Diary of an estate agent: Beckenham

Viewings and valuations are on the up in this part of south London, and a trouser malfunction makes every laugh for everyone except for the unfortunate estate agent concerned...

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Fuelled with caffeine (a large one for me) the team and I go over the weekend activity and planned schedule for the week, including viewings and valuations, which have been on the up since Easter. 

I call potential buyers and solicitors to catch up on the sales progress of a number of properties, then head off to value a house owned by an elderly lady in the local area looking to downsize. After a lovely chat I offer to take her to the shops so she can avoid the bus. My good deed for the day.

Back at the office, a local signage company is at work. Our marketing team has arranged for us to have new graphics on the branch front door to mark our 70th anniversary — I have to admit it does look impressive. 

First job is to take photographs for a new instruction. It’s a stunning one-bedroom Victorian conversion in a popular road in Beckenham. I get the rooms done and head outside to take pictures of the front of the property. We are lucky as the sun is shining. 

I climb up high on to a wall to get the best shot of the building — only to hear my suit trousers rip. One of my team is now laughing uncontrollably. It doesn’t help that the vendor is also watching and finding it all highly amusing. 

My colleague “kindly” takes a picture of the evidence…it’s bad. To make things worse he sends the picture to our marketing team to use on social media.

With no time to go home I get back to the office and refuse to show my rear for the rest of the afternoon, then choose my moment to escape to my car. 

The traffic is a nightmare but I make it to the station to meet a potential buyer and drive her round to view four properties. All goes well and I drop her back at the train station. Even better news, in the afternoon she calls to say she would like to instruct us to sell her own property, a two-bedroom cottage. The week is certainly looking up. 

Demand for property is really high at the moment so we are not surprised to get lots of offers on a three-bedroom house close to Beckenham Junction station. Six offers have come in either under or at the asking price. Then we get a call offering over the asking price — result.

Later in the day I make some calls to the other branch partners to attempt to get staff to sign up for a skydive for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. It takes some persuasion but the numbers have slowly increased to a whopping three — including myself. Did I mention I’m petrified of heights? 

I pick up coffee and cake for the team en route to work before visiting a local school to discuss our sponsoring their summer carnival. I then meet a colleague to value an eight-bedroom house. Believing the place to be empty, we are chatting rather loudly when we are suddenly confronted by a man. It turns out to be the caretaker — phew.

Back at the office I go to grab some cake but it has been totally demolished so I settle for the healthy salad option. As usual on Friday I frantically chase solicitors, while buyers get nervous. Finally, at 3.30pm I can hand over the keys to one happy couple. We also hear the good news that we have been instructed to sell the big house. 

It has been an eventful day but a good one so I head home to put my feet up with a bottle of cider, ready to take on the busy weekend. 

  • Christopher Wall is partner at Proctors’ Beckenham branch (020 8650 2000).

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