Diary of an estate agent: Kensington

Not only does our Kensington agent have his scooter stolen - the thief takes all his new shirts as well
Diary of an estate agent cartoon
© Weef

It's one of those weeks - drama, elation and a call from the police...


Monday


I am starting my week at a gorgeous first-floor flat south of Kensington High Street that will create a lot of interest. I arrive at the property early, only to find my clients' cleaner in a panic outside the front door, which has blown shut behind her. We are both locked out and there are a whole load of viewings lined up for the day.

To make matters worse, my clients have gone on a family holiday for two weeks and this is an ideal opportunity for me to have access. The cleaner informs me that the lights are all on and the balcony doors are open.

After a failed attempt at getting in with the help of a passing TV aerial man, I find two very kind builders whose ladder is long enough to reach the balcony... but only then do I register that it will be me going up! After my "Superman" dive over the balcony, I'm in and can begin the viewings.

Later in the day, I speak to a very good buyer of mine who is anxious that I show her any suitable Peel Street or Campden Street houses before they come to the market. The Kensington market is currently very strong: buyers are wanting to be first through the door and don't want to wait for the official launch.

Tuesday


I receive the call I'm eagerly waiting on, with confirmation from my clients' solicitor that we have exchanged contracts on a family house in Notting Hill. My clients are delighted as this enables them to move abroad.

This is yet another property we have sold in Notting Hill, which is all good as our new Strutt & Parker office opens on Westbourne Grove in September.

On returning to the office I get a call from some charming Russian buyers who speak very little English, and so we are all a little lost in translation. They secured a property after competitive bidding at the end of last week but do not look like they will perform to the agreed time, which is a concern.

I am convinced they want to purchase the property and manage to find them a new legal firm with a Russian-speaking solicitor who will speed up the process.

Wednesday


I attend an encouraging viewing in the morning on a house just off Kensington Church Street, with an applicant who is offering just below the asking price. My client seems pleased with the interest but want to stick out for the full price.

After another interested applicant, from Singapore, comes forward with an offer, we later end up agreeing the sale to a cash buyer who offers over the asking price. There are quite a few "high net worth" international buyers in town and looking to invest in Kensington.

Thursday


We are taking masses of new enquiries at the moment so diaries are full of viewings. I spend the day hurrying from one appointment to the next and while at one house, I receive a call from Hammersmith police informing me that the scooter I've borrowed to get me around today has been found on an estate off the Uxbridge Road. I head straight over to inspect the damage.

Rather naively, I head there expecting the lock to be slightly damaged and the box on the back with nine new shirts in it still to be intact. Wrong. Those shirts must have been the right size - the box has been ripped off and the bike stripped of everything but the wheels. And as the scooter belonged to the head of my office, this is probably not a great career move!

Friday


With four properties exchanging today, there are lots of last-minute issues to be tied up and I spend most of my morning picking up planning documents from the council and hand-delivering them to a solicitor in Victoria to avoid any delay.

At a lunch meeting in our head office in Hill Street with the valuation department, I provide an update on the current market conditions. I then head back to discover that all four properties have successfully exchanged - result!

Will Allen is a sales negotiator at Strutt & Parker's Kensington office (020 7938 3666)

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