Today I’m frantically trying to finalise a sale on a four-bedroom house in Brockley as the buyers, who are moving from Herefordshire, need to be living in it when they submit their application forms to a very desirable school within the catchment area, ideal for their daughter. Sometimes this job is stressful, but today I feel that an entire family’s happiness is resting on my ability to make this happen.
I spend the morning on the phone trying to speed up the sale of the Brockley house and at midday I leave to take a buyer to a vacant house nearby. We don’t leave the house until well past 1pm. He looks in every single cupboard, wardrobe, plug socket and behind all the furniture - he even checks each individual floorboard for noise.
My manager is about to send out a search party but I reappear at the office and get straight back on the phones to other prospective buyers for the house. If he puts in an offer the transaction might take some time.
With the short daylight hours I am trying to cram in visits for buyers before it gets too dark and cold. This evening I show two sets of buyers around a fabulous flat with a roof garden boasting views of the Shard and Canary Wharf. The stunning sunset entrances us all and I receive two offers at the asking price.
This morning I take a couple to see a Victorian ground-floor flat in one of Lewisham’s best streets. The owner was out, but the other inhabitants — two pedigree cats, a territorial Jack Russell and an overly familiar labrador — were most certainly in.
I’m fond of animals but these four seem to have a death wish. The second I open the front door they all make a surging bid for freedom. There is a busy road outside and the farce that ensues as we try to stop them escaping is worthy of the West End stage. I flatten myself against the door frame as the labrador tries to squeeze between my legs, the cats climb up my suit and the Jack Russell tries to bite his way through me. The potential buyers try to grab hold of the animals but they wriggle free and the buyers collapse with laughter.
When we finally get into the house we are opening the back door into the garden when the animals explode past us. The labrador bashes into the back door, which bounces and slams shut so all of us are locked outside.
My good-humoured buyers are now crying with laughter as I frantically try every door and window to get back in. Beaten by the menagerie, I call my colleague back at the office who has another key and he has to rescue us all. But the drama seems to go down well with the buyers as they make me an offer.
Today it may be pouring with rain but it’s an easier day for me, as a damp surveyor comes back from one of my hottest properties with a better report than anticipated.
I then get more good news as we finally exchange on the family house in Brockley for the out-of-towners, the school place is secured for September and the gushingly grateful phone call from our buyers makes all the frantic calls to the solicitors, agents and vendors worth it.
Daniel Anderson is a senior sales negotiator at Kinleigh Folkward & Hayward's office in Brockley, south London (020 8469 0202).