Real Estate Roundtable: The Craziest Place I Did a Deal

Cellphone on mountain
Sold! Photo: Andrey Kekyalyaynen/123RF

Aspen ski slopes to Australian pools, the Orient Express to Mount Everest, the Fountain of Youth to the surf breaks of Montauk—East End agents can strike deals anywhere. Anywhere, you say? Our round table of local real estate professionals share their stories about the craziest places they’ve ever made a deal.

I sold a house or two on the 15-minute gondola ride up Ajax Mountain at Aspen, talking through my Bluetooth ski helmet. —Gary DePersia, The Corcoran Group

The craziest could have been when I negotiated a deal from the Orient Express, going over the Brenner Pass between Austria and Switzerland, on my way from Venice to Paris. Another deal happened from the casino at La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco. —Marcia Altman, Brown Harris Stevens

The craziest place I ever put a deal together was at the hospital, awaiting surgery, with my gown on, laying on the gurney. I was in the hallway waiting to get wheeled down to surgery and I still had my phone with me. They kept me waiting and I was able to put a deal together just before they realized I still had my phone! As soon as the call ended, the nurse realized I still had my phone and then quickly took it away! After the surgery, while in recovery, the nurses were all congratulating me on my deal. I asked them, how did you even know about that? They said when I was coming to I was talking and I let everyone know what a great deal I had for my client! —Robert Canberg, Nest Seekers International

I just recently put a deal together while in Texas with my daughter, on horseback, riding through the woods of a 900-acre preserve. In this business, you learn to multitask…very well! —Donielle Cardinale, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s

Rather than tell you the craziest place I made a deal, I can tell you the craziest deal I made. On the phone, a gentleman told me he just drove by my listing and asked what was the price. I told him and he said, “I’d like to make an offer.” We consummated the deal within the hour with the seller, and the contracts were sent out immediately. I asked the buyer when he would like to see the inside. He said, “At the walk through.” The day of the closing, we did the walk-through and I asked him, “Was the home what you thought it would be?” He said, “It’s perfect! It’s for my kids when they come to visit. I like my privacy.” —John Christopher, Sotheby’s International Realty

I have done deals on ski slopes, in hot tubs, and on remote trails from Mount Everest to Patagonia—as long as my cellphone works and I can send a text. With all that said, the deal I am most proud of happened on a nature walk in Bridgehampton with my five grandchildren. I received a substantial bid on a property, which eventually resulted in a sale. I recall looking at the five of them, ages 2 to 11, and thinking how lucky I was. —Alan Schnurman, Saunders & Associates

The closest thing to crazy that has happened to me: one time, a listing agent in my office and I reached a stalemate in a negotiation on a high-end property. We decided to get on the Jitney and put the buyer and seller together in a small conference room to hammer out a deal. Very nerve-wracking and somewhat gutsy, but by the time we left that conference room, we had a deal! —Mary Slattery, The Corcoran Group

I had one instance where timing was everything and the outcome would have been pretty negative unless we got a signature immediately. I road-tripped it to the New Jersey Turnpike effective immediately and the deal was done three hours later on the side of the shoulder of the turnpike. Going the distance. —John Brady, Nest Seekers International

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