Hamptons Confidential: Michael Daly of Douglas Elliman


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!

Michael Daly is a Sag Harbor-based agent with Douglas Elliman. A resident of North Haven, Michael volunteers for the Peconic Land Trust Outreach Committee, North Haven Village Zoning Board of Appeals, Southampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force and the Sag Harbor American Music Festival.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My beach chair.

What would we never see in your house?

A floral print couch.

Where are you from originally? What brought you to the Hamptons?

Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens. Grandma bought a six-bedroom summer cottage in Westhampton in 1960 and I, along with cousins by the dozens, spent our summers at the beach. Our dads came out every Friday on the LIRR Cannonball. We’d put pennies on the tracks and impatiently wait for them to arrive. We had 13 people at the table every weekend which are my fondest memories of all.

What did you do before you were an agent?

After college, worked in mental health in Santa Barbara, California. Then an assistant manager at a restaurant which led to 20 years managing for companies such as Sheraton Inns, Boston Chicken, Allied Domecq and finally with Keith Davis at The Golden Pear Café. I opened new cafés, streamlined the menu, and developed franchise documents.

Why should anyone use you as a broker?

Because I care, and I shoot straight. 20 years in this business has taught me to put the client first.

What’s a mistake many people make when buying a home?

Talking to too many self-proclaimed “experts,” such as their friend who has a house on the East End. You will know what you want to buy when you see it. I will guide you through the process of getting the house and protect your interests.

What’s a mistake many people make selling a home?

Pricing with their ego. Having integrity around the value conversation with prospective sellers is challenging, because you know that some other agents will give them a pie-in-the-sky price in order to appeal to their ego and win the listing. I shoot straight using comparable home sales, not listings that haven’t sold, as the basis for value. Once that’s determined, listing price comes easily.

Any mistakes you’ve made that you’d like to share?

Early on as an agent, I was afraid to say “Gee, I don’t know, let me find out.”

What’s the one thing that laypeople don’t understand about real estate?

That it’s not easy money being a real estate agent. Good agents earn every penny we make.

What are you most proud of regarding your real estate career?

That my friends become my clients and my clients become my friends. Trust is everything.