All Things Real Estate: Finding a summer rental for a mystery man

All Things Real Estate: Finding a summer rental for a mystery man


Part 2

This is the second part of the column on my 2015 search as a Nassau County Realtor for a summer rental for a mystery client who wanted what at first appeared to be the impossible — a tub in the master bathroom.

We kept looking high and low for that special place to call home for our well-heeled client and nothing was going to stop me.  In the meantime, our MLS auto-prospect search would identify any new listings regularly that would meet the criteria and would immediately send them out to the associate.

In addition, my assistant Gloria literally made a multitude of calls to other offices, brokers, associate brokers, and agents over three weeks to see if they had any pocket listings that they would consider sharing that were not listed on the MLS system.  We kept striking out every day and we began to feel uncertain if we would hit the home run that we were looking for.

Then one night I made some additional calls to agents on the North Shore.  I spoke to one agent who had a friend she knew wanted to go out to the Hamptons for August and said that she would approach her with the idea of renting their home.  I conveyed to her the list of “must haves” that were necessary.  She wasn’t sure about the tub, but everything else was checked off on our list.   She called me back the next day and we made an appointment for a Friday showing.

I was so ecstatic that this just might be the winner that we were searching for.  In my haste, I had failed to verify whether there was a tub in the owner’s ensuite bathroom but figured may be we would get lucky.  Perhaps I purposely forgot to ask as I didn’t want to know.

Friday came and we slowly rolled up to the home.  The home had such a dramatic, magnificent and stunning contemporary look.  We began to walk around and found the perfect pool, tennis court, and walk to the beach and even a possibility for a helicopter landing on the beach.  I told his  representative that I wasn’t sure if the community would allow it, but I would find out.  So far he seemed quite pleased with everything on the outside.

We walked inside and viewed the main floor, huge eat-in kitchen, family room, expansive lower level,  all the additional rooms and then went upstairs to take a look at the owner’s suite. We then slowly made our entrance into the bedroom and then headed to the bathroom and, my luck, no tub!  My heart sank and I began to have a very sad feeling that this one wouldn’t work.

But to my surprise, the associate said, “let me make a call.” This gave me some hope that maybe there was a possibility this could be the one because time was passing and we were running out of options to meet the client’s stringent requirements.  I heard his rep conversing with a lady as he walked downstairs, but  I waited upstairs as I wanted to provide him absolute privacy.  I believe he was using Skype (no Zoom at that time) to show her around the home.

Then he came back upstairs to view all the rooms and bathrooms. While speaking to her and entering the ensuite bathroom, he showed her that there was no tub in the owner’s suite.  I waited with bated breath and anticipation and then I overheard her saying: “I want this home. I will tell Michael, so do what you need to do!”

He hung up and then we went outside to discuss further details.  I was quite shocked when he made an offer of $45,000, which was much more than his original budget.  I was surprised and happy that the tub became a non-issue and was no longer a deal breaker.  Our offer was provided to the other party and was accepted.  I still had no idea who I was dealing with, but only knew that the client’s name was “Michael.”

The offer was accepted and he then proceeded to explain to me who his client was and why he couldn’t let me know the identity of the mysterious renter in advance until I found the home that they would be leasing for a month.  More important to me was the reason why his client had to have a tub, which now was no longer an issue.

He told me it was his sister Shakira, who he was talking with while walking around the home showing and conveying information to her.  She fell in love with the home as well as the outside accouterments that were exactly what they were looking for.

Finally, he told me that her husband was Sir Michael Caine (his brother-in-law), the famous English actor, whom I had seen in the Broadway show “Sleuth” back in high school, as well as Alfred in the Batman movie, “Tenet” and “Inception” and many other films.  I was ecstatic with joy and felt redeemed that I had successfully found the home that they needed and wanted.

The leases were executed by both parties and they were able to move in on Aug. 1, 2015.  I found out that their daughter and her children were going to be staying at the home.  They also rented a penthouse in Manhattan.  He was contracted to work on some project that was a secret and I never found out what it was.

During the last few days of their stay, I was invited over to say hello. I had purchased a gorgeous vase as a thank you for doing business with me and working with Karim, Shakira’s brother.  It was a pleasure and challenge that enabled me to succeed as I never for one moment was going to give up on the search for their special place to call home while in the States.  I found out later that my vase was taken back to London and was placed in their living room, which put a smile on my face.

P.S.  The reason that Sir Michael Caine wanted to have a tub in the master bedroom’s ensuite bathroom is that it would enable him to read his London daily papers and sip his glass of wine!

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