Today’s schedule is civilised, after last week’s mayhem. I begin by contacting the lawyers on a new deal I agreed on Friday, having been texted yesterday by the buyer who is concerned about her exclusivity period. She is leaving for the Continent on Friday for three weeks and wants to be sure that everything is in place before she goes.
One of the lawyers is charming. The other, I can tell immediately, does not like agents and is not only abrasive, but factually incorrect, in a rather rude way. I politely correct her. It does not go down very well.
Some old clients of mine who have been quietly looking have just sparked on a house we are selling. They bought a very nice apartment off me 18 months ago and exchanged and completed back then in five days. They view the house today at noon, then another twice in the space of three hours, and then offer slightly below the asking price. They know what they are doing, but as it is not an emotional purchase, they do not increase their bid. Another party makes a better offer.
At 8am I show an unmodernised house to a very nice woman, who is immediately interested. I await her offer. Then it’s off to value a flat that we have sold twice in 18 months, near to our office. We advise the owner to hold off until the spring of next year to avoid people suspecting there are problems with the property. There genuinely are none, but prospective buyers might well have seen it marketed last year — and might understandably ask questions.
I meet a lovely lady who has finally called me in to value a property I have been after for 18 months. It is a smart three-bedroom and, unusually, three-bathroom lateral flat with a lift in a well-known building in SW3. She has been chased by “every estate agent under the sun” for the past year.
I’ve got an advantage in that I have met her before and we got on well, and I know her trustees. We are instructed at £2.9 million. It also helps that we handled eight out of the last nine flat sales in the building.
An eastern European woman offers me just under the asking price for a fabulous second- and third-floor walk-up apartment in a very smart SW3 address. It is on a mid-term lease, but she is property-savvy and, unlike many Europeans, is comfortable extending the lease. We tie it up at the asking price within an hour.
This evening I attend a drinks party thrown by a woman who bought a great little house off me recently. I meet a lot of rather glamorous forty-somethings, and talk of their children abounds. One lady and I exchange cards to meet tomorrow at 10am so that she can view a house.
It’s a hectic day. I recently launched a “best in class” two-bedroom flat on Ormonde Gate with a stunning view over the cricket ground and gardens of Burton Court. The view is similar to that from One Hyde Park, but for about £30 million less. We are inundated with inquiries and get an asking price offer.Meanwhile, the viewing I set up last night doesn’t work out, as the woman doesn’t go for the property.
The office is very hot and the guys want the air con on max, but the girls complain of the chill. We suggest they would rather put more clothes on, as opposed to us taking more clothes off. They agree.
I begin the day with a breakfast meeting in our Mayfair head office, hosted by our property wealth management team. We do this regularly to discuss our respective markets and to prompt creative thinking and referral of clients. They advise “high net worth” individuals and institutions on property investment, planning and construction.
I meet an old client to discuss their interest in another property. They want a five-bedroom house with a garden close to Sloane Square, up to about £12.5 million. They have retained me to buy something for them should I need to access any other agents’ property — a nice way to end the week.
Edward Thomson is a senior negotiator with Strutt & Parker in the Chelsea office (020 7225 3866).