SPOTLIGHT ON: Sarah Hughes
Mary Prenon | June 2018
Reaching Milestones in Real Estate and Life
This year Sarah Hughes, associate broker with William Raveis Legends Realty Group in Briarcliff Manor, is reaching several notable milestones—she’s worked in residential real estate for some 25 years and this fall, she’ll celebrate 40 years of marriage.
While she admits it was a “very long time ago,” Hughes still recalls the very first day she met her husband. She was a waitress at the former Peanut Room in Dobbs Ferry, now The Cookery. “I saw him walk in and I said to my friend, ‘I’m going to marry him.’ I guess it was love at first sight because 40 years later, we’re still together,” she said.
She even remembers how they first got together. “He waited for me after my shift and we had a drink. It was a rum and coke, but I don’t even like that drink anymore,” she quipped. Their first date was the Broadway show “The Wiz,” and two years later they tied the knot.
While in today’s society, a 40-year union may be somewhat of an anomaly, Hughes said her “secret” of “being patient and not stressing over the small stuff” has actually helped her real estate career as well.
Originally her plans were quite different than listing and selling homes. After studying political science at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, Hughes set her sights on law enforcement. “I wanted to be a police officer, but my husband talked me out of it because he was worried,” she recalled. “Ironically, now one of my daughters is a police officer.”
Her first career was an assistant comptroller with St. Christopher’s Jennie Clarkson, a residential treatment facility for children with behavioral needs. “It was a lot of old-fashioned bookkeeping,” she explained. “There were no computers, and the checkbooks had to be balanced manually. Sometimes we were a few dollars off so my boss would always tell me to ‘fudge it’,” she joked.
After her first child was born, Hughes left her position for a much more difficult one—a stay-at-home mom. “When we started looking around for a house, I realized that I could probably be good at real estate,” she said. So in 1993, she got her license and began working with the McCartney Agency, a small, independent firm in Ardsley. “I went there purposely knowing that I’d get good training and I did learn so much from them.”
A few years later, she got her Associate Broker’s license and moved over to Houlihan Lawrence in Irvington. In 2004, she joined Prudential Rand in Briarcliff Manor and actually purchased a home in the same community. She has been with William Raveis Legends since 2010.
Hughes admits a lot has changed in real estate over the past 25 years. “The Internet has changed things dramatically, and I think both buyers and sellers are much more informed,” she added. “A lot of them are also using Google Earth to check out the neighborhoods.”
She was a member of the association’s MLS Board of Directors for many years and this year marks her debut as a HGAR Board member. “I love being on the board and going to all of the meetings. It keeps you on top of things,” she said.
In addition, she is a member of HGAR’s Legislative and RPAC Committees and last year, Hughes served as president of the Empire Westchester chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors.
She continues to work with both buyers and sellers, mainly in Westchester’s Rivertowns and northern communities. “I know this sounds cliché but I love what I do,” she said. “I especially like working with first-time homebuyers. Some are young couples planning to start a family and others are local residents who are upgrading from a co-op or condo.” Most her business now comes from referrals.
In her free time, Hughes likes to go horseback riding, often visiting her sister’s vacation home in the Poconos where a horseback riding facility is one of the amenities. She also loves the beach—from Jones Beach in Long Island to the beaches of Aruba.
She also spends as much time as possible with her three children – Amanda, 35, Dana, 33 and Sarah, 29, who is the family’s police officer. Hughes also recently welcomed the arrival of her first granddaughter, Siena Rose.
As she prepares to celebrate her 40th’ wedding anniversary this October, Hughes reiterates her mantra for a successful marriage and happy life, “Don’t worry so much. Just let things roll off your shoulders.”