Diary of an estate agent: Chelsea

This week, a Chelsea estate agent turns removal specialist in order to the seal the deal
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Diary of an estate agent
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It's raining again. We all congratulate the winner of our Grand National sweepstake in the hope of an invitation to drinks at the end of the week.

We have a few valuations lined up, a promising sign of the market picking up after a quieter than expected February and March. One sale is due to complete and a couple are set to exchange, so I start ringing solicitors.

A purchaser reports that they are withdrawing their offer on a two-bedroom flat, citing 'personal circumstances'. We agree with the vendor to re-market it immediately.

I telephone an applicant who missed out the first time around and they instantly submit an offer. They haven't seen it yet as they are based abroad. We agree terms, subject to a non-refundable deposit being paid.

My colleague and I appraise a lovely two-bedroom flat in a period building behind Sloane Square. I sold the flat to the owner's parents 12 years ago. The then freeholder of the building has since passed away but had been rather free with the service-charge fund, enjoying many trips to the south of France.

Our next appraisal is of a two-bedroom flat in a popular modern development, which don't come up very often. Our client bought off-plan 10 years ago and will make an impressive return on investment.

A great start to the day. Completion on the sale of a refurbished Chelsea house sold for just under £5 million. The developer is very pleased and drops off the keys with a bottle of champagne for the purchaser to collect. A colleague in lettings is waiting for her applicant to view five apartments. He is 30 minutes late and not answering his mobile.

Eventually he calls to say he is 'around the corner'. Twenty minutes later, she is told he is at Heathrow airport and won't make it.

I head out to show some apartments to an applicant who has been looking for six months. We view a beautiful three-bedroom apartment in a red-brick mansion block. This is one of my favourite properties on our books, which I sold seven years ago. The applicant quickly realises it is a rare find and offers the asking price on the spot.

The vendor of the mansion apartment is thrilled and, unsurprisingly, accepts the offer. The buyer returns to Hong Kong delighted. Ahead of a completion tomorrow, I arrange for furniture to be cleared from a flat. Our client is keen that the furniture goes to charity.

When I arrive to meet the charity removal men and call to find out where they are, they are three miles away because they were moved on by the building's security. They'll be 'back some point this afternoon'.

After one look at the furniture, the driver says he can only take a quarter of it. I strike a deal with him, to return with a friend that evening. That night, I help clear two beds, a dining room table, four chairs, two sofas and a wardrobe. I finish the day exhausted but confident completion will go ahead.

A call from the vendor's solicitor of the flat I helped clear confirms we can release the keys. I grab another bottle of champagne and meet the buyers at the flat. They are on the doorstep, unloading the car. I assist with their bags but hastily retreat before the removal van turns up.

Back at the office, an email confirms the deposit has been received for the flat agreed unseen on Monday. The buyer is viewing next week. Next, we take instructions on a fabulous riverside penthouse. My colleague agrees terms on a mews house in Belgravia. Not a bad end to the week. Now where did our sweepstake winner go…?

Henry Smith MNAEA is an associate director at Beaney Pearce based at its Chelsea office (020 7590 9500).

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