Diary of an estate agent: Notting Hill

My viewings include a gentleman who can afford a prime west London property but is carrying a knock-off “Valentimo” briefcase and a TV celeb who loves being recognised.
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Starting the day with a stroll down Westbourne Grove and a coffee from Gail’s yummy artisan bakery, I’m smug because my inner strength won — I resisted the “eat me” croissant.
I arrive at the office for 8am and my week begins with an optimistic glance at the weather ahead — a bit of sunshine always seems to help in our industry. Starting a viewing with a three-block, soaking-wet walk to a front door is always a much tougher sell.
Thankfully the weather looks bright for the rest of the day as I’ve got a few viewings at one of my favourite current listings — a rare, unmodernised flat in Kensington Park Gardens. It’s so refreshing to have a property like this to show — and I keep dreaming about what I’d do to it if only I had £700,000.
I chase what is outstanding for my imminent exchange of contracts on a super one-bedroom flat in Ladbroke Grove. It all looks set to happen this week. Then it’s off to Notting Hill Gate to meet a surveyor looking at a flat I have under offer. The report comes back fine, thank goodness.
Next up is a last-minute second viewing with a gentleman heading off to China for 10 days — he is again carrying his “Valentimo” briefcase, which I haven’t the heart to tell him is a knock-off. The viewing goes well.
Still no exchange on the Ladbroke Grove flat. We are waiting for the last few pieces of paperwork from our seller’s solicitor. Sadly the sun doesn’t manage to make an appearance for my next viewing — a great W2 flat with a roof terrace to die for.
I am out with a buyer, Miss “Do you know who I am?” — it is her 35th viewing since April.
I’m anticipating that the seller might be in for our visit, and therefore I am anxiously hoping that they might greet her with the words: “Wow, you are so much younger than you look on TV,” otherwise there will be trouble. It’s such a relief when no one is in.
I end the day supervising a “between exchange and completion” curtain measuring. The current curtains look fabulous and faultless to me and I can’t help but think they would be perfect for my own flat with a few alterations. I daren’t say a word though — it must be the stereotypical English blood running through my veins.

Today is my first Notting Hill market appraisal. With flat comparable particulars in hand, I meet a lovely lady who has rented her apartment to the same tenant for 14 years. It’s a charming one-bedroom flat — so fingers crossed that I will be given a chance to sell it.
It’s the Strutt & Parker summer party at our head office in Mayfair this evening — so a fun time with pink fizz and barbecue food lies ahead.
After last night’s party, an extra shot in my coffee and that naughty croissant are definitely required. I can’t believe it but I’ve received a text to say Miss “Do you know who I am?” wants a second viewing of the “penthouse” — the top-floor flat conversion — I showed her on Wednesday. Perhaps the seller will be there to ask for a selfie this time.
The pressure is now mounting on the Ladbroke Grove flat with the exchange of contracts overdue by a few days. I have done all that I can, so fingers crossed that all goes to plan on Monday.
  • Alice Roper is a sales negotiator at Strutt & Parker’s Notting Hill branch (020 7221 1111).

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