The Real Deal New York

“Million Dollar Listing New York”: You list some, you lose some

Recap of Season 5, Episode 9

June 17, 2016 05:15PM
By Kerry Barger

From left: Luis Ortiz, Ryan Serhant and Fredrik Eklund

From left: Luis Ortiz, Ryan Serhant and Fredrik Eklund

The men of “Million Dollar Listing New York” are on the brink of losing their listings (and at times, their minds) on this week’s episode. As the penthouse condo at 11 North Moore in Tribeca languishes on the market, Fredrik is finding it increasingly difficult to please his impatient investors and fend off brokers looking to get a piece of the action. Luis is on to Plan B after his original scheme to sell a co-op at 1045 Park Avenue falls through, and Ryan is on a short leash after stepping in for one of his co-stars at 56 Walker Street.

Luis
Luis is back to square one after he fails to convince a buyer who has just purchased a co-op at 1045 Park Avenue to cancel the deal and buy his client’s 15th-floor apartment instead. He puts a call out on social media and, with a modest spread of top-shelf whiskey and charcuterie, manages to reel in a full-ask offer. Good thing for us, as Luis was threatening to bring back that god-awful fedora for good luck.

Luis isn’t out of the woods yet. Despite the full-ask offer, the buyer must now survive the board approval process, which is almost as stressful as volunteering for the Hunger Games. “You could be Bill Gates, married to Warren Buffett, having a son with Mark Zuckerberg, and all that wealth together does not matter,” Luis says. Right!

Man’s best friend may be the downfall of this particular buyer, whose pooch Lizzie exceeds the co-op’s strict weight limit for dogs. In lieu of these unfair body standards, Luis takes Lizzie for a jog around the building, hoping she’ll miraculously shed three or four pounds in the course of five minutes. The only fruitful thing to come out of the workout is that he finally figures out the dog’s name is actually Lucy.

What Luis doesn’t realize, however, is that an overweight dog is the least of his worries. Despite an “amazing” board interview, the buyer’s wealth disappears quicker than you can say “Elizabeth Holmes.” Overnight, the stock that determines 70 percent of her worth drops from 27 to 13 percent, which causes the deal to fall through. Though this is the second deal to disappear into thin air, Natasha, the seller’s representative and an old friend of Luis’, decides to give him three more months to unload the co-op. Three failed deals and you’re outta here, Luis.

Fredrik
Not only is Fredrik feeling the pressure to sell the $30 million penthouse at 11 North Moore — “the most stressful listing” of his career — he’s fighting off a swarm of hungry brokers in the process. He schedules a one-on-one meeting with Nick, a fellow Douglas Elliman broker who keeps hitting up Steve, the investor who’s unhappy with Fredrik’s unsuccessful efforts. Nick goes back and forth between telling Fredrik he’s not interested in that particular listing, and insinuating that it’s time to give another broker a shot. Their beef remains unresolved, and as Fredrik storms out of the restaurant, Nick tells him to “get a price reduction on the way out.” BURN! Not to be outdone, Fredrik tells Nick to “get a new suit.” DOUBLE BURN!

Fredrik turns the marketing up a notch, renting a $15,000-a-week Rolls Royce to fill the penthouse’s garage, which (surprise!) costs an additional $550,000. His efforts seem to be paying off, however, as he finally lands a $25 million offer. When he brings the good news to Zach Vella, however, the developer refuses to lower the price, suggesting that it be could be worth $35 million or $40 million in just one to two years. Rather than fork it over for a discount, Zach decides he’d rather hold on to it and buy it for himself. This is still bad news for Fredrik. There’s an exclusion clause in the broker agreement that allows Zach to buy the apartment without having to pay a broker’s fee. Fredrik loses $900,000 in commission. It’s not nearly as heartbreaking as the news he receives toward the end of the episode. Fredrik and his husband Derek have had no luck in getting their surrogate pregnant. “When do you just like go and say, it’s not going to happen?” Fredrik says.

Ryan
Ryan is off to Tribeca, which is “basically the more residential Soho.” “Soho is kind of like living in a mall,” Ryan declares. “A really nice expensive mall, but in Tribeca you have big open lofts and you don’t really have all the shops and tourists.”

Is it just us, or is Soho getting a bad rap this season?

Nevertheless, Ryan is brought in by Six Sigma NYC’s Jason Lee and Johnny Wan to sell 56 Walker Street, a tricked-out boutique development with four units. The listing once belonged to Fredrik Eklund. But after four months and little activity, the developers made the decision to move on with different broker. You can practically see Ryan’s head grow two full sizes upon hearing their displeasure with Fredrik.

“I’m here to save the day,” Ryan says. “You’re welcome.”

Ryan lays it on thick by repricing the building, getting rid of the ugly dark walls and bringing in entirely new staging. He enlists one of his team members to blast out that very familiar article about him replacing Fredrik at 56 Walker Street. Despite a well-attended open house, however, the developers are already threatening Ryan with hiring new brokers.

It appears that all those brokers weren’t just there for the food and alcohol, though. Ryan pulled in two offers, one for the third-floor duplex and another for the penthouse. Jason is the epitome of unimpressed because both offers fall at least $1 million below the asking price. He does concede to Ryan’s pleas to accept the offer for the duplex in order to jump-start momentum at 56 Walker, but refuses to even entertain the offer for the penthouse. “That’s the worst offer I’ve ever seen,” he says. Maybe Ryan now understands why Fredrik took so many vacations while working on the project.

MENU