HGTV's "Selling New York" Episode 7:
Extra-Special SpacesEpisode Description: Agents selling spectacular multi-million dollar homes in the Big Apple.
This week's episode of the HGTV series "Selling New York" (airdate Thursday April 29), has all the strength of a finale -- bigger, more luscious properties, with sticker prices ranging up to $25 million.
Unfortunately, it has all the weakness that the show has been displaying throughout it's seven-episode run, which is that no one buys anything. The title of the show is "Selling New York" but it definitely isn't "Closing New York." So this episode has nonbuyer storylines just like former episodes have, but in this case, the things the shoppers don't buy are more spectacular: A granite wall! An indoor pool! 2,600 square feet of terraces!
The lesson that gets teased out through the visit to the properties is actually one of constraint: when nearly everything is luscious, it's easy to notice what is not. Interior designer Thomas Callaway, for instance, calls out a target property, 3 East 94th Street, for its short-plank engineered floor, which he feels is not up to the standards of the rest of the building. Core Group's Maggie Kent, who is shopping for a buyer searching for a grand entertaining space, nixes one property because the dining area is too small. Gumley Haft Kleier's Michelle Kleier, as she goes through a townhouse, will talk about its width -- which is as important to a New Yorker as lot size is to a suburbanite.
Trust me, these agents know their clients -- if they think something is a constraint, their moneyed clients would seize on it as a flaw immediately.
Also, although it may not seem fair to you sitting on a sofa and letting your jaw drop at the idea of a $15.9 million house, let me tell you that there are a lot of these. Right now in Manhattan (where I'm a real estate agent) there are 140 listings of properties over $12 million. Of course, a lot of that inventory is in co-ops, which won't let TV cameras in. But the point is, there's actually enough inventory where buyers can afford to be picky.
And apparently, according to "Selling New York," they are.
That's my take, what do other viewers think? Feel free to post comments below.