Diary of an estate agent

Our Sussex agent sends a colleague on a blind date with an amorous porker, gets hitched from a ditch and is out for a duck... or a pigeon


Well, the new office has been open for just over a month and things have got off to flying start. The instructions are rolling in and there is a real buzz about the place.

But Grace, who runs the marketing side of things has just returned (looking a little cross with me it must be said) having taken the details of a charming Grade II-listed property that comes with an old Sussex barn, cattle byre and piggery.

I had forgotten to tell her before she went that the owners no longer lived there but a very large pig, answering to the name Danish, still did. What is worse, it has been allowed to roam the outbuildings.

As I hear it Grace beat a quick retreat, hurdling a five bar gate in a spectacular fashion to avoid the amorous affections of a porky in pursuit of a friend. Her epic hurdling was all the more impressive given she had borrowed my wellies which are about twice her normal size! I make coffee and hope she is in a forgiving mood.





Our first sale is agreed on a property with a fascinating pedigree. It was originally built in Saffron Walden during the 16th Century and was then dismantled, moved and rebuilt in West Sussex in the Thirties.

The buyers require more land to accommodate their business and family needs. Both buyer and our client are getting on well and shared a nice bottle of Chablis to celebrate a speedy exchange of contracts.






I am asked to see a beautiful Victorian property in one of the most sought after locations in Horsham.

It is clearly a huge decision to move as the owners have lived there very happily for years. The husband, a successful businessman, is taking it all in his stride, his wife appears less happy. When we are alone I check to make sure she wants to proceed before I take this deal to market.

She tells me how difficult it is to give up the family home but confirms there is to be no turning back. We have a cup of tea and some of her homemade cake and I head back to the office with their instructions to go ahead.

All the while, my mind is working overtime as to who would be the perfect buyer and perhaps most importantly, someone who our client would be happy to see living there for the next 20 years.






Not a good start to the day. My car does not cope well with the fresh snow and I slide off the long farm track that connects my home to the country lane and land in the ditch.

This is when it is good having a neighbour who is a farmer with a tractor. Having got a tow I meet up with the team who have been busy despite the weather. At close of play I nip into Waitrose to buy some provisions just in case the weather gets worse and a bottle of Malt for my friend with the tractor.






I struggle through the snow to do a valuation and am inside an old barn with potential for residental use when suddenly half a dozen startled pigeons fly right at me. I duck out of the flight path with, though I say it myself, all the skill and aplomb of an England opening batsman facing a bouncer in the first over of the Ashes.

I take a brief moment to congratulate myself as the flock makes for the sky. It is only upon my return to the office that the true course of events become clear as Grace, taking the opportunity for revenge bursts out laughing at the considerable pigeon deposit on the back of my navy blue overcoat.

We are now 1-1!

Edward Jackson is a partner at Strutt & Parker’s Horsham office (01403 246790)



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