Custom Paintings of Cherished Homes

A custom home painting by Rita Rooney of Douglas Elliman

A closing gift from a real estate agent following a successful property sale is typical – often something celebratory such as a bottle of bubbly is presented. But Rita Rooney of Greenport, a licensed real estate agent with Douglas Elliman, has stepped up the tradition with one-of-a-kind gifts that her clients will treasure for a lifetime.

Rita, who is a local artist in addition to a licensed real estate agent, creates custom paintings depicting her clients’ cherished homes. The unique gifts – which take days of detailed work capturing every eave, window casing, roofline – are presented at the closing.

“I wanted to marry both passions – art and helping people find the perfect home,” Rita said, adding that the extra level of attention brings a human aspect to what otherwise could simply unfold as a business transaction. The gifts represent the valued relationships she builds with her clients, an aspect of the real estate business that she holds dear. The professional dealings evolve into friendships.

Mary Caulfield of Southold agrees. After finding the perfect home very quickly with Rita as her real estate representative, Mary said she was delighted and surprised by the gift. “It is a beautifully detailed and remarkable painting, a perfect likeness.” The portrait hangs in her new house. “I was amazed by it. Visitors always ask about it.” Mary said the personalized gift was above and beyond what she could have expected.

The Caulfield home painted by Rita Rooney
The Caulfield home in Southold

Rita has painted numerous portraits for her Douglas Elliman clients, handcrafted keepsakes of cherished homes and properties. Some are of new homes, others of sold homes and, in some cases, a favorite view from the house. Several more are in the works for pending deals. This is a valuable gift – commissioning a custom home painting from an artist can costs hundreds of dollars.

The award-winning agent said in a highly charged and competitive North Fork real estate field, building personal bonds is important to her both on a personal level and on a professional level. Rita has continually developed relationships with her clients that remain long after the real estate transaction has completed.

You may know Rita from her popular Artists and Carafes painting classes, which she began in 2013 offering instruction and encouragement to class participants, many new and eager artists-in-training. Live music, wine and nosh rounds out the experience. (In fact, Rita is hosting a special client appreciation painting class for her clients this winter, another perk of working with this Douglas Elliman professional.)

“These connections I make are not just about business. It’s about people and relationships,” Rita said. “I love what I do, love it, and one of the best parts is forming friendships and building networks.”

For more on Rita, visit her profile page at Douglas Elliman at


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