'Selling New York' Episode 5: Not All Brokers Are Sleazy

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It turns out that not all real estate brokers are sleazy. That's what we discover in last night's episode of the HGTV series "Selling New York." We witness CORE Group's Shaun Osher pass up a commission to inform a client that buying is not the best option for him. We also learn how so not cool it is when a client who apparently has been working with Gumley Haft Kleier for two years goes off and shafts his broker by contacting the listing agent of a property directly. Especially when the evil listing agent stakes claim on the buyer as her client.

So this week we finally got some series drama along with some humanity. Here's what happened:


The Drama (Sort of)

An unseen foreign investor causes agent John Mehigan a near-breakdown. Mehigan put in plenty of time working with the client and now runs the risk of not getting paid in the end. We see him angry on the phone and getting some motherly therapy from Michele Kleier. The good news: If the buyer is loyal, ultimately he can choose who he wants to be represented by, if he even wants representation. No jerk listing agent can just come in and steal the client without the client's consent. Note: It does seem suspicious that a foreign investor with a longtime relationship with Gumley Haft Kleier would forget to mention he's already working with a broker. Whatever. Michele Kleier worked it out. She works everything out!

The Humanity
We're hoping this wasn't just for television and that there are brokers who are as honest with their clients as Osher is with client Elliot Cuker. He went out of his way to make sure his client was going to make the best financial decision. Cuker was deciding between buying in the West Village or building on two floors of living space over his classic-car showroom on the much treasured Perry Street (because he owns the air rights). Osher takes kindness to new levels when he tells Cuker he'd get numbers on how much the addition would cost. Osher goes to architect John Cetra of Cetra/Ruddy to chat about the rooftop add-on. Turns out it's way smarter to build. Cuker can build 75 feet north and 8,000 square feet of living space for $3.8 million, which is more than Cuker wanted to spend to buy a home. But the potential value for that property will be staggering if he goes for it. Awesomely, Osher tells Cuker all of this. No money gained for CORE Group but much respect earned for not just going for the sale.

Where the Money's At: Foreign Investment
We all know it's the European, Asian and Middle Eastern markets that can best afford New York real estate these days. We see brokers Jamie Mitchell and Bruce Cohen dealing with one foreign investor who has an open budget. (As Michele Kleier astutely observes: "Those are the best kind.") Another foreign investor has made hell for Mehigan. For this investor a Park Avenue condo with a $1.65-million price tag might be pocket change, but for Mehigan (again) that is a commission he'd most definitely like to collect on. Although it is flattering to Brooklynites that the Gumley Haft Kleier brokers consider a property in the borough for the foreign investor (One Brooklyn Bridge Park), we all know these foreign dudes want Central Park penthouses to flip and rent out for $30,000 a month at the very least.


Read about more home tv coverage or our past coverage of "Selling New York."

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