Diary of an estate agent

A small dog with a big problem, a drama with a panic button, and enough homes for a football team make our agent's week a busy one
Diary of an estate agent cartoon
© Merrily Harpur (harpur.org)

MONDAY


This week could go either way; the week after Easter, in my experience, can be either dead as a dodo or just plain crazy. I wonder which way it will go? With several colleagues off on holiday, the day starts well with two offers from the weekends' viewings.

Off I go to a potential client's house and a long discussion about the merits of presentation. This especially rings true as this particular property backs on to a quarter-acre building site. A lot of imagination is required from prospective purchasers...

TUESDAY


Went to meet a client and the new owner at a property, to go over the alarm system that is police-connected to explain how it works. As my client goes through the settings she casually informs the buyer that she has never had to use it. If needed, there is a panic button by the door that can be reset by a master code.

As she describes the sequence and shows the new buyer what to do she presses it, which sets off a series of alarms. No panic. She must know the master code. Surely? Not, as it turns out. My client turns white as she realises she doesn't. Minutes later the police turn up to find a very embarrassed client trying to get hold of the alarm company.

WEDNESDAY


My colleagues may be enjoying the April sunshine but I am enjoying the deals. I agree terms with a well-known football star. This is the fourth in recent times who has signed up to a certain local team. This way we could soon field an international team of Strutt & Parker buyers. What is the saying? "Never work with animals…"

An important second viewing of an amazing house we are selling with an award-winning garden goes disastrously wrong. The buyer's girlfriend gets out of the chauffeurdriven limousine with what can only be described as a "toy" dog in her designer handbag. After introductions are made, my client tells the lady to feel free to look around. The girlfriend duly places the dog in the bag on the ground.

Fifteen minutes later, having sufficiently viewed the property, we return to the handbag and a little "puddle" on the wooden floor - but no Fifi in sight. Luckily my client sees the funny side. A search ensues, the dog is found and I am left on my paws frantically trying to clean the floor.

THURSDAY


Woke up to bright sunshine and clear blue skies - what a difference the weather makes. I scooter to work and take my first call from a buyer who has decided it is better to make his purchase before the election, as he thinks there will be a post-poll rush. In my experience of over 20 years in this market, he is right.

After much discussion, my buyer finally agrees he will pay my client's asking price - the right result.

FRIDAY


Off to the dentist first thing, with a ride down the river and past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The sun is shining and I am thinking this is the best city in the world. An hour later I arrive back to 27 new emails and three clients needing updates on their offers. So much for a quiet end to the week.

By the afternoon we have agreed two more deals and are awaiting one final offer tonight. I scooter home in bright sunshine with a smile on my face. The end of a good week? No such luck - a flurry of phone calls as last-minute negotiations take place over a house with an anxious buyer and seller.

By 9.30pm it is agreed, done and dusted. Has spring finally arrived? It certainly feels like it.

Simon Rose is a partner at Strutt & Parker's Cadogan Street office in SW3 (020 7225 3866; struttandparker.com)

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