© Merrily Harpur
What a difference a year makes. I arrived early to deal with the numerous sales enquiries that have come in over the weekend from new buyers wanting viewings and valuation requests from potential vendors. I’ve got a busy day ahead: 14 viewings and four valuations. Demand is so high (fuelled by low interest rates and growing confidence in the financial markets) that prices are almost identical to the peak in summer 2007. And we can’t take on enough stock to satisfy demand.
I have agreed terms on a wonderful house in Lilyville Road following competitive bidding. The vendors went for a couple who are cash buyers and can exchange contracts immediately.
The mood threatens to change in the afternoon after a call from a buyer who is pulling out. He has some concerns about the survey. So I contact a back-up buyer and agree terms within a couple of hours. The deal is back on! Our client is so pleased he’s promised me a round of golf. Better get in some practise.
Leapt out of bed this morning and raced to an 8am appointment at a £3 million house with a pop star before he flew back to Ireland. All went well - I’ll speak to him later to see how much he’s willing to bid. I arrived back in the office to find we’ve been instructed on a cracking house in Felden Street. I hit the phones to get my buyers in to view it, as I know it won’t be around for long. I note that this is our fifth instruction from the most sought-after streets running along the Fulham Road.
The day gets off to a challenging start when I receive a call from a solicitor informing me that a sale is on the brink of collapse, as the “other side” cannot provide proof of a Licence For Alterations on a flat off the New King’s Road. We are selling it to an old client whose house we sold at Christmas. We find the document at the council offices and get it biked over to the solicitor - we exchange. All of this is followed by a pint at The White Horse with a surveyor - always good to do a bit of networking.
Alexandra, who has just joined us from our Chelmsford office, has agreed terms on a flat on a busy road. It’s near Parsons Green and offers great space, but it hasn’t been easy to sell. We’ve plugged away for months. It just shows there’s a buyer out there for everything.
After a three-minute lunch our St Albans office calls with a referral for a large house in Bovingdon Road; they are looking after the sale of a country house for the same client. Ivor and I eagerly book in the valuation for this afternoon and following a good pitch, the instruction is secured. A late viewing at 7pm in Chelsea Harbour with a successful financier, keen to strike while (and where) the iron’s hot. He wants to come back for a second viewing on Saturday.
I receive a good offer on a 4,000 sq ft house on the Peterborough Estate, one of the most prestigious areas in Fulham. While always slightly cautious about agreeing terms last thing on a Friday, I have the utmost confidence in these buyers as they’ve sold in Kensington and Chelsea and are already members of the Hurlingham Club.
I take a call from the solicitor of a client whose house we are selling in Linver Road, saying we’ve completed. The buyer, who paid in excess of the asking price, is going to renovate the property extensively. He has employed an architect friend of mine from a panel I suggested. My friend owes me a pint and our client is delighted.
Need to tie things up on time this evening, sort out the appointments diary for Saturday (which is really busy) and dash off to meet my fiancée for a weekend of “Wedmin”.
Barclay Macfarlane is part of the residential sales team at Strutt & Parker’s Fulham office (020 7731 7100)