like this," and decides to just pretend the conversation never happened.
Inside 38 West 87th Street, above.
Ryan thinks the Upper West Side townhouse is too massive for New York City buyers, so he calls in reinforcements from NestSeekers offices around the country, namely, Miami, the Hamptons and Los Angeles, where he says "people like big, expansive homes." Several townhouse tours and fist-bumps later, and they're off to the races.
Back in Brooklyn, Luis and Jordan both have offers on the garden apartment in Williamsburg, but it's not time to start popping bottles just yet. Luis's buyers are coming in at $2.1 million and Jordan's at $2.2, with the original asking price of $2.495. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Bidding war!
We meet back up with Ryan at his house, where he and Emilia are chasing each other around with Nerf guns. Just then, Ryan receives a call from Sebastian, his L.A. employee. He has an offer on the UWS townhouse, but the client's attorneys want to do an inspection first. A reluctant Ryan isn't too keen on the idea, as it could be an epic waste of time and money, until Sebastian tells him that the client will likely put in a full-ask offer. Well, when you put it that way....
Fredrik and Mona meet for lunch, and he tells her that since the open house he's sold 15 out of the 60 units in the Brooklyn building. Mona reminds him that she is still planning on holding onto some for herself, including three of units already in contract with Freddy and his clients. She wants to rent them out until the market improves and she can make even more money, and doesn't understand why Fredrik is debating her on her decision. He says the only way he'll continue to work as a broker on the project is if she agrees to let him sell the units once she's ready to put them back on the market. Mona calls his bluff and says "I have to do what's best for my project," but Fredrik didn't come here to play. In another MDLNY first, he gets up and walks away from Mona and her big pile of commission.
The inspection on Ryan's UWS listing is complete. Although the townhouse is new AF, the inspectors have managed to scrape together nearly $25,000 worth of fixes, including UV protecting the refrigerant line, whatever that means. "This is absolutely going to kill this deal," says Ryan.
In the closing scene of this week's episode, Luis and Jordan are meeting with Brooklyn sellers Nathalie and Anne to present their offers on the garden apartment. Luis managed to get his buyers up to $2.3 million, but Anne isn't impressed: "It's such an artistic and exclusive piece, and for that exclusivity I want full price." A frustrated Jordan starts tells Anne that she's talking but not hearing him, but a calm and collected Luis says he'll let the buyers know, and goes off to call their broker while Jordan sits in awkward silence at the table. By the time he comes back, he has a best and final offer of $2.475 million, just $25,000 under ask. Nathalie and Anne actually take like, ten full breaths before agreeing to the deal. Can we finally drink champagne now?!
Until next time!