Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent

Article excerpt

A buyer in a strop with the servants, a viewing by helicopter, and a swimming pool under a ballroom floor in SW1

Monday

Breakfast at the Carlton, but it wasn't as nice as it sounds. I stuck to coffee as it wouldn't look good to scatter croissant crumbs down my suit in front of the fund manager keen to spend [pounds sterling]5 million on a flat in Mayfair. I watched enviously as he tucked into the Full English.

On to a 10am appointment, which I was dreading, with the aide to a wealthy client. He was viewing properties on his employer's behalf and nothing was ever good enough. At one house, he had walked into the hall and demanded, in front of the owner: "Why are you showing me this? You are wasting my time." A colleague was in tears after he berated her for taking him to a house with only one staircase. His client could not possibly countenance sharing it with the domestics.

Today, he got his comeuppance. A big chap, mindful of his equally generously proportioned employer, he was in the habit of stepping into the shower to test the fit. Today, it was a bit tight. In his struggle to close the door, he knocked the lever with his elbow and was absolutely soaked. It was hard to keep a straight face.

Tuesday

Off to Rutland Gate to meet a young lawyer interested in a one-bedroom flat on at [pounds sterling]475,000.

When he walked in, his face fell. He had, he explained, inherited from Granny, a sevenfoot high colonial wardrobe that she had as a young bride in Mumbai, or Bombay, as it was then. There was no way it was going to fit in.

Back to the drawing board.

I'd just dropped into bed, exhausted, when there was a call on my mobile. A developer client was calling from Los Angeles to say he was passing through London tomorrow en route to Hong Kong, and could I possibly come to his hotel for a meeting ... at 10pm. Bang goes my trip to the theatre.

Wednesday

I went to value a huge house in Knightsbridge. It had two of everything, including ovens, en suites, studies and - oh joy! …

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