Sunset Sold: Real Estate with Mary Fitzgerald

Lifestyle

Mary Fitzgerald is a real estate veteran well-known for her penchant for closing deals, professionalism, and recently as one of the stars of the popular Netflix series Selling Sunset. While becoming a tv star was not in her original plan, she intends to lean on her natural poise and grit to build the life she’s always dreamed of.

Entrepreneur Mary Fitzgerald has worked in the Los Angeles real estate industry for the past 14 years and has recently become a fan favorite of the popular Netflix show Selling Sunset. Her ability to juggle a high-pressure job, maintain a healthy social life, and always remain calm, cool, and collected are only some of the qualities that make her easy to love. In 2008, she made a career switch from studying to become an x-ray technician to real estate, not the most ideal time as it was soon after the recession hit and the housing market crashed. But with the help of a great mentor, Mary got her start at a small company and recalls doing “exceptionally well for a new agent.”

With a passion for building relationships, Mary enjoyed having the opportunity to meet new people, help them find their dream homes, and loved that she was able to make her own schedule while raising her son. In her earliest days, Mary built her network of clients from people she met at the gym, parents from her son’s school, and from her day-to-day work. Some of her earliest territories were in Los Angeles’ beach cities like Palos Verdes, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach. Her first role after getting her license was at Sherwood Realtors, a top boutique company in the beach cities at the time. There Mary met a mentor who taught her the process of completing a full sale while abiding by local laws and practicing her new craft ethically.


In 2014, Mary started at the Oppenheim Group and over the years has grown into the confident, well-rounded and highly trusted agent audiences see on Selling Sunset. While the show centers on the 11 other star agents and their families, team Oppenheim is actually much larger than shown in the series. Mary is able to mentor younger agents on the team and continues to share the knowledge and skills that were imparted to her when she was a fresh agent in the field. Throughout the show’s four seasons, with the fifth season set to premiere on the platform on March 24th, we see Mary travel from one exclusive million dollar home to another, each one bigger and more jaw-dropping than the next.

One of her favorite listings to date was French Montana’s Calabasas estate that was shown on season four. “I got to go into a different area and I always love to explore new territories and, who doesn’t love French,” she comments. The sale closed at $5 million and came equipped with a full studio space alone valued at around $600,000. The home sits on 3-acres of land, measures 8,618 square feet, and features an expansive six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, five fireplaces, a wine cellar, and home theater. The backyard boasts a large pool, cabanas, Viking outdoor kitchen, and brick pizza oven. Not only was the home a big sale for Mary but “it was exciting to show potential buyers where French created some of his hit songs and working with his team [on the sale] was such a pleasant experience…Ayoub (French’s younger brother) is also such a sweetheart the production team fell in love with him too.”


Some of the ways Mary approaches selling are centered around addressing her client’s concerns, digging beyond the surface to figure out why a client may be unhappy with a prospective home, and working with outside agents from a logistical standpoint to land in a place where both the seller and buyer can walk away from a deal happy. While her focus doesn’t solely rely on the price tag of a home, Mary’s time management skills improved once she hired an assistant and was able to delegate smaller sales while also showing her assistant the ropes she once had to learn herself.

With some of her newfound time, Mary continues to work on bigger and better listings including a sprawling 10,845 square-foot, six-bedroom, nine-bath home located in Bel Air Crest. Described as an Italian villa, one of the property’s most breathtaking features is the formal foyer with dual sweeping staircases and 2-story beveled glass and wrought iron doors that welcome guests as soon as they pull up to the circular driveway. The home, located within the Bel Air/ Stone Canyon neighborhoods, features stunning aesthetic details such as a domed skylight and hand-painted ceilings, marble floors, ornate wall detailing, and french doors throughout the rooms that open up to the lush garden, pool, and terrace views. Venetian plaster and coffered ceilings, and a stunning entertainment space equipped with a game room, bar, large patio space, and lagoon-style pool/spa round out the property.

The home sold at $7.25 million but was originally listed at a higher price which no doubt contributed to the difficulty the original agent faced when attempting to sell the property. When Mary took over the listing she made some minor changes to the overall staging making a huge difference for prospective buyers. “There are certain things you notice in a listing where the flow of it could have been staged a bit better, so we had a few pieces of decor replaced, and added fresh paint! It’s super easy to do for any listing and can completely change the aesthetic of the house,”she says. Her detail-oriented nature often kicks in to ensure there aren’t blemishes or small imperfections that are easy to spot. “Even if buyers see the tough spots but don’t immediately register it at first, they eventually come back with comments like ‘oh it’s a little worn, or it’s a little xyz, but when you make the overall space look very fresh and light, those areas become very small issues.”

One would imagine that after breaking into the million- dollar real estate market and working on celebrity listings that there is nothing an agent like Mary couldn’t handle but her biggest challenge continues to be unreasonable sellers asking outrageous prices. “I try to find ways to work around their restrictions and prove to them why my advice is in their best interest using examples,” she says. She’s found that the best way to handle those situations is to let the client explore other options and agents and eventually they remember her advice and come back to her with a more flexible price point in mind. “I’d rather maintain the respect between the client/agent relationship than take a listing that I may not have time for and that I know won’t sell at a certain price point.”

Throughout Selling Sunset’s seasons we join Mary experiences dramatic ups and downs between her friendships and relationship with Romain Bonnet. In the season two finale, Mary enters wedded bliss while managing to sell the home where she had her wedding both on the same day. From then on we follow her journey post- nuptials where she and Romain continue to save up for, and eventually start searching for, their (her) dream home. “I like homes with historic character and that I could update and remodel to give it a contemporary vibe while keeping the integrity of the home,” she says. Unsurprisingly, she highlights the home where she had her wedding, which is located in the Hollywood Hills, as an example of her dream home. Featuring five beds and six baths the breathtaking traditional estate is privately gated and lined with hedges, graveled entryway, lush gardens and landscaping, and a pool. Three of the 5 bedrooms are equipped with walk-in bathrooms, the most stunning of all being the walk-in owner’s suite and bathroom that can be easily found at the top of the staircase. The entire house was remodeled with designer finishes and features a large living area with a fireplace, a modern kitchen, and hardware. The whole home exudes old-world privacy and charm while showcasing the same contemporary interiors Mary hopes to find in her future home.

Managing the overnight fame has been quite a shift in lifestyle for Mary. “When they approached us I thought it was a good idea but was a little nervous because we didn’t know what it was going to be… but they did a great job and portrayed us all just like we are and kept their promise of the female empowerment, women in real estate angle they pitched to us,” she says. Noting that she needs to be very conscious of what she says and does when in public now, being close to the other agents and keeping her circle small makes her feel very safe. One of the many things that keep Mary motivated every day is her genuine love for her career and her love of travel. “I like seeing what I can accomplish, new ideas, new opportunities, and to see how far I can push myself. I want to be as successful as I can be. I’m going to have an empire and have plans to get into property development, I want to double my sales, and I’m currently working on a few ventures that are of interest and available to us because of the show,” she says.


In four, soon-to-be-five, successful seasons of Selling Sunset, Mary Fitzgerald has solidified herself as a force to be reckoned with in the Los Angeles real estate business. She continues to show us how her kind nature, combined with her ability to close multi-million-dollar deals and cultivate her relationships, are recipes for success in an industry that can be extremely competitive. She remains a fan-favorite character on the series and we can’t wait to follow her journey and watch her build the empire she dreams of.

 

By Rosy Alvarez

A Brooklyn girl with big cups of coffee and even bigger dreams.

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