"Selling New York" debuts on HGTV

Last Updated Jun 7, 2010 9:51 AM EDT

HGTV's "Selling New York" Episode 1: The Big Event

Episode Description: Two NYC luxury real estate agencies plan big events to sell their multi-million dollar properties.

Let me start by saying that I know, um, approximately two-thirds of the people in this episode. Maybe because of that, maybe in spite of it, I was completely psyched for the premiere of the new HGTV series "Selling New York."

The debut was Thursday, March 18th at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

Having seen it, I'd say there are still some thrilling things about it. (Spoiler Alert: I'm going to give some plot points away.) The program showcases fairly high-end New York properties, and anyone who has ever watched the opening clips of "The Apprentice" knows how stunning they can be. However, unlike "Flipping Out," an HGTV L.A.-based drama, no one on camera is really crazy. (Jeff Lewis, don't bother to write me; L.A. agents I know who have had small cameos on "Flipping Out," I don't mean you.)

Also, unlike "Million-Dollar-Listing" (aired on Bravo, a competing network to HGTV), you don't get the feeling that these brokers are up against each other. They seem to exist in two fairly separate worlds that we can call Team Downtown (CORE Group, represented by CEO Shaun Osher and broker John Gomes) and Team Uptown (represented by the Kleier family of Gumley Haft Kleier - broker Michele, her husband Ian, and their daughter-brokers Samantha Kleier Forbes and Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern).

Since the teams don't butt head-to-head, a lot of the drama seems kind of forced. The buyer couple inspecting one of the properties? Other real estate agents. And one burning question in this episode is whether the Kleiers can organize a well-attended broker's open house in just four days. Um, I think Michele Kleier could probably do that if she were in a coma.

Still, you watch to see the properties, and this one loads you up with them, with a walkthrough of new Upper East Side condo the Lucida (rosewood cabinets!), a new downtown condo at 52 East 4th (with striking diagonal braces and a communal outdoor pool), and a yummy Park Avenue prewar (which I won't give the exact address of because hey, if the show is going to give sellers a little privacy, so will I).

Okay, you dragged the neighborhood out of me: Carnegie Hill.

Will the nattily dressed team at Core Group manage to fill the not-quite-finished pool before their showing?

Hmm, maybe the word "coma" comes to mind again.

But a show like this always gives tips, too. The best is during Michele Kleier's restaging of an apartment that her husband had already staged, when she notes that she hates photos that show the backs of chairs. Sellers, are you listening?

That's my two cents, what do other viewers think? Feel free to post comments below.

The show airs 9 p.m. Eastern on Thursdays
Read more:

  • "Selling New York" Episode Recaps: What We've Learned So Far
  • "Selling New York" on HGTV: Episode Two
  • "Selling New York" on HGTV: Episode Three
  • "Selling New York" on HGTV: Episode Seven
  • "Selling New York" on HGTV: Episode Eight
  • Luxury Real-Estate Tips from Million-Dollar Listing's Madison Hildebrand

    • Alison Rogers

      Since graduating from Harvard summa cum laude, Alison Rogers has been a reporter, an editor, a real-estate agent, a Wall Street desk jockey, a columnist, a failed flipper, and a landlady. A member of the National Association of Realtors, she currently sells and rents luxury co-ops in Manhattan for the Chelsea-based firm DG Neary. (If you've got $27,500 a month, the firm has an apartment for you!) Her book, Diary of a Real Estate Rookie, was called "a valuable guide for rookie buyers" by AOL/Walletpop, "beach-read fun" by the New York Observer, and "witty" by Newsweek.