Real Estate Roundtable: My Most Memorable Client

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM

Warring spouses and summer rentals for the mistress, Anderson Cooper and Edie Beale imitators, East End agents have seen it all and then some. Our roundtable of Hamptons real estate professionals share the stories of the most interesting clients they’ve ever had.​

I have had so many memorable clients, but one of the best stories is about one of my former exclusive listings a few years ago. On the first day we put it on the market, a woman walks in to see it. Later that day she brings her husband, who I casually knew. When he left, he promised me an offer the next day. Sure enough, I got the offer but too low to counter. A month goes by, he sees my ad in the New York Post and raises his offer. We are now off to the races and a month later have an accepted offer. Three and a half months later, much to the dismay of the sellers, we finally have a signed contract. He was a tough, tough negotiator but always in a way that was respectful. We closed a month later. We have since become friends, and as I always tell him, he was the toughest buyer I ever had but, at the same time, the nicest. —Gary DePersia, The Corcoran Group

One of the most memorable clients I’ve had was a young family man looking for a summer home for his family…and another one for his girlfriend! Juggling appointments with him and his wife or with him and his lady friend was a bit tricky, but eventually I was able to find rentals for both, not too far apart but definitely not very close by. Whew—that was a close one! —Marcia Altman, Brown Harris Stevens

I had a client one January who was looking for a rental for the summer and wanted to lock in a place as quickly as possible. The date he chose to look at properties was less than ideal, as we were expected to get a big snowstorm, but he was adamant that he wanted to go out and take a look. Well, the forecast did exactly as predicted and it just wasn’t possible for me to get from Southampton to Springs in the snow. When I called to cancel, he said it wasn’t a problem but continued out by himself to do a drive-by of all the properties without me. He wasn’t going to let the snow get in his way. —Doug Sabo, Nest Seekers International

I was involved in the sale of Anderson Cooper’s two homes in Quiogue. What struck me was how accessible he was throughout the sales process. There was no layer of assistants fielding his calls and emails—he personally responded within minutes and, unlike many sellers, he listened to counsel about pricing and offers. I remember his garage was filled with old mementos owned by his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Amid the dusty treasures were two small statues of Saint Therese. My late Catholic mother was very devoted to Saint Therese—and a big fan of Gloria Vanderbilt—so naturally I was intrigued by the statues. Our mothers even made their communions on the same day at the same church. When I told Anderson the connections, he insisted I take the statues. He was a memorable client and a true gentleman. —Aimee Martin, Saunders & Associates

My most memorable clients were the couple who wanted to look at a summer rental and ended up purchasing a beautiful new home in the estate section of Southampton Village. I was a newly licensed broker at the time and I will never forget the thrill of converting a rental customer into a purchaser. —Mary Slattery, The Corcoran Group

The most memorable client I ever had was an actress who dressed like Edie Beale: she was going to play Edie in an upcoming production—she was delightful! —Martha Gundersen, Sotheby’s International Realty

I represented a new house in Sagaponack with a $17.9 million asking price. That summer, rain or shine, every weekend I held open houses. I must have shown the house over 250 times to brokers, prospective buyers, families on the way to and from the beach and just people who wanted to use the bathroom. Whether I thought they could afford it or not, I gave them a tour of the house. I showed it to everyone. One morning, a young man on a racing bike stopped by. He liked it and took my brochure. Keep in mind, I had had people go through the house, singing its praises, measuring rooms for their children, discussing various design ideas, and of course never heard from them again. However, this young man on the racing bike bought the house. In the real estate business, one never knows, does one? —Alan Schnurman, Saunders & Associates

I had a couple selling who were going through a divorce and living in the house together. Whenever I had an open house it was like an MMA event. The couple would air their grievances to a roomful of buyers and they would ask the attendees who was right. To say it was uncomfortable would be an understatement. The house eventually sold—to someone who saw it when they were both away. —Patrick McGlaughlin, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

A beautiful, elegant well-dressed European woman would ask to enter each property all by herself. She would be holding a stone attached to a string. She would quietly enter the house with her arm extended holding the stone and waiting for the stone to “speak” to her, with good vibrations or bad. We went to dozens of homes and she finally purchased one with good energy. She decorated it, then sold it the following year. —Anne Ciardullo, Sotheby’s International Realty

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