Diary of an estate agent: Canary Wharf

I’m feeling like a superhero after a new client flying to Shanghai that day and with only a few hours to spare, swoops in and buys the first penthouse I show him.
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After a relaxing two-week honeymoon in Thailand, I’m back in my Canary Wharf office raring to go. I catch up with my team to discuss what has been happening in my absence and the new instructions we have taken on.
We have been instructed on an amazing 2,722sq ft duplex penthouse in Basin Approach, overlooking the Limehouse Marina, priced at £2.2 million. This is one of my favourite areas of east London — easy access to Canary Wharf and the City as well as the restaurants and bars of Narrow Street and Wapping. It is a beautiful place to relax after a hard day’s work. The penthouse has recently been renovated and I have never seen anything quite like it.
The morning is spent completing paperwork and catching up with clients, then I set to work on a transaction that is taking a lot longer than anticipated to progress.
My vendor needs to sign a document and return it to his solicitor by the close of business if we are to avoid any further delays. Due to a demanding job and an unrelenting schedule, it looks like there will be no way that he can complete the necessary paperwork today. I rush over to his office, meet him in the lobby, get the paperwork signed and get it over to the solicitor with just five minutes to spare. This means that the exchange can go ahead as planned on Friday.
Today I have lunch with an investor and we have a long discussion about the housing market in Canary Wharf.
It is such a popular area with office workers looking for a pied-à-terre. There’s no doubt it’s the ideal place to invest, for both rental returns and capital growth. My investor and I initially bonded over our mutual love of Southend United and, over the years, we have developed a great working relationship.
Buying, selling, letting or moving house are stressful times for clients and buyers. My job is to ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the process.
In my job you never know what’s coming next. A lovely man walks into my office to enquire about penthouses in the area. The difference in his case being that he is flying to Shanghai at 6pm so he has precisely two and a half hours to spend his £1 million budget. Luckily a great penthouse apartment with panoramic views of London’s skyline immediately springs to mind.
We view the property and shake hands on the deal there and then. The sale is agreed within an hour of us meeting and my client makes it to Heathrow with plenty of time to spare. I feel like the Superman of sales.
I’m in early to handle three exchanges planned for today. The day starts with a site visit to one of our big new east London schemes. The show home leaves the team buzzing. It’s an exciting time to be in east London with so many new developments in the pipeline and a real demand for housing. The opening of Crossrail is getting ever closer, and the potential for both investors and individual home owners is huge.
It’s my weekend off and I have been given two tickets to Southend United’s game tomorrow — a thank you from my investor.
  • Darren Gibbinson is a senior sales negotiator at CBRE in Canary Wharf (Darren.Gibbinson@cbre.com).

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