Diary of an estate agent: Holland Park

A Holland Park agent returns from holiday to a chaotic week full of viewings, presents from famous singers, traumatised agents letting out house cats and trips to rainy building sites



Just back from a lovely week on the beach, feeling pretty relaxed. In fact, so relaxed I’m not so sure I really fancy going back to work at all.

Oh well, hop on my bike and cycle through Hyde Park to the office. It’s a beautiful morning and I’m feeling positive and re-charged. Arrive at the office, apparently last week was manic. We’ve taken on four new instructions including an amazing, detached house with parking on Abbotsbury Road at
£13.75 million and have a whole load of people wanting to organise viewings. It’s shaping up to be a brilliant week.




Feelings of relaxation totally gone but replaced by excitement. It was a busy day yesterday sorting out three offers from the end of last week on a flat which has, up until now, seemed almost unsellable. Excellent news for the lovely elderly client who has been longing to move out and downsize. Next job – finding her a suitable flat to downsize to – I’ve booked her in for an afternoon of viewings next week. All go on Abbotsbury Road and a lot of interest and two offers on a great five bedroom house we took on a couple of weeks ago on Warwick Gardens at £2.95 million.






A lovely start to the day. One of our favourite clients, a well-known singer, called in to see us. We went to sealed bids on his house just around the corner a few months ago and we’ve just had the call from the solicitor to say it’s completed. He comes armed with presents and full of gratitude for achieving such a great price – if only all sales were as nice as this.

Two viewings at a wonderful flat we have for sale on Lower Addison Gardens. It’s on at £595,000 and has a huge, south facing roof terrace; it is the perfect one bedroom flat. Out for a quick sandwich with a friend who’s also an agent in the area – she is traumatised after having managed to let out a ‘house cat’, set off a burglar alarm and lose a set of keys all in one morning. Quite a feat.

The afternoon awaits. First, a viewing at a beautiful flat we have on Colville Terrace. It’s on the first floor and has incredible high ceilings. Next, a block viewing at a maisonette with direct communal gardens access in Notting Hill – the tenants have only allowed access for two set hours per week and as I park I can see agents queued up outside and teams of buyer’s to-ing and fro-ing. This is not going to be fun.






I set off to appraise a fantastic house: double height swimming pool, cinema, lift and so many hi-tech gadgets that you would need a week-long lesson before feeling confident you could survive in it. As we’re walking around, I can see the little red dot on my blackberry flashing – an email from a buyer threatening to pull out of his purchase if the seller (who is moving to Portugal) doesn’t remove all his (actually quite nice) furniture, which he has offered to include in the sale to avoid the cost of moving it. Call the seller – he is not moving the furniture. Call the buyer – he is not having the furniture. Oh excellent. I have said we will pay for the furniture to be removed – perhaps we could do with a new sofa in the staff room after all? And a bed? The way this week is going that might not be such a bad idea.






Hectic day – why does that always happen on a Friday? Starts with a meeting with a client who wants us to put his family house back on the market, two hours later we emerge, price agreed and action plan set. Next, a trip to a building site to see a development being done by another old client. “We’re a little behind schedule,” he says as he hands us hard hats. The floors are out, the walls are out, the ceiling is off, there are drills going all over the place, deliveries coming and going and it’s pouring with rain. We leave looking a little less polished than we arrived.

Quick pit-stop at the launch of a very impressive house in Kensington which is on with another agent. Sadly only 15 minutes to whizz around but well worth it – we both have buyers we want to take in next week. On to a tour of a number of houses and flats with a lovely young family in need of more space and then back to the office. The buyer/seller with the furniture issue are now arguing about previously agreed completion dates, time for some negotiating. What a week. Looking forward to a glass of wine.

* Anna Greenwood is associate and sales negotiator at Carter Jonas in Holland Park (020 7471 9832).



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