Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know in St John's Wood

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know in St John's Wood

Article excerpt

MONDAY A busy morning catching up from the weekend, but the warm weather, football and impending Olympics don't seem to have distracted focus in the St John's Wood property market.

This afternoon, I value an amazing apartment overlooking Regent's Park for [pounds sterling]4 million. With two bedrooms and three reception rooms, it is the epitome of indulgence. The owners are a wealthy Iranian family who only use it for a couple of weeks a year. They sold an apartment through us over 20 years ago when they moved a few hundred yards down the road.

TUESDAY I spend the morning dealing with the ongoing sale of a three-bedroom house. Last week the survey flagged up a huge amount of damp. I managed to get an independent damp report done before the official surveyor's report came in, so now we have to arrange for the work to be done, as the buyers need to be in the place before the end of this month. Tight time frames -- but as long as we are organised it should work out.

On my way to a valuation I bump into two previous clients on the high street and it turns out that they are friends of over 20 years. One owns a huge house on the east side of St John's Wood, which he'd like to sell if he could buy a pad in the West End. I make a mental note to call our Marylebone branch and see what we can find for him.

The other client is only in the country a few weeks of the year and he is on the hunt for an apartment for his daughter. He's looking to spend [pounds sterling]750,000. She is already registered with us and, funnily enough, I'm showing her some properties in Maida Vale overlooking the Paddington Recreation Ground later this afternoon. That's St John's Wood in a nutshell: the uber-wealthy do business face to face, because if you're whizzing around the globe it must be nice to have the personal touch once in a while.

WEDNESDAY Great news this morning -- we have won the instruction to sell the amazing apartment I valued on Monday. We start calling potential buyers and already have three viewings lined up by lunchtime. In St John's Wood, 80 per cent of our buyers are international and most pay cash, so things can happen very quickly here. …

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