Diary of an estate agent: this buyer finds an alarming way to get to know the neighbours

A week in the working life of our agent in Fulham
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Man on a Vespa moped
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I’m struggling today after doing a 100km charity bicycle ride on Saturday night, but am keen to get cracking with the new week nonetheless.

The good news is that all the people who were on extended breaks seem —finally — to be back, so the phone is ringing non-stop. It’s lining up to be a busy week.


The day kicks off with an interesting buyer. A seemingly charming lady comes in, who is quite adamant that she only wants to buy on one particular road. On top of that she will only buy on the “odd” side of the road.

I ask if that is because she wants the better light for the garden but she refuses to give an explanation. Perhaps it is some type of feng shui?

Either way it will be difficult, as it is a popular road in Fulham and places come up very rarely. There is nothing like a new challenge to keep me on my feet. It is so true that no day is the same in this job.


I jump on my scooter and head in to the office at my normal time of 7.30am (before the phone starts ringing off the hook). Two record-price exchanges are due to take place today. An architecturally outstanding house on Brookville Road has been sold to a cash buyer for £1.45 million (a record by quite a margin for the “ville” streets).

The other is a modern one-bedroom flat on Dancer Road. I await news with bated breath in case of last-minute hitches. Luckily there are none, prompting calls from delighted clients.


I make the trip to our Head Office in Mayfair for our monthly meeting. It is always good to see colleagues from our offices and hear what’s going on in other areas of prime central London. We’ve just announced a new partnership with Christie’s International Real Estate, which should strengthen the company and open up the international market.

In the afternoon we have one of our popular “open house” days at a house on Sandilands Road just off the Wandsworth Bridge Road. After two hours and 15 viewings, we have three offers over the asking price from non-UK buyers — a sign of the times in SW6.


A deal is agreed on a sale on Sandilands Road. The client is delighted with us for getting over the asking price for his charming two-bedroom house. A normal day continues with me scooting around to all corners of SW6 on market appraisals and viewings.

The day finishes with news that another of our Brookville Road houses has finally completed after a difficult transaction. The buyer can’t collect the keys until late but I’m happy to wait, given the drawn-out process. He and his young wife pick up the keys and go to see the house before the big move over the weekend.

My own weekend arrives at last — or so I think. I get home, go out for a short run and return to 15 missed calls, four voicemails and five texts from the new owner on Brookville Road. When I call back I can hardly hear, as an alarm is going off in the background. He explains that he’s accidentally set it off but left the code in the office.

I offer to call the previous owner but can’t get hold of him, so I call the buyer back, only to hear police sirens. So I decide to run over there. Most of the residents of the street are outside, along with the police. We sort out the alarm, to relief all round. The buyer, a little red-faced by the whole episode, says quietly: “At least the neighbours know me now.”

* Charlie Naughten is a residential sales negotiator at the Fulham office of Strutt & Parker (020 7731 7100; struttandparker.com)

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