Diary of an estate agent: South Kensington

A real trophy home comes onto the market in west London - with a price tag of £20,000 a week...

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We’re up and running before we know it this morning, with two offers having being agreed over the weekend. One of them went to “best and final” offers on a penthouse flat in South Kensington and fortunately for me, the applicant was one of mine, who put forward £1,725 per week. 

The terrific start to the week continues as we agree an offer on a period mansion block flat which belongs to a longstanding portfolio client. The new tenants are a French couple who are refurbishing their house in Chelsea, so they need somewhere to live while the work is being done. Our landlord  is delighted. 

The run of good luck looks like it’s coming to an end when I’m asked to view a newly refurbished house that seems to be Chelsea’s answer to Fort Knox. Security has been taken to the next level and three trips and three sets of keys later, the door finally opens. Thankfully, we win the instruction.

We get called into a stunning, imposing house in SW10 which turns out to be something of a time capsule — untouched in over 40 years, with a pink bathtub to boot. We advise on the work  we think is necessary for it to be ready for the rental market.

I spend the afternoon showing a family a selection of properties in the area, culminating in a viewing at a four-bedroom house in a private mews in Belgravia. Everything is going very well — until I hear a squeal and turn around to see the wife running away from the owner’s 15-year-old sausage dog, which can barely lift a paw, let alone jump up with all four. I spend the next five minutes herding the dog into another room while we finish the viewing. Despite the drama, the family makes an offer.

A message is left by a colleague, to the effect that a gentleman has called for me, saying: “He knows me, it’s a long story.” I’m thinking it sounds rather ominous, until I realise the caller is an applicant who I dealt with last year.

He tells me he has recently bought an apartment in one of the beautiful buildings overlooking the Royal Albert Hall, and now, after having some of the necessary refurbishment done, he wants it fully let and managed. So I let him know that we are in a position to take care of everything for him going forward, from the refurbishment to finding the tenant. 

A real trophy house in one of the most sought-after roads in the area is our new instruction. With a price tag of £20,000 per week, it has got all the toys including a swimming pool, car lift and wine cellar. Everyone dives for their contacts book. It is a one-of-a-kind house — so the first viewing may well be the last. 

My week ends with moving a local interior designer into a new flat in much sought-after Bolton Gardens. Our sales department  sold his flat off-market and he is moving into the first property I’ve shown him. It has been a good week. The market in Chelsea is certainly going in the right direction, with plenty of landlords coming forward and higher numbers of tenants actively out there searching.

  • Michael Allworth is a lettings negotiator in the Chelsea branch of Strutt & Parker (020 7373 1010).

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