Diary of an estate agent: Kensington

This estate agent goes international when a buyer from Hong Kong with a gaggle of Maltese dogs needs their services...

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Mondays are always tough, particularly after a big wedding over the weekend. I usually get to the office early so that I can plan for the week ahead. 

At the office, I realise my mistake. I am late for a meeting with a building surveyor at a flat on Campden Hill Gardens that was put under offer the week before. 

Arriving “fashionably” late I go to let the surveyor into the building. I have the wrong set of keys. Note to self — go home earlier from weddings.

The day can’t get any worse, and by the afternoon I have a renewed sense of purpose to try to redeem my mistakes. I take a call from a new buyer based in Edinburgh; he’s interested in viewing two mews houses on Thursday and wants to make a decision to buy one by the end of the week.

This time I’m in the office early for our morning sales meeting. The mood in the meeting is one of optimism as a number of sales have been agreed in the post-Brexit market. Feeling this sense of optimism, I catch up with a number of buyers I am running around town with. 

I receive a lead from our Hong Kong office. My wonderful colleague Sherry has a buyer who is over in London tomorrow with a very healthy budget in search of a two-bedroom flat; the only catch is that she has four Maltese dogs and needs parking. 

I’m not a fan of Maltese dogs — the last one I came across took a dislike to my new suit.

The buyer from Hong Kong has invited me to breakfast at the Royal Garden Hotel. I meet her bright and early in the dining room. 

The last time I was here I met a buyer from Singapore with a colleague who ate kippers! They smelt disgusting and I’m sure the buyer thought so too. Thankfully there are no small dogs in sight. 

Much of the meeting is about the state of the market following the result of the referendum. I reassure her that this is a good time to buy. 

By the afternoon we had visited four flats, one of which proved to be a real contender with a garden large enough for a pack of hounds to roam free. I feel a deal emerging. 

I pick up the buyer from Edinburgh from his hotel in the morning. He is as friendly as I remember from our phone conversation. 

He tells me he has just sold his business and specifically wants a mews house in Kensington. I show him the first one and he hates it! He is also not keen on the second one. 

However, all is not lost as I tell him I have another one just around the corner that is “currently off market”. 

Outside, the house is covered in wisteria; he remarks that his wife would love it and that he doesn’t really need to go inside. Once inside he says he’ll take it and offers the asking price. 

After some conversations with the owner of the mews house in the afternoon I agree the sale. It’s a record price post-Brexit. 

Maltese dogs are the order of the day so I call the buyer from Hong Kong. She’s keen on the flat with the large garden, she is however unfamiliar with the buying process in London. I talk her through the process and by the end of the conversation she has put forward a strong bid for the flat. 

After some negotiation the sale is agreed. The buyer is over the moon and says her dogs will be mightily happy. Hopefully I won’t have to actually meet them.

All in all, it was a successful week. Before the weekend I check my diary for the following week and see I have another 9am appointment on Monday. 

Let’s hope I’m slightly more punctual after another wedding this weekend...

  • Charles Kennard is a negotiator at Knight Frank’s Kensington office (020 7938 4311)

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