Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; Ghostly Sellers, the World's Worst DIYer, and a Soaking Suit in the Power Shower Fill One Wapping Agent's Week

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; Ghostly Sellers, the World's Worst DIYer, and a Soaking Suit in the Power Shower Fill One Wapping Agent's Week

Article excerpt

Monday

A morning meeting at St Katharine Docks with a buyer and his wife, en route to their home in Scotland after an exotic holiday abroad, to inspect his latest investment: a [pounds sterling]465,000 apartment overlooking the dock.

Glowing in their approval and full of optimism, I returned to the office to arrange viewings of a [pounds sterling]1.95 million riverside warehouse conversion at Execution Dock. I was soon interrupted by a call from a buyer who had just collected the keys to a [pounds sterling]1 million loft apartment in Oliver Wharf.

The owners had wanted extra money for fittings, but as he intended to completely renovate, the buyer had refused. "Come round to see this," he invited. I arrived to find him in what had been the kitchen, before the vendors had stripped it bare.

Luckily, he found it amusing.

It was then on to the first viewing at Execution Dock, and London was at its finest: boats on the shimmering Thames, the City lighting up in the dusk.

Mr Viewer loved it, but Mrs was muttering. I couldn't believe it when she announced - in the 40ft-long reception room - that it made her claustrophobic. I conceded defeat.

Tuesday

A call from Derek, the world's worst DIY man, inviting me to value (again) his 1980s town house, which began life with two bedrooms. "I've added another bedroom," he declared.

"It won't work, Derek," I told him, warily eyeing a set of steep plywood stairs leading to a sleeping platform above his living room. The rest of the house was like a scene from Silence of the Lambs, all twisting corridors and tiny rooms.

I left him planning more great works, to meet a viewer at a [pounds sterling]375,000 two-bedroom apartment near Wapping High Street. The viewer was grimly determined to give nothing away.

Eventually he stopped and, gazing at the hi-tech shower unit, asked about the water pressure. I assured him it was excellent, but to my amazement, he stepped into the shower and turned it on full blast. …

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