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"Selling New York" on HGTV: Episode 3

HGTV's "Selling New York" Episode 3: Setting the Stage

Episode Description: NYC Real Estate Agents deal with outrageous properties, outrageous clients, and outrageous money!

No April Fools: in this episode of the HGTV series "Selling New York" that ran Thursday April 1, you could judge a book its cover -- or a client by his or her occupation. The fashion designer was flighty and SPOILER ALERT -- didn't rent. The lawyer was risk-averse and didn't buy. (Which the show put a nice spin on by saying that by the time she circled back around, the apartment was gone -- but honey, it's a new condo, there's an apartment just like it two floors down.)

And that's the consumer lesson of this episode -- you, as a home shopper, are easily categorized. Your clothes, your shoes, your watch, your hair -- they all tell an experienced real estate agent your attitude about money.

Even more important is urgency: When are you going to move? As the Manhattan broker I work for (yes, I'm a real estate agent) once told me, "your first priority is the client who calls from a hotel room." Shoppers often put out a lot of misdirection by saying things like "I simply have to move NOW" or "I'm growing out of my current place" -- and they may even think they mean it. But an agent doesn't make money unless she or he can pick out people who are going to sign contracts relatively quickly.

Or as Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern, an agent for Gumley Haft Kleier, which I call Team Uptown, put it: "Some of the misconceptions outside of the industry about how easy it is to be a real estate agent is that you just take out clients for an afternoon of looking at apartments and they pick one. And it's really not like that. But we have clients we've been taking out for seven years, and it takes them that long to find their dream apartment."

So why does an agent put up with you for seven years? Because shopping with you lets them see inventory, and the more inventory they know, the better a job they do for all their clients. If you want the best service, it's best to either be a fast buyer (which means, trust me, you'll be treated like royalty) or to be honest with both yourself and the agent that you're a slow buyer -- but are willing to go to see some pieces of inventory that it will help the agent to know about.

This episode's inventory: two new developments: 535 West End Avenue and Modern23.

And, oh, Kleiers: fabulous hair (courtesy of Valery Joseph Salon) and clothes. Nice fashion-y points.

Team Downtown (represented by Kirk Rundhaug of Core Group) meanwhile, gets to laugh all the way to the bank, selling a condo at Modern23. The buyer, meanwhile, got a price chop of $1 million off the $4.75 million list. That's a great seller; I can barely get my listers to flex by 3 percent!

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

Coming Next Week: Episode 4 -- airs 9 p.m. ET Thursday, April 8
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