Diary of an estate agent: Pangbourne, Berkshire

A buoyant market and a mystery man from France bring a mixed week to a positive climax for our Pangbourne estate agent
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On Monday morning at 8.10 we quickly gauge how sociable or not everyone’s weekend was. By 8.30am all is quiet. Early morning is when our best work is done, but the silence is broken by calls from a chap in France asking a million questions about a farmhouse.

Later that day, I’m asked to value the most unique riverside residence I’ve ever seen. It is described by the owner as a “work of art” and it’s clearly causing several agents problems. We put our heads together and give it our best shot. We don’t often get such highly themed homes in Pangbourne, so after much deliberation we give the owner our opinion on value and leave.


Get in to be greeted by another raft of questions from France on the farmhouse while trying to check, double check and then re-check the draft particulars for 20 new houses we are preparing to launch on Friday. This means speaking with the world and his wife to make sure the “garden shots are taken at the right angle” and that “the en-suite bathrooms are correctly drawn on the floor plans”. End the day on an annoying note when a delay in the exchange of contracts on a house means my client loses his buyer.


The details of the house that fell through are put back online and I’m surprised to have a call first thing for a viewing. Slightly sceptical, I get in my car and head to the property. All seems to go well - too well - and I return to the office. Halfway back I receive a call from an unknown number. It is the viewer offering the exact figure we had previously agreed to sell the house at. The offer is reported, and negotiations continue into Thursday.


Our mystery man from France arrives and views the farmhouse. He has already appointed an architect who has seen the house, and spoken to the planning officers. My colleague comes back with an offer which he is currently negotiating. Long-distance enquiries don’t normally come to much, but this was a good one.

Later I go to value an impressively large new-build that looks like the Starship Enterprise, and is the best spec house I have seen in years. We put together a professional pitch and leave feeling positive.


I am pleased to report that after negotiating late into last night and this morning, we have produced a sale on the house that fell through, so now we can get on with our new homes launch. By the afternoon we push the button, they all go live and before we know it we are showing a buying agent four of them. The market’s hot out there.

James Shaw is an associate at Strutt & Parker in Pangbourne, Berkshire (0118 984 5757)

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