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!
Ann Ciardullo is a top producing agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in East Hampton. She’s also a board member of the Ellen Hermanson Foundation. A New York City native, Ann lives in East Hampton.
What’s your most treasured possession?
I don’t treasure possessions. I have always believed that the most important things in life aren’t things.
What’s your favorite room in your house?
My favorite room in my home is our great room with its amazing 20-foot-long center island. With the smell of my favorite foods in the air, surrounded by family and friends. I am completely alive. But a close second is my new 150 square foot laundry room. Doing laundry is my comfort zone. We work hard, often seven days a week, and when I am in the laundry surrounded by the smell of clean, folding everything just-so, I unwind and am at peace with the world.
Where are you from originally? What brought you to the Hamptons?
I grew up in Washington Heights at the top of Manhattan, then raised my children in Bedford, Westchester County, where I was a hard-working broker. I came to the Hamptons for a very simple reason: my children were grown and out of the house and there is simply not a better child magnet anywhere in the world than the Hamptons! And now that my kids have kids they all regularly load up their cars and head over the river and thru the woods to grandmother’s house. My decision to move my real estate business to the Hamptons has provided me a life rich with clients, friends, and my all-important family.
What did you do before you were an agent?
Before I went into real estate, I worked hard at being a great mother and wife. When I tell our millennial clients that I just wanted to be Donna Reed, they look at me with blank stares. Others know exactly what I mean.
What makes the Hamptons special?
The Hamptons is the closest playground to the greatest city on earth. The ocean, the sky, the fields, the forests, the food, conspire to create a perfect storm of opportunity to live a life like no other place in the world. If you’re lucky enough to have a home in the Hamptons–you’re lucky enough.
What’s a mistake many people make when buying a home?
When people are buying a house they often are either too emotional or too rational. I encourage people to follow this mantra: step in and fall in love. Then step back and get out your pad. Some people buy a house here to be their cocoon, and others simply want a place from which to launch their Hamptons life. Don’t choose a house for what it has, but for how it will serve your family’s lifestyle.
What’s a mistake many people make selling a home?
There is only one mistake people make when selling a home in the Hamptons: overpricing it and hoping for a miracle. The days of the naive buyer are over. Everybody knows everything. People should price their homes to lead the market–to them.
Whether you are moving on or moving up, getting the sale behind you in a reasonable time period should be the paramount issue.
What’s one of your favorite listings right now?
We love all our listings, but we are crazy about the house we have priced to sell at 22 Bull Run. These days, people are looking to spend time in their Hamptons home all year long, and this is the ultimate four-seasons home. All of the first-floor rooms open out to the glorious backyard with wood and brick terraces, stone walls and beautifully landscaped pool. But the front side of the home boasts a wonderful fireplace overlooking the storied pine forest, and a master suite of extraordinary proportions with a private library with fireplace as well
What’s the one thing that laypeople don’t understand about real estate?
There are no more laypeople looking for real estate any more. We need to come up with a new term. How about if we now have two categories: real estate professionals and GOOGLEZILLOWSTREETEASYED real estate “experts.” It’s a new world.
What are you most proud of regarding your real estate career?
While I work hard to earn respect from each and every customer and client, I often end up earning their love as well. I can’t tell you how many wonderful friends have come into my life through real estate.