Diary of an estate agent: West End

This week a West End estate agent discovers a lost cat in a client's home and canoes a 10km course along Regent's Canal for charity.
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I return to the office after a week in the sun which flew by, and I am thrown straight back into work mode with a market appraisal of a very special house in Midtown.

It’s a beautiful, five-storey, Grade II-listed townhouse and its most recent residents were the latest TV starlets to be vying for the attention of a “sweet” entrepreneurial lord.

The meeting goes very well and I am keeping my fingers crossed. This would be a fantastic instruction for our books.

There’s a positive start to the day with the exchange of a townhouse in Bloomsbury — and excitingly, the sale means we have broken the record for the highest pounds-per-square-foot value on the street.

After catch-up calls with clients and buyers after my week away, I spend the afternoon on a tour round the West End with a Chinese client looking for a home for his son who be will attending university here next year.

The search is very specific — it must be a property in a new development, on a high floor, with lift access and concierge. We see five that fit the bill so I am hoping one will result in an offer.

Our weekly office meeting is followed by good news that my buyer from  yesterday would like to make an offer on one of the properties he saw. It’s not quite at the asking price but I put it forward to the client and await his thoughts. This afternoon, however, takes a very different turn. I go with some buyers to Fitzrovia to view a townhouse where the owners are on holiday and have left us a set of keys. All goes well until I unlock the door to the laundry room — and a very angry  cat leaps out. This is odd in itself, as the owners don’t have a cat.

The animal scarpers and I spend the next hour chasing it round the house, while trying to contact the owners of the place. When I finally get hold of them, it turns out it fits the description of a neighbour’s cat and it has probably crept in through a window that was left open. The worst thing is, the poor creature appears to have been trapped in there for the entire week the homeowners have been away.

Needless to say, after that rather  distressing viewing, the buyers fail to put in an offer. I will most definitely check each room thoroughly before I conduct another viewing there.

A bit of a different day today. It’s the company’s first Day of Giving, when  each office across the country undertakes a fundraising activity for a number of chosen charities.

Our staff are canoeing 10km on Regent’s Canal. It’s a cold and wet few hours and very hard work — but we all complete the course. It’s a great team building exercise, in aid of some very good causes.

The office is a little subdued, the effects of strenuous exercise having taken their toll on some members of the team. So after finishing my morning viewings I return with doughnuts for everyone as a pick-me-up, which seems to do the trick. Then I get some great news. My Chinese buyer’s offer on the new-build was initially rejected but after some liaison with both parties, the offer is increased and the client accepts.

I finish the day with a market appraisal of a great little studio flat in Fitzrovia and am instructed on the spot. Minutes from the proposed Crossrail station on Tottenham Court Road, this property is likely to sell in an instant. It’s a really good instruction for us, and a fantastic end to the week.

Associate Jeremy James is responsible for West End sales with Knight Frank (020 3435 6447).

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