Diary of an estate agent: Bath

Nerves are on edge thanks to a big deal in the pipeline and a local artist shows off their talent in the office...

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Having got up early and walked the dog, I set off on the two-hour journey to Bath. The office is buzzing and the coffee is on. There is only time for a short meeting this morning as the phones start ringing with offers from the weekend viewings. 

I always know the previous week has been good when my managers are too busy to report their weekly figures by 11am. 

We have just sold our third consecutive property, off-market, to a buyer relocating from London, having gone to a best and final offer. Our client is delighted. In the afternoon we have a local artist hanging their work in the office — we are working to promote local artists and help them to get establish in the city. 

The negotiators hit the phones hard yesterday, so all of the new instructions have viewings and I’m out with the manager of our Bath office on back-to-back appraisals, all of which are sellers I’m keen to bring to the market.

Bath is a beautiful city. It’s easy to see why so many people want to relocate here, and why so few leave. We are instructed on a townhouse because of our strong London connections; a modern penthouse because of our central office location, and a bungalow in need of renovation because we didn’t give an over-inflated valuation. 

There’s a franchisee meeting at our Mayfair head office, so I am heading up to London. Being a franchisee of Winkworth I get the best of both worlds, as an independent agent under the umbrella of a long-established brand. 

It is a symbiotic relationship, where Winkworth works to help drive my offices forward and the more successful I am, the more successful the brand is. 

The gathering is for regional representatives to share knowledge. 

Sitting stationary in traffic, it’s 8.30am and I’m on my way into Oxford. The team have been keeping me up to date with activities since Monday and I can’t wait to hear about the new instructions, but right now I need the latest situation on a big deal that is due to exchange at any moment. 

My nerves are on edge when a big deal is in the pipeline and close to exchange. I found it less stressful selling my own house recently. Everything is going well at Oxford, but I have just received news that means I have to cut short my trip and head back to Exeter.

Many of Exeter’s large portfolio of managed properties are coincidentally undergoing major refurbishments.  With the changes in recent tax laws, landlords are incentivised to invest in their properties to mitigate the reduction in mortgage interest tax relief. 

One of our landlords, with a whole block in the town centre, is one such client. The roofers have tried removing the insulation by using a leaf blower in reverse and it is now “snowing” all across the city. With my client and the local residents association unamused, diplomacy skills are paramount. 

As I head home and reflect on my week, I think my job is the best in the world.

  • Christopher Baker is director of Winkworth in Bath, Exeter and Oxford. Call 01225 829000; 01392 271177, or 01865 511333.

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