Diary of an estate agent: Kensington

House hunting’s like a fascinating tour of London through the ages.
We have some fantastic new instructions on our books which I can start to show this week.
The absolute pick of the bunch is a Grade II-listed studio house in Holland Park. Rare to the market, and with enormous ceiling heights of 24 feet, an open-plan reception room and feature floor-to-ceiling windows allowing plenty of bright, north-facing light to flood in, this lovely property would make the perfect pad for an artist— or for anyone with a bohemian streak.
Kensington is a great place to work, with the richness of its architecture and the diversity of its demographic. In just one street such as Bedford Gardens you can see Regency, Edwardian, late-Victorian and Sixties architecture sitting side by side — a wonderful snapshot of London through the ages.
I spend the day arranging back-to-back viewings for an “off-market” family home in Kensington. This means we don’t publicly advertise the property on our website or portals, so that everything is kept as private as possible. This is a service we provide for our high-profile, wealthy clients selling central London homes with very high price tags.

The rear tyre on my moped blows on the way to work. I manage not to fall off and after a swift visit to the nearest garage and a speedy tyre repair, I’m at my desk. Soon I’m taking a call from the solicitor who tells me that a pretty little mews house we’ve been marketing has just exchanged. Then I finally get to do what I love most… viewings. It’s my favourite part of the job.
The market is moving very swiftly at the moment. We are due to exchange on a charming three-bedroom house this morning. A flurry of emails is exchanged and we all hold our breath while we wait for the contracts to be signed and the deposit monies to go through. It’s always a nervous moment, no matter how many deals you have under your belt. But everything goes to plan and I use my lunch break to grab some euros and an anniversary present for my wife as we are off to Rome for the weekend.
I’m taking a half-day off for our Italian trip so I get into the office early to take a few phone calls. The first two are the type to bring a smile to any estate agent’s face. Two of the prospective buyers who I showed houses to on Wednesday have bid. On the way to the airport another one comes through. Great week!
Tom Wilton is a sales negotiator with Strutt & Parker, based at the Kensington office (020 7938 3666).

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