Diary of an estate agent: Blackheath

Hoping to find period charm at a Victorian house that has not come to the market in decades, instead it is spooky, very spooky.
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The week starts with an early morning meeting to try to make sense of the hectic weekend just gone. There is particular excitement to hear how the viewing has gone at one of our most expensive homes — a stunning six-bedroom detached Victorian house. Negotiators are always keen for the bragging rights after a sale of distinction. The news appears to be positive and lots of other interest is flooding in.
There are also a couple of properties on the verge of exchanging contracts, but nothing is easy, so plenty more hours of chasing buyers and sellers and speaking to solicitors lie in wait.
On top of trying to sell properties, we are helping to organise a charity fun run around the heath with two primary schools this weekend.
After another early meeting, there is a valuation first thing for me. I have seen this Victorian house sitting empty for a while and I am hoping to find plenty of period charm.
The owner has passed away and, to cut a long story short, the house is spooky. Very spooky. It is full of what I can only describe as “dark” art. As soon as my colleague and I let ourselves in we are uncomfortable. Fifteen minutes later, as we stand in silence, a huge chopping board crashes down on a worktop a few feet away. Cue the quickest exit we have ever made.
Back to the office, a calming cup of tea and the day continues. The big offer on yesterday’s property is in, we have seen proof of funds and things are looking positive. Over to the negotiator to see if we can reach an agreement.

We have been instructed to sell the haunted house. Unfortunately, I need to go there again. Not known for my bravery, I drum up the courage to arrange a time to pop back, this time with the vendor.
Another interesting valuation turns up and it is a first for me — a four-storey house that has had the top two floors removed and subsequently repositioned a few hundred yards down the road. The property was split in half by two feuding brothers, believe it or not.
I arrive to find one of the most stunning homes I have ever seen. Every now and again we view a house that reminds us why we do this job, and this is one of those.
Meanwhile, there’s still plenty to do to make sure we are set for the fun run... time to start spinning plates.
This morning’s meeting is interrupted by a call from our vendor who has been considering the big offer and it is good news. A huge sigh of relief from the negotiator and the sale has been agreed. The team is in high spirits, but it is now time to concentrate on our next successful sale.
We return from the meeting room to find the office full of tables, chairs, boards and a folded-down marquee. After an initial worry that Homebase has redirected its stock delivery, I remember it is all for the charity fun run on the heath.
Thankfully, we have managed to juggle all that’s going on to be just about prepared for 600 mums, dads and children making a great effort in aid of Cancer Research, Macmillan Cancer Support and The 999 Club.
The big news of the day — the Tories are victorious and David Cameron is back in No. 10. We have enjoyed working in a very healthy housing market so far this year and we hope that this general election result gives the market even more confidence. And maybe, just maybe, some topic other than politics will dominate the television news tonight.
The Friday meeting is always a summary of the week and a chance to check that our Saturday diary is looking busy, but also manageable. Thankfully, it’s looking like another good weekend and things should run smoothly.
The first day of marketing one house has seen close to 20 people booked in to view it tomorrow. As a result, one of our team will be camped out there all day. This should mean we’re in for a busy Monday morning.
  • Elliott Walker is branch manager of Hamptons International in Blackheath (020 3151 7346).

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