Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; This Week's Agent Disposes of a Messy Intruder, Gets Too Comfy with a Banker and Pulls off the Fastest Let in SW19

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; This Week's Agent Disposes of a Messy Intruder, Gets Too Comfy with a Banker and Pulls off the Fastest Let in SW19

Article excerpt

Monday A 9am appointment to value a new six-bedroom house to rent in Church Hill, Wimbledon Village. As I slowed down outside, the electric gates swung open silently. Thank goodness I had had my car washed at the weekend.

The owner had spent a fortune on installing a professional gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and murals, which had taken two years to complete. She lived in the house next door, had bought this plot when it became available and had knocked down a 1930s house to build this one. I told her she would get [pounds sterling]16,000 a month for it, and I had just the tenant in mind, a newly registered Australian actress.

Tuesday A panicky message from a colleague. She had spent weeks negotiating a deal on a penthouse overlooking Wimbledon Common and finally got to the end of an exhaustive must-have list from the demanding new tenant, who has moved from Singapore with his family.

The landlord had agreed to many extras, including a dining table to seat 10, new oven and dishwasher. But my colleague was worried that the 2ft 6in beds the landlord had ordered for the children would be too small. Resisting a smile, I explained the measurement was the width, not the length.

Wednesday At a beautifully renovated Victorian semi in The Grid, in Southfields, a popular area with families, I advised the landlady that realistic pricing is the key to a successful long let. To my surprise, she agreed.

As I returned to my car, I met a couple who have been looking for a house to rent through us.

I told them about the one I had just seen and they were interested. So less than five minutes after the valuation, and to the surprise of the owner, I was back with viewers who offered the asking price. I wish it was always that easy.

However, in my absence, the Church Hill owner had called to say she wants to move into the new house herself.

Thursday I arrived early at a five-bedroom house for an inventory check, before the new tenants - a family from Japan - moved in. …

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