Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DIARY OF AN ESTATE AGENT; A Drama for a Cool-Headed Father to Be, a Chicken-Obsessed 'Good Life' Couple and a Well-Deserved Award Keep Our Hammersmith Agent Busy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DIARY OF AN ESTATE AGENT; A Drama for a Cool-Headed Father to Be, a Chicken-Obsessed 'Good Life' Couple and a Well-Deserved Award Keep Our Hammersmith Agent Busy

Article excerpt

Byline: ESTATE AGENT

MONDAY We've a busy week ahead, and the company's annual awards dinner on Friday means I don't have long in which to squeeze in the glut of valuations that have appeared over the weekend.

No bad thing of course -- there's a shortage of letting properties at the moment and we have some desperate tenants. This afternoon I value a great two-bedroom flat at around [pounds sterling]350 a week, which I know will be snapped up immediately.

There's huge demand for affordable two-bedrooms at the moment, as many people decide flat-sharing is the only way to save the large deposit the banks require from first-time buyers.

TUESDAY Another valuation today, and this time it's a pretty family house with two boisterous kids and a father who's clearly used to the family business.

I've only seen two rooms when his phone rings telling him that his wife has gone into labour. I tell him I'll come back another time but he says: "Oh don't worry, it'll be hours, we might as well finish here first."

I'm torn between being impressed at his cool head and terrified for his wife.

WEDNESDAY My assistant and I head off to a valuation in Hammersmith. It's pouring with rain and the traffic is at a standstill in the high street.

After 10 minutes of talking 19 to the dozen and occasionally hooting at no one in particular, I realise to my horror that we've been sitting behind a parked car. We are so mortified at our idiocy we can barely speak for the whole journey, but luckily the property we see knocks that out of us.

The austere brick block is pretty unusual from the outside, but as if that isn't enough, the interior looks like the set of Logan's Run. The walls, kitchen cupboards, even the ceilings are all painted silver.

The new owner asks me if I think she should redecorate, but frankly, in this market, anything goes. …

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