Diary of an estate agent: Chelsea

This week, our Chelsea agent reveals a fear of lifts - which for an estate agent is equivalent to a pilot who is scared of flying - and finds a home for a breakfast TV host
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Diary of an estate agent
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It’s going to be a hectic day to say the least. I have 14 viewings in the diary and two market appraisals. My first appointment is a large family house on Cheltenham Terrace. It’s a second viewing and a chance for my applicant to bring her banker husband along to have a look. She’s pretty confident they have the same style and that he’ll love it as much as she does.

They have relocated from America to London with their family and although they have lived in the capital for the last two years he still finds London townhouses difficult as they are usually over four or five levels.

He says he prefers lateral living… to which his wife responds: “Lateral living may work if you’re a Miami bachelor honey, but not if you have teenage children who don’t want to hang out with their parents all the time.” Needless to say, they don’t put an offer forward and carry on the debate in the car. On to the next one…


Today I’m off to meet a relocation agent and their client who will be hosting a breakfast show on NBC. The viewing is going well and the presenter thinks the flat could work for her - until we go out on to the terrace. It’s playtime at the school next door which sadly puts an end to that one: she will be at home during the day and won’t be able to sleep through the noisy kids’ playing.

I get in the car and drive back to the office where, much to my surprise, the agent calls with an offer from the TV presenter who has decided she can live with the noise of the playground and will sleep with earplugs during the day. The landlord is happy we’ve found a tenant so quickly and it’s a good deal tied up.

My next viewing is at Queen’s Elm Square. It’s a newly refurbished townhouse just off Chelsea Green. The prospective applicants offer straight away with an imminent start date. Their only request is two new sofas, as they feel the feng shui is all wrong in the drawing room.

I’m having a good day and go straight back to the office to put the offer forward. To my surprise the landlady decides to reject it as she doesn’t want to fork out for new sofas at a cost of £5,000 each.


I hit the gym at 7am and do a spinning class before work. This is not the best idea I’ve ever had, as my colleague Zoe and I have an 8.45am market appraisal in Chelsea Towers.

The flat is on the sixth floor and I have a fear of lifts (for an estate agent this is equivalent to a pilot who is scared of flying). I start my long climb to the top where I meet Zoe and the client. I pant away, trying to pretend I’m not totally exhausted — and failing miserably. But we win the instruction and although Chelsea Towers is not the most magnificent building in the area, it is a fantastic two-bedroom flat with stunning views of the city including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. We’re confident we can find a suitable tenant.


It is a day out of the office and we are all off to the Barbican for a company conference. This is a great team-building exercise. With the whole company situated in Barbican for the day, I have to leave my deals in the hands of the temp secretary.


Back in the office, and one of my tenancies is due to start. The landlord has yet to send me back the signed tenancy agreement - and I have been waiting for it all week.

I have had a sleepless night over this one… and today my worst nightmare is coming true. At 10am the tenants arrive at the house with a container full of all of their belongings from New York and I can’t release the keys.

Just to make the situation worse, they are a delightful Italian family and the wife is eight months pregnant. I put in my fifth call of the day to the landlord, trying to explain the severity of the situation and drag him away from the Chinese new year celebrations. Reluctantly, he goes back to his office and sends the document again.

Anna Tarsey is a senior lettings negotiator in the Chelsea office of Strutt & Parker (020 7589 9966)

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