The week began surprisingly well with the finale of a long-running saga — an unlucky client had squatters move into the property he left empty and after a three-month wait we have finally got an eviction notice. It’s always a good idea to ask the police to attend these evictions. In this case there were no problems this morning but the squatters had left a knife and a baseball bat in the flat and you can never be sure what sort of a welcome you are going to get.
A lesson for all property owners here — an extra door lock or, on this occasion, window deadlocks are worth every penny, as it has cost our client thousands to get his flat back.
The weekly sales meeting started at 8am today — necessary when trying to co-ordinate three separate offices. It was my turn to visit the Starbucks branch across the road to buy all the coffees. There was some good news, in that all of our sales staff had acceptable offers after last weekend’s open houses.
I’m reminded as I run across the road with all the coffees — hoping to avoid the cars — of the most recent open house, when I noticed two incensed applicants arriving for the viewing both battling for the same parking space. They next met on the stairs, took one look at each other and, to my great relief, said nothing. There was, however, a nasty silence. And now that both parties have offered on the same house, things could get interesting...
Having agreed on two of last week’s open house properties, this morning we received instruction on a neighbouring house. If we can get the HIP done in time then we’ll try to duplicate last weekend’s success, although we hope that the warring parties (neither of whom agreed last weekend’s house) do not start up again!
I am also hoping for a rare trip out of town, having sold a Fulham house off Munster Road for a client who is also trying to sell a small estate in Surrey through “the competition”. Following his thrill at our success he wants to bring us on board. Despite my being a country boy, I think I’ll leave this one to the rural department. Having lived and worked in Parsons Green for 15 years, I think I have become too urbanised.
Disaster! The roads were very icy this morning and for the first time in 10 years I crashed the car... into that of a potential client whose house I valued last week! My fault entirely, hands up, but she was very kind and understanding, and aside from going through the various procedures, we did manage to have a quick chat about her property. This will be the quickest insurance claim in history. Spoke to my “victim” at the end of the day; the good news is that she will still instruct us, but the bad news is that her car is a complete write-off. I do feel terrible, but she seems remarkably unconcerned.
Had a rather embarrassing start to the day: my replacement car
following yesterday’s incident is a green Mini. The whole world will now realise that I’m an estate agent! I drove cautiously to my next appointment, which was to value a landlord’s property. I had arranged to visit at 9am and the tenant said he would be out, so I was given the keys and he told me to let myself in.
Things were as expected until I entered his bedroom to find him in bed. He was very drowsy and rather red-faced but perfectly amiable. The other two occupants of the bed, however, were not quite as relaxed. And people say that Fulham is boring!
Robert Sturges is a director at Chesterton Humberts’ three Fulham offices (020 7731 4448; www.chestertonhumberts.com).