Andrew Hart, Associate Broker and Global Real Estate Advisor for Sotheby’s International, brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to the table when it comes to smart real estate investments. Although he originally hails from the south, Hart attended school in the Mid-West and lived in Northern California before venturing to the East Coast.
After summering in the Hamptons for many years while enjoying the New York City lifestyle, Andrew decided to permanently move to East Hampton, where he began his career in real estate. Nearly 25 years later, Hart’s love for the East End and passion for real estate is infectious.
Tell us a little about your background.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in architecture, especially residential architecture. I naturally gravitate to floor plans. Many of my friends are architects; however, conceding that I’d never survive a “structures” class, I chose to work in a related business: supplying fabric and furniture to architects and interior designers. First in San Francisco, and then later in New York City, I had the good fortune to work with a broad range of design firms, from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to Parish-Hadley. I really enjoyed these years, and much of what I learned then is useful to me now, such as recognizing the potential in otherwise unremarkable real estate.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Establishing trust, developing a good working relationship with my buyers and sellers, one in which my knowledge and advice, earned over 25 years of selling real estate in the Hamptons, is accepted and appreciated.
What are the most popular neighborhoods and types of properties?
I’ve seen plenty of changes in the Hamptons since the late ’80s, but not the desire for south-of-the-highway property, village property, and waterfront property. Right now, Amagansett Lanes is drawing a lot of attention and our high-end sales are breaking records.
How have this year’s rentals been compared to previous seasons?
Frankly, I never see much difference in our rental seasons. Sometimes people begin looking early, sometimes late. One year a house will rent right away, and the next year much later.
Are you noticing any trends in the East End market?
When I began selling real estate in East Hampton, there was tremendous interest in old, traditional houses that required work. These buyers have become an endangered species. Now, new or renovated houses are the ones selling most quickly and for the most money. Busy buyers don’t want the hassle. With regard to rentals: each year it seems more people are asking for shorter terms.
What advice can you offer first-time buyers?
My urgent advice is to find a well-respected and experienced agent, as well as one that works easily with other agents. It’s really true that an agent can make or break a deal, and let’s face it—even a small house in the Hamptons can cost a bundle. Do you really think it’s a good idea to put this business into the hands of your neighbor’s son, who just got his license, or an amateur agent, whose only real estate experience is buying her own house out here?
What do you love most about the Hamptons and what do you do when you’re not hard at work?
I like the quiet and the convenience of a small town. Nothing is really far away, or hard to accomplish. There’s a level of sophistication here that you won’t find in most small towns; certainly not the one I grew up in. Real estate can take over your life if you let it. Fortunately, I have two active dogs that constantly remind me that it’s time to do something else. Any time with them is well spent. Also, I joined the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association. This is an organization of truly remarkable and dedicated people, who volunteer their time to provide the only emergency ambulance service out here, 24/7. It’s a serious commitment, but one that allows me to give back to East Hampton, at least a little, of what East Hampton has given to me.
For a full listing of Sotheby’s International properties, visit sothebyshomes.com or contact Andrew Hart at 516-380-2432 or [email protected]