Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; A Homesick Cat Makes a Surprise Visit, Parakeets Pose a Messy Problem and a 'House Swap' in Primrose Hill Homes & Property

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; A Homesick Cat Makes a Surprise Visit, Parakeets Pose a Messy Problem and a 'House Swap' in Primrose Hill Homes & Property

Article excerpt

Monday

I was listening to a colleague's thrilling tale about his surfing holiday in Costa Rica when my phone rang. It was an American businessman interested in a [pounds sterling]1.35 million house. His first offer had been turned down by the owner, who is abroad.

The property is empty and the businessman, who had driven past it, became anxious when he noticed a broken window pane. He wants to ref lect overnight before upping his offer. My heart sinks. Could this put him off ? I go to investigate and find a stone on the dining-room carpet. I arrange for a glazier to replace the pane.

The rest of the afternoon is spent making enquiries on behalf of a client into the service charges on a flat that overlooks Primrose Hill. The original managing agent had been fired and was dragging its feet over passing on the details.

After two weeks of being given the runaround, my buyer is losing patience.

Tuesday

Great excitement this morning, especially among the girls, as Jude Law is spotted browsing in the fashionable interior design shop next door.

The American buyer rings midmorning; he offers the asking price. I telephone my client in New York. By 5pm, the survey is booked and the solicitors instructed.

Wednesday

I turn up for a valuation to be greeted by the owner, an elderly gentleman who is wearing only a dressing gown and smoking a pungent Balkan cigarette.

I leave with my suit smelling like a kipper-curing factory. If we get the instruction, he will have to open the windows.

However, it isn't as bad as my second valuation of the day; a [pounds sterling]1.5 million apartment on Baker Street.

It is owned by a slightly dotty, elderly aristocrat, who lives in one half of the flat, and allows her small flock of parakeets the freedom of the other half. …

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