Sheri Winter Parker: Queen Of North Fork Real Estate

When talking about real estate on the North Fork — the pastoral expanse dotted with farms and vineyards, surrounded by serene water from Riverhead to Orient Point — a name that comes up over and over again is Corcoran’s Sheri Winter Parker. Not many know this slice of heaven quite like her — she’s been ranked the number one individual by volume in the region for close to two decades and is on her way to $1 billion in sales volume.

We assumed she was hyper-local, but after sitting down with Winter Parker, we learned that not only is she not from the East End, she relocated from New York City by way of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, following a career in fashion.

How does one come to love a community so much that it becomes her identity, what she is known for? We asked her and were surprised all along the way from her beginnings to how she became a top East End agent through her sheer love of the land.

Sheri Winter Parker. Photo by Randee Dadonna

Sheri, you’ve been called “Queen of North Fork Real Estate.” How did you come to represent a whole region like this?

I know people call me that and it’s always funny to hear it phrased that way. It’s an enormous compliment! I guess the meaning of it is finally starting to sink in after all these years. I just sort of knew it in my bones when I made the decision to get into real estate sales on the North Fork that I had found “my calling.” I worked at a boutique agency in my hometown from time to time with a friend of mine doing administrative tasks, while in high school. I almost went into real estate during college but decided to join a family business instead. But always knew it was something I was going to do.

Are you local to the East End?

No! I’m from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. The North Fork reminded me of a combination of my hometown and my summers spent on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. I never thought I would live anywhere else but where I grew up, but I fell for the North Fork hard on my way back to New York City after a weekend trip to the East End. My father’s business was in the city and both parents are originally from there. I was also living in the city full time by then.

That was it — three weeks later, I went looking at real estate here and got an accepted offer on a house and closed a month later! Within a couple of years I was living here full time. It’s where I’m meant to be.

After working for a boutique agency in New Jersey you knew that real estate was your calling? It’s great when it clicks.

I always knew I would get my license, and I just knew it was time. When I made the decision, the class I needed to take started the next day. It was fate and the rest is history!

What do you love so much about the North Fork.

The effortless laid-back vibe, the lush bucolic feel, being surrounded by water and all the farms — and of course, our food culture!

Let’s talk about what you did before taking over the North Fork… You were entrenched in the fashion industry through your family. Can you explain what you did and who you worked for, and at what capacity?

So, my father was in the fashion industry and my mother was a model. Fashion was always a part of our life, so it wasn’t even really a thought that I wouldn’t become part of the business. I worked for Ralph Lauren initially in Global Communications before being asked to join a new venture, Ralph Lauren Media. There was just three of us, David Lauren, Jeff Morgan, and me. It was a true startup and our first project was the company website, and it just went from there! I started out as the director of business administration and ended up being head of public relations and special projects. It was a dream job!

Sheri Winter Parker. Photo by Randee Dadonna

You’ve sold some pretty historic properties. Are there any transactions that you’re particularly proud of?

I’ve had some extremely complex transactions and quite a few record breakers. That said, I am proud of every single property that I have had the honor of selling. There is one that just recently closed that I feel is quite noteworthy. It was a large land transaction — a very well-respected nursery that is staying a nursery. One of the sellers really wanted it to stay that way and he got his wish. As a postscript, it’s not just about the dollar amount of the sale, it’s about the intricacies of the deal. Every transaction is different, and every detail is so important.

The market is wild right now. What advice would you give sellers at this time?

This market is changing from week to week. My best advice to sellers, today, is to work with a seasoned agent, who knows the ins-and-outs of difficult and complex markets. It’s very important that you listen to your broker, after all, you made the decision to work with them. Their guidance is extra important right now.

What about buyers?

My advice to buyers is the same! With all the turmoil in the world, not to mention a buyer’s unique personal circumstances, they should ensure they are working with a knowledgeable agent who has their finger on the pulse of the local market.

Are there any trends buyers are looking for now post-pandemic that wasn’t as popular prior to it?

The trends I am seeing are “at home” workspaces and a more definitive space for entertaining outside. Also vegetable and fruit gardens are becoming increasingly popular!

Your inventory is stunning! Are you seeing any shifts with clients with interest rates rising?

Thank you, I am really blessed to represent such beautiful properties! So far, I have not seen much of an impact in demand related to interest rates. I have had some discussions, but realistically, interest rates are still well within historic lows — even with the recent rises. It’s still a great time to buy.

Why did you choose Corcoran as your brokerage?

It was never a question for me! I reached out to Corcoran shortly after I purchased my first home in Cutchogue in 2000. I asked if they had any plans to come to the North Fork and the response was a resounding, “No!” We have had some good laughs about that one over the years! However, they eventually did in 2004. They acquired a company that I had used to list my house called Cook Pony Farm. That is the year I got my license and went to work with Corcoran!

We are amazed at your community involvement, especially within your love of philanthropy. Can you tell us what you’re involved with?

I am so proud to be on the board of directors for Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation. They literally saved my life during the early days of Covid. I vowed, if I got better, that I would do something to give back to this establishment that saved not just my life, but countless others. They were so incredibly prepared, and we are so lucky to have such an invaluable asset within our community! I encourage everyone to donate, anything you can afford is much appreciated, and goes to good use! I also give to many other local charities, including Corcoran Cares, CAST, the North Fork Animal Welfare League, ARF, Kait’s Angels, The Make-A-Wish foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital. I think I’m forgetting a few, but you get the idea! Helping others is important and I do it whenever I can.

Can we have a peek into your world? What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

Oh goodness, I absolutely love to cook and to create artisanal cocktails, even if I am not imbibing. I find it so much fun and so relaxing! I enjoy being home with my family, which includes our three dogs. My husband is a retired developer and an artist, so he’s super creative, we always have projects going. I guess for some that could be stressful, but for us it’s a lot of fun as we love the creative process. And I absolutely love boating, though I definitely need to make more time for that!

And I must mention Paris, France. It’s very special to my husband and me. We try to get there whenever we can. It’s been a couple of years due to Covid, but we are planning to head back before year’s end!

To learn more about Winter Parker, visit her profile on The Corcoran Group.

Ty Wenzel

Co-Publisher & Contributor

Ty Wenzel started her career as a fashion coordinator for Bloomingdale’s followed by fashion editor for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She was also a writer for countless publications, including having published a memoir and written features for The New York Times. She is an award-winning writer and designer who covers lifestyle, real estate, architecture and interiors for James Lane Post. Wenzel is also a co-founder of the meditation app for kids, DreamyKid, and the social media agency, TWM Hamptons Social Media.

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