Diary of an estate agent: Notting Hill and Bayswater

It was a good week for pet–friendly lettings and catching a Hollywood actor in his underwear.
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Finding someone their dream home is the reason many of us become estate agents. Today a buyer who put in an offer on an off-market property on the border of Bayswater before the weekend, rings into our Notting Hill Gate office to up the original offer, in order to secure their perfect home. And so begins my week…
I am greeted with an early morning call from a vendor who has decided to pull out of a sale agreed with a young family expecting their second child. The poor family were due to move into their new home in the next few weeks. It is not surprising that they are extremely unhappy with the news, so I spend the rest of the morning searching our listings and arrange for them to view some more places in Notting Hill this afternoon.
After seeing several properties, the young couple fall in love with a beautiful family home in Holland Park Mews, W11 and I am confident they will put in an offer.

Today we meet with our planners and finalise the designs for our relocated Notting Hill office, in Kensington Park Road. We plan to move away from the traditional Mountgrange Heritage brand colours, and decide to go for blacks and greys to blend in with the cool vibe of the local area and boutiques along the street. To accommodate our growing lettings and sales teams we decide to build a wide, open staircase and extend the office by including the basement to create extra space. I leave the meeting feeling excited about the structural developments at our new base.
My colleague Hen, who heads up our lettings team, is about to take her miniature wired-haired dachshund, Peggy, for a walk, when we get a call from a prospective landlord. He is keen to meet up with Hen this afternoon for a valuation.
The landlord happens to be an animal lover and insists that Hen calls round with Peggy. He is interested to know more about our Pet-Friendly Lets scheme. Hen outlines the positives of considering tenants with pets, one of which is not missing out on a growing part of the London lettings market, and the landlord — who takes a shine to Peggy — agrees to instruct Mountgrange Heritage and offer the pet-friendly scheme. 
This morning I am showing a potential applicant round one of our short-let apartments. It is currently occupied by an actor who is said to be away, rumoured to be filming a Hollywood blockbuster. I arrive at the property and press the intercom which is answered by the actor in a flustered voice, informing me that he is in the shower and will be right down. To my surprise, 10 minutes later he appears at the door in his underwear — with his hair perfectly coiffed. I assume he is getting into character for his latest starring role, although my client does not seem keen to linger and find out.
Next stop is the monthly sales meeting where negotiators from all the Mountgrange branches meet up. We use this opportunity to update each other on our progress, discuss current and new instructions, and afterwards make time for a drink or two in the pub next door.
The sales team did a lot of valuations on properties before Christmas, but vendors, sensitive to the latest stamp duty changes, were cautious about putting their properties up for sale immediately.
However, we are now getting instructed to start marketing, which suggests business is really starting to pick up again now we are at the beginning of 2015.
The expectant family ring me to say they would like to put in an offer on the mews house, and I spend the morning negotiating a deal with the vendor.
Then I set off on some more viewings and receive my second offer this week for a striking and extraordinary townhouse in the sought-after area of Holland Park.
This property has had a lot of interest so I am not surprised that it has been snapped up so fast by this particular buyer. Great news — marking a good end to a successful week.
Sam Allport is associate director of sales at Mountgrange Heritage in Notting Hill and Bayswater (020 7221 2277).

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