Diary of an estate agent: Hammersmith

Our Hammersmith agent tracks down the perfect property - only to find it's been turned into a tree house
Diary of an estate agent cartoon

Monday


There's no easing into work on a Monday at the moment if you're a London lettings agent. We have a frenetic morning meeting as we cram in Saturday's news and plan a chock-full week before I go to look at a four-bedroom property.

I've got my hand on the doorbell when the landlord rings to say he is still in Ascot and cannot come to meet me, but he is desperate to let the property - so will I look through the windows and give him a valuation?

Feeling rather silly and in danger of a citizen's arrest by Neighbourhood Watch, I peer in as much as possible and give him an approximate valuation on what I can see. I arrange to meet the landlord later, as trying to value a property through the letterbox isn't how we do things!

Tuesday


I have a viewing with a relocation agent and her client, who needs a minimum three-year contract, and I'm excited as I think I have found the perfect property. I arrive at the house to meet them and as I open the front door I am speechless at what I see.

There are plants and shrubs everywhere with tents, and forest paintings on the walls. Suddenly the tenant comes rushing downstairs apologising. It's half term and she has turned the house into a "forest" for her children.

The relocation agent and client do not seem pleased and five minutes later they are heading out of the door less than impressed.

Wednesday


Today my manager and I go to see a lovely flat in Chiswick. When the landlord takes us upstairs I am extremely surprised to see three other agents sitting around the dining table. The landlord starts firing questions at everyone, asking what rental he will get, how many tenants we have on our books. I feel like I am on The Apprentice. However, later that day we get a phone call to say the keys are in the post. We have been instructed.

Thursday


I am astonished to receive a call from the landlord whose property I valued on Monday, instructing us. I know the place will be popular simply because of the location. Within an hour I have rounded up several tenants for viewings this afternoon. But the keys I've been sent don't work. I explain and apologise to the first prospective tenant, who says she'll just look through the side windows and peer through the letterbox (while I have déjà vu). She likes what little she can see and says she will speak to her flatmates and call me.

I arrive back at the office to a message that she wants to put down a holding deposit. I insist she sees the property fully before she puts money on it, but during a proper viewing this evening she is just as keen and puts the deposit down straight away. The market must have reached new heights when a property can be instructed and let without anyone actually seeing it properly.

Friday


It's Friday and it's going to be a long day, being last day of the month for move-ins. I have a viewing with a famous fashion house's merchandising regional manager and I'm excited as I've only ever spoken to him on the phone. My female lettings colleagues are thrilled as I tell them he has offered me 50 per cent off any product in store if I find him a flat.

I arrive at the address, and he is already smiling. He says he loves the area, and when we walk into the apartment there is a front cover image of his boss on a glossy magazine on the coffee table. He loves the apartment and asks me how he can secure it as he believes it's destiny because there is a picture of his boss in the flat.

Well, what I can say? I'm looking forward to my luxury retail therapy come the weekend.

Sunny Sabharwal is a senior lettings negotiator at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward's branch in Hammersmith (020 8563 9633)

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