Real Estate Roundtable: The Things We Do for You Folks…

Drinking tea at cafe
Photo: Dmitrii Shironosov/123rf

From booking a wedding venue to helping a pet chicken, East End real estate experts are known for going the extra mile for their clients.

During a particularly bad winter storm, my client, whose oceanfront house I had listed, asked me at 10 p.m. to go down and turn off the main water and empty all pipes of water. No heat and 0 degrees with a foot of snow. — Harald Grant, Sotheby’s International

I had a rental customer who was very beautiful and had a fabulous body. When she arrived at the rental, the gym didn’t have a treadmill. She wanted it–she needed it immediately. I had two in my home gym that I dusted a lot. I called my guy who moves anything anytime, and he moved the treadmill. I left it at the rental. The owner said that was fine! On another occasion a tenant said there was no Nespresso machine. I hadn’t a clue what that was, but I called and ordered it and had it sent to the house. She purchased a house a year later…not from me! — Carol Nobbs, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

At the end of the day we work in the service industry. I am normally more than happy to help out where I can, as long long as it’s within reason. I’ve been asked to check on the pool heat at a house before an arrival, mailing forgotten items, and help one of my past buyers figure out how to turn the water on when spring came around. I had one customer where I organized bike rentals, dog grooming and picked up prescriptions for them. — Doug Sabo, Nest Seekers International

My repeat clients wanted to have their wedding at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton and I was able to make that happen for them! And the wedding was fabulous. — Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate

What happens in real estate is that many customers/clients become close friends. As such, you wouldn’t have a problem, if your friend calls to ask if you could take the dogs for a walk, drop them off or pick them up from the bicycle shop, open their house for an appraiser to do a refinance or recommend a good chef. Is it outside the realm of real estate, yes, but outside the realm of friendship? No. — John Christopher, Sotheby’s International

I once put a high-end renter in a house for the season (sight unseen) and he was very unhappy with its kitchen equipment, supplies and pool toys. I am one of those 24/7 brokers who rarely has downtime. On this particular day, I was at the beach to enjoy a late afternoon swim and watch the sunset. The serenity was quickly broken when his outraged calls and texts began. A little while later, I found myself shopping at Target with his list, filling two carts and adding a hefty sum to my AmEx card! In real estate, we bend over backwards to keep good buyers and sellers happy. — Aimee Martin, Saunders & Associates

The best advice that I have and continue to provide my clients is simple. If you are a buyer, buy when the market is over-supplied, and if you are a seller, list your house when the market seems like it will go up forever. It sounds basic, doesn’t it? However, it goes against human nature. When the market is going down, everyone wants to buy at the bottom. When it’s going up, you want to sell at the top. You will never achieve either. I tell my clients it is that middle range, not the bottom and not the top, that will send their children to college. — Alan Schnurman, Saunders & Associates

Many years ago, I had a single girlfriend purchasing a home on her own. She was a bit nervous about the purchase and was trying to get to a level of comfort. She asked if we might be able to stay overnight in the house to get a better feel for living there. The sellers were kind and accommodated us. We woke up the next morning prepared to move forward. Kind of a real estate slumber party! — Angela Boyer-Stump, Sotheby’s International

My favorite and by far most endearing, but well beyond what the average agent does in this industry, was to rehome a customer’s pet chicken, in order to get the listing. I couldn’t resist the tears in his eyes as he told me how special she was, and I was definitely on it. I got the listing, sold his home, and she’s now the luckiest chicken ever! — Kim West, The Corcoran Group

One of my customers was a single guy, attractive, good sense of humor and smart with a great job. He had been my customer for several years and became one of my friends. I introduced him to one of the young brokers in my office, who was also attractive with a good sense of humor and smart.  They dated, got married on Shelter Island, had two great children and 18 years later are still married. I think that was one of my better deals! — Pat Petrillo, Sotheby’s International