Being a broker in the luxury Manhattan market is not for the weak. After riding high in a booming market, the brokers from Million Dollar Listing New York are faced with one of the toughest markets since the Great Recession.
That means properties must be priced to sell and marketed accordingly. In the season eight opener, broker Fredrik Eklund meets his new client, Sanford. Sanford is a seasoned attorney with a breathtaking space located not too far from Billionaire’s Row. But don’t tell that to Sanford. He wants to price the property as though it is located directly on Billionaire’s Row.
Plus, Eklund has to deal with the apartment’s aesthetic of being rooted firmly in the 1980s. Thankfully they agree on a price ($13,995,000), plus Eklund throws a broker’s open to end all broker’s opens. But is it enough?
The 80s are back
As a nod to the space, Eklund throws an epic 80s themed party to showcase the property. He and his new assistant, Ellis visit an 80s inspired store in the city to score some pretty “rad” apparel. His former assistant, Jordan moved to be on Eklund’s team.
As Eklund approaches the store, he tells his assistant that rather than spend the money to stage the apartment with contemporary furnishings, he’s going to find the right buyer who loved the 80s.
Eklund gazes around the pink sparkly store and exclaims, “This is why I love New York freaking City!” He explains to the store sales staff what he and Ellis were looking for in terms of outfits and the staff certainly delivers. He looks for a “Miami Vice” or “80s” look that has “Miami real estate” appeal.
The party is totally tubular too
Eklund pulls out all the stops so that the agents can party like its 1999. Or 1989. “In a tricky market, you have to go bigger,” Eklund explains. Ellis asks if “going bigger” will seem too gimmicky. “I only have one goal and that is to sell that apartment,” Eklund says.
When the agents arrive, they are greeted by Eklund who looks more like Will Smith from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. “Welcome to the 80s,” Eklund says enthusiastically. The broker’s open invitation suggested that agents come dressed in their best 80s attire and many did not disappoint, much to Eklund’s delight.
While the party goes off without a hitch and Eklund sees it as a success a few snafus occur. One person spills wine on the client’s couch and a few brokers comment about how the space is dated.
Eklund does a rad job marketing the property
Eklund was feeling pretty optimistic about the party and drops about $20,000 in marketing costs. He shows the apartment to serious prospective buyers. One buyer seems especially enthused as Eklund believes he can find the right buyer in only a few weeks.
Sanford returns from his trip to Miami only to let the air out of Eklund’s tires. Sanford summons Eklund to his apartment to break some “good news.” He says to Eklund, “Maybe you should sit.” Not a good sign.
“It’s good news for me,” Sanford begins. “For you, I don’t know how good it is.” He continues by saying he found a buyer while he was in Miami. A friend of his needed a place in New York and Sanford and his friend shook hands on the deal. His friend agreed to pay $13.8 million for the property.
But this was a total bummer (like totally)
Eklund looks stunned but wants to be assured he still gets his commission. “I’m afraid you are going to have to look at the contract,” Sanford says. “I am a civil rights lawyer who represents victims. Early in my career, I did real estate.” Sanford says he added a clause to the contract that essentially cut Eklund out from making any money from the property if Sanford were to make the sale.
As Sanford speaks, Eklund looks completely shaken. He dropped thousands of dollars already in marketing and even cleaning the pad. He calls his office to ask his team if indeed the sentence was added to the contract. Unfortunately for Eklund, it was.
While he took responsibility, that single sentence cost him about $800,000 in expenses and commission. “I don’t need to defend myself but it is true,” Eklund says in a confessional interview. “I’m expanding left and right, I have twins at home and I have an amazing team that looks over the contracts and they are in communication with the seller. But I can’t read every line in every contract. I have hundreds of listings.”