Welcome to our new feature in which we interview local personalities: agents, architects, interior designers, builders, anyone who plays a part in the world of Hamptons real estate. Want to get in on the fun? Drop us a line!
Aimee Fitzpatrick Martin is an agent at Saunders who specializes in the luxury and waterfront market in Quogue, Westhampton Beach, Remsenburg and Hampton Bays. She grew up summering in the Hamptons and made it her full time home in 1997.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Williston Park and spent my high school years in Commack. I attended Commack South (the alma mater of Rosie O’Donnell and Bob Costas). I then went to Boston University and worked in Boston before my career led me to New Mexico and Connecticut.
What brought you to the Hamptons?
My family started vacationing in the Hamptons when I was little and then close relatives moved to Southampton, so I spent a lot of time visiting. I always dreamed of living out here and was fortunate enough to move here full-time in 1997. Dreams do come true.
How did you get into real estate?
My background is in public relations, advertising/marketing and writing—a great foundation for real estate. I worked very long hours at a large advertising agency and juggled large accounts—not unlike managing several luxury listings at any one time. When we moved to the Hamptons, I wrote for Newsday and had a column in the Southampton Press about the homes of well-known people living in the Hamptons. That led to great connections. I realized I wanted to be selling real estate, not writing about it.
Why do you like working in real estate?
Every house, every day, every buyer, every seller and every deal is so different. I have met such interesting, loyal and inspiring professionals, celebrities, media personalities and Wall Street execs along the way. I love the variety and freedoms that real estate offers and couldn’t imagine a better career to match my interests and strengths.
Why should anyone use you as a broker?
My corporate background gives me a buttoned-up, professional approach to real estate. I listen, I show up on time, and I get the job done. I’m a big believer in exceeding expectations. Sellers and buyers tell me they really appreciate that I’m such a good communicator and negotiator. I’m a Type A personality, so dotting every I and crossing every T is extremely important to me. I also have excellent relationships with attorneys, surveyors, appraisers, inspectors, land use experts, and building inspectors and that helps gets things done when you’re on a tight deadline and trying to get a deal to the finish line.
What’s a mistake many people make when buying a home?
They come into the home buying process with a huge list of “must haves” and if a home doesn’t check every single box, they move on to the next one, often missing out on a great deal or house with great potential. I tell buyers that unless they have an unlimited budget to custom build the house of their dreams, every home they see will have some cons.
Also, if they are financing their purchase, another mistake is not to meet with a good mortgage broker who can pre-qualify them before they start looking for homes. Interest rates and taxes can make a huge difference in a monthly payment.
What’s a mistake many people make selling a home?
Pricing a home unrealistically. Some brokers will flatter a seller to get the listing. I won’t do that. I show sellers all the best sold comparables and try to help them understand that what they paid for their house, what they put into it, and what they want has no bearing on what the market will pay for their house. If a seller gets an offer, and then other offers come in at similar prices—then that’s what the market feels the house is worth. If a seller thinks their house is worth $3 million and the market says it’s worth $2 million, there’s a huge disconnect.
Another mistake is not making the house available to show. You can’t sell a house if buyers can’t get in to see it.
What’s the one thing that laypeople don’t understand about real estate?
Watching HGTV has practically become a national pastime. A nice couple looks at three homes (if only!) and magically finds the house of their dreams. Before the show neatly wraps up, they are moved in, renovations are done, and they’re entertaining with a smile. The truth is that real estate is hard work and can be stressful for buyers, sellers and brokers. The process takes more time than you think, there can be disappointments along the way, and surprises often pop up … but it sure is one of the most thrilling rides people can take.