Diary of an estate agent: Pangbourne, West Berkshire

A Pangbourne estate agent finds the balancing act of the exchange process pays off if he can duck the crossfire
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Diary of an estate agent
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After what seems to be the blink of an eye, the weekend is over and just like recent weeks the weather is not working for us. With rain forecast we try to turn our heads to more positive thoughts of what can be achieved.

The day starts with the usual madness of planning the week ahead and following up the weekend viewings. The weekend chase-up was successful with a couple of good offers coming in which I hope to tie up quickly. However, what is giving me a headache is a sale that was supposed to have exchanged a couple of weeks ago but still hasn’t.

This is a common problem and requires a mixture of a circus balancing act and taking fire in the trenches to tackle the issue. There’s never a quiet moment in this business.


A busy day of viewings today as well as praying for the house to exchange, which it finally does just after lunch —result! Our patience has paid off. The two offers in on Monday have gone back and forth with the owners and the two houses are agreed with the added bonus that one seller is buying another house through us (commonly known as ‘double bubble’), which means that three sales are in the book.

This enables us to manage the chain better. Obviously we have to keep all of our clients happy and we are all now expert masters in the fine art of negotiations and compromise.


Today we start with our weekly meeting, and with all the good activity this is a very positive hour. However, we can’t relax, with new instructions which need attention. Among a few viewings we have an older lady coming into our office to avoid yet another sudden downpour.

While we offer her shelter and get talking it turns out she knows someone about to sell, so we exchange details and hope that it might result in another instruction.


We have a real stunner on our books with striking towers giving stunning views across West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire, but the real story is the history and previous owners of the place — reputedly given as a gift to the mistress of a famous landowner in the area. It all makes for a juicy story.

We often find that it is more about the owners of a house that makes most newsworthy stories. I am always amazed by the great knack journalists have at coaxing information out of owners. I know more after five minutes with our press officer present that I did after five other viewings.


The day starts with a great exchange. To add to our good mood a few of us have a fun weekend planned as we were invited to a golf day with one of our local solicitors and some other companies from the area.

It is a fun day and a brilliant way to make new business connections. Hopefully the rain will hold off and I can putt a few good shots.

Harry Gammell is a negotiator in the Pangbourne office of Strutt & Parker (0118 984 5757)

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