When Terry Thompson first visited Long Island’s East End in 1988, she fell in love with the area. Now a top-producing licensed real estate salesperson in the Southampton office of Douglas Elliman, Thompson recalls that feeling every time she helps a home buyer find their own personal Hamptons experience
“What I love about the Hamptons towns and neighborhoods is that they all have their own individual style and personality,” Thompson says. “Everyone has to experience the towns for themselves to find what speaks to them. You can be a salty dog or a socialite – there’s something for everyone here.”
One person may enjoy the quiet, serene village of Remsenburg, she says, while another will prefer the hustle and bustle of Westhampton Beach, where the shops and restaurants stay open late. Hampton Bays has some of the best waterfront restaurants, which have a laid-back, casual atmosphere, while you may see celebrities shopping in East Hampton, she says.
Thompson brings a unique perspective to helping Hamptons home buyers and sellers achieve their goals. Before getting her real estate license in 2009, she spent 15 years working in the financial and wealth industries. She has also bought, renovated and sold many of her own homes. This financial and personal real estate experience has provided her with a wealth of knowledge and acumen that she uses not only to connect buyers with sellers but to make sure the deal closes.
“Anybody can find you a house, but getting to the closing table is where the real work begins – and where my professional strategic partnerships come into play,” Thompson says. “My banker, Christine Curiale, who manages mortgage sales for Valley Bank in Southampton and throughout Long Island, has guided me and my clients through multitudes of sales. Especially in a competitive market, like we have recently experienced, sellers will consider not only the highest price but the terms of the deal. If my buyer has a strong pre-approval from someone as respected as Christine, the seller can be assured the transaction will progress smoothly.”
Thompson also has her go-to local attorneys, who know the many idiosyncrasies of the Hamptons market, from zoning and clearing restrictions to the Peconic Tax. She also has many designers and home stagers on call.
“We always recommend to our sellers that our designers come in and present the home in the best light to generate buyer interest and the highest price possible,” she says. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
She also has builders, handymen, painters and engineers on call – everyone needed to assist sellers and buyers and keep the deal progressing smoothly.
“When something comes up, an average agent might say, ‘That’s the attorney’s job’ or ‘That’s the bank’s job,’” Thompson says. “I have learned that everything is our job and everything is our fault, so I make it my business to understand as many aspects of the deal as possible and anticipate problems that could arise before they happen.”
When a buyer is not using Thompson’s preferred banking partner, she understands it’s her job to communicate with the chosen banker to ensure the buyer is qualified. Because of her diligence, “I have never had the problem of getting to the end with someone being denied a mortgage,” she says.
Thompson’s reputation for getting the deal done is well-known among the Hamptons real estate broker community.
“I have great working relationships with other agents,” she says. “Both sides must work together for a smooth transaction. Agents know that when I bring them a buyer, the buyer is qualified and ready and able to close. I’m very thankful for my colleagues both at Douglas Elliman and these outside companies that have always supported me because they know I will always do the right thing.”
Giving back to the community has become increasingly important to Thompson as her business has evolved. She works closely with Dr. Lisa Liberatore, founder of Luv Michael, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to train, educate and employ autistic adults, and Luv Michael’s sister organization, US Autism Homes, which develops innovative shared housing for autistic adults.
“We were very proud when the first home, for 11 young adults, got up and running in Southampton more than a year ago, and three additional homes have since followed,” Thompson says. “Dr. Liberatore has recognized me for being an important part of this early success.”
Thompson is also an ardent supporter of North Fork Animal Welfare League, which operates shelters in Peconic and Riverhead.
“What I love about these shelters is that they bring dogs in from the South who were slated for euthanasia and they find them forever homes locally,” she says. “I am passionate about animal rescue and I do what I can to help.”
This was the cover story for the July 2022 edition of Behind The Hedges. Read the full digital edition here.