Diary of an estate agent: Cambridge

With summer making a brief appearance, our Cambridge agent dodges the high street bike rally on his way into the office
Diary cartoon
© Weef

Monday


I am delighted finally to spot an unfamiliar object in the sky... the sun! Everybody’s mood lifts and it’s a positive outlook for all the country houses waiting for a decent photograph.

The week at my new office in Cambridge starts as usual with a quick review of the weekend’s viewings, and things are looking up. Between Friday and Saturday we had 76 on a single property in Newton Road. While this is clearly a drain on the resources, one can’t help but feel a little bit excited about the impending closing date.

The usual speculation begins about where we will end up with this one. Having finished the meeting, I am pleased to see the red light flashing on my phone with a series of messages to answer. Every single one is about Newton Road.

Tuesday


I’ve got a 9am appointment at a wonderful Georgian house just outside St Ives. It has won numerous awards for restoration, I’ve been looking forward to seeing it — and I am not disappointed.

After an hour and a half of discussions with the owner, it gets to the matter of price and the all-important fees. I am confident that everything I am saying is being well-received, and that the vendor is pleased, which is not always the case.

Wednesday


Three days of sunshine in a row and I am beginning to get suspicious — we might be experiencing what I believe is known as summer. Sadly, it seems half of Cambridge has also realised this and the throng of bicycles going backwards and forwards along Hills Road seems twice as long as usual — and twice as onerous to negotiate on my way to the office.

Today is my recording day with the Star FM local radio show. This week we discuss the importance of pricing and answer listeners’ questions. One caller asks about the added value of mirrors on his “boudoir ceiling”. Thank you, Duncan! The remainder of the day passes with Newton Road viewings, which are heading somewhere towards 120, the good news being the closing date is tomorrow.

Thursday


Following the usual humiliating defeat at touch rugby last night my body is sore. However, my pain is short-lived. The phone rings and we have instructions on the Georgian house. A quick trip to the city centre to see another house reminds me of just how important estate agents are in the process of buying and selling property. Why? Because it is the most stressful experience known to man. How do I know? Because the house I am viewing this time is the house I am trying to buy!

Best and final bids on Newton Road are expected at midday. By 11am, 20 are already in. A tense hour ensues with a further nine offers received. The past four days have been the most extraordinary in my agency experience — one house, 120 viewings, 29 offers at the best-and-final stage, and the second successful bid in two days to completely eclipse the guide price on a property. Things are definitely looking up for our new office.

Friday


With the team scampering around Cambridge conducting various viewings, it gives me chance to reflect on the working week. I am not sure whether it is relief because things seem to be going well or whether I am still on a high from yesterday, but I feel that the move to this office has been a good one for me. I am working in a wonderful city with a fantastic team. And the best news yet — it’s going take me just 10 minutes to get to work from my new house.

Cameron Ewer is an associate partner and head of agency in the Cambridge office of Strutt & Parker (01223 459500).

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