We all get together for the weekly meeting , the recurring theme is - sell more houses, make more money! All of which is possible, though the continual doom and gloom from the media is enough to put anyone off buying a house - I do my very best to ignore it, there are buyers out there.
My first house is a viewing at a beautiful Georgian Manor House in Kent. Having finished inside, we took a tour of the gardens, including a stunning Victorian Greenhouse, about 100 ft long. On the way out, I shut the doorobviously too firmly and the whole window pain fell out and shattered.That will come out of my salary...
A visit to Windlesham this morning has to be the highlight. The house I was showing is about 15,000 square feet , and a wonderful indoor swimming pool leads off from the family room - one of the great selling features of the house. I had to show the pool to my prospective buyer, but she wasn’t keen. When I asked why not, she replied; “I don’t swim.” A fair point then, don’t think they’ll buy it!
A difficult deal rears its head this afternoon. A lovely modern house in Berkshire which is under offer but not yet exchanged. It should have exchanged on Tuesday, but the building regulations gained when the house was completed are missing. I now have to prove that the finished product is the same as the planning permission allowed back in 1985. There is only one remedy, a trip to Basingstoke and Deane council to photocopy the microfiche documents related to the build project. 3 hours later, I drop all the documentation in a brown envelope through the buyers solicitors door.
I really wasn’t prepared for today’s drama as I went to carry out a market appraisal on lovely Victorian Manor House in Oxfordshire. As I expected the house looked great but I wasn’t expecting to be met by a pet four foot high Wolf which greeted me at the front door! Apparently the Wolf is slightly protective, and has a tendancy to be a little aggressive towards strangers. The vendor has promised to keep the Wolf locked away during viewings...let’s hope so.
Back at the ranch... the Berkshire house solicitor received the planning documentation and was very grateful, still can’t exchange though - cheque hasn’t cleared. It’s going to be stressful day tomorrow.
Money’s in, the stressful telephone calls are over! I give both solicitors a call all ok, so we’re on! Well at least I hope so, the buyer is completing on Monday, and if we don’t exchange today, they’ll be homeless. All that is required is for the solicitors to finalise the exchange.
Frustration as no news for several hours and I can’t seem to get in touch with anyone, except the client and the buyer who can’t understand why the house hasn’t exchanged. Until 5.12pm, at last! One solicitor says can’t get hold of the other. To avoid a stressful weekend I make her hold while my colleague calls the other side. Success! We have both solicitors on the telephone! I grab the phone from my colleague, and put it together upside down so that the phones are touching and that the solicitors can talk to one another.
It works. The solicitors carry out the exchange, and both sides delighted. A celebratory beer for us all of the team, and I’m off home - to wait for next week’s drama.
Euan Rollo works in the national sales section at Strutt & Parker’s headquarters in Hill Street, W1 (020 7629 7282)