Diary of an estate agent

Our agent from Sheen breaks a career record be completing a letting deal within just one day
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Diary of an estate agent cartoon
© Merrily Harpur (harpur.org)


Mondays are usually a good day for the Sheen office , I know we will begin the week with a lot of offers. I ran two Open Houses on Saturday and 27 people turned up to a one-bedroom unmodernised flat on Richmond Hill. I knew it was going to be a busy event when five couples were already eagerly waiting for me as I arrived (bearing in mind that I was
15 minutes early).

The team set about contacting viewers and by the end of the day we have seven competitive offers, two of which have come into the office in person and end up nearly having a fight on the doorstep. We set sealed bids for 12 noon on Wednesday. The day ends with an exciting sole agency lettings instruction on a big family house, perfect for the corporate lettings market which gets busy in this area over the summer months.  


Today is turning out to be full of client drama. In the morning, we have to rescue a vendor who has locked himself out of his house, wearing not a great deal.  He’s very lucky we have the keys and he isn’t clobbered with an old lady’s handbag while we race over to get them to him.

As the afternoon draws in, a current tenant of ours re-registers, looking for a new pad to “impress the ladies”. He also needs somewhere that allows pets because he plans to get a dog as apparently cute puppies attract women. I respond that they might attract women, but they don’t attract landlords. Before the day is up, he comes back to us with his decision - he still wants a new place but he’s decided against the dog.  


This morning the sealed bids come in for the one-bed on Richmond Hill. All seven interested parties have offered over the asking price and the winning bid is considerably over. The morning becomes more and more dramatic, as one of the buyers tries to bribe my colleague! They desperately want the property and, even after the sealed bids are closed, continue to ask how much would be needed in order to secure the bid. I explain all this to the vendor who is happier to sell to the buyer who had put in their best and final offer as requested.  


The day begins with a viewing of a let in East Sheen. Fortunately both the landlord and the tenant are very organised so we are able to get everything ready in time, no mean feat when you consider the amount of legislation surrounding every single let.

Everything is agreed so quickly that we manage to complete the whole process by close of play. Yes, the offer was placed and accepted, and the tenant moved in by the end of the day! The only hiccup occurs when our fax machine dies and we have to borrow our neighbours, who are also our competitors... despite this, it is the fastest deal I have done in my career. 


Did I say I love Mondays? Well Fridays are even better, when we’ve had a good week and it’s not my turn to work on a Saturday. This morning we take on a riverside house in Kreisel Walk, Kew, tucked away just off Kew Green and the vendor is throwing in a boat, and exchange on a house on the park side of East Sheen. Towards the end of the day, a colleague from our Barnes team drops by to borrow the keys to a charming two-bedroom cottage we are marketing. Just before he leaves I mention, “By the way, the cellar is under the kitchen table” to which he replies, “What’s she doing under there?”

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