Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Oh, the Glamour. Now I'm on Drainwatch; Diary of an Estate Agent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Oh, the Glamour. Now I'm on Drainwatch; Diary of an Estate Agent

Article excerpt

MONDAY After a lovely week off in Cornwall, I come into work to hear that we have been instructed on a fantastic house in the Southfields Grid. The vendors want to upsize in the area, but they don't want to move before finding their new home. This situation is very common and, given the shortage of property on the market, we always have plenty of buyers who are willing to wait.

My good mood is shattered by a phone call from a buyer who was due to exchange on his purchase today. While trying to arrange buildings insurance, he has discovered that the vendors made a claim for subsidence three years ago. Hours of frantic telephone conversations between me, the buyer and the clients follow as we try to get to the bottom of what happened. I leave the office on time to pick up my little boy from nursery, but I sense that this won't be the end of my working day.

TUESDAY Yesterday's drama has still not been resolved, but I hadn't factored in another issue arising on another sale that is going through -- the buyer's surveyor has been unable to confirm that the drain at the front of the house is clear, because it is covered with decorative stones.

The buyer has requested a drain survey, but the vendor has cleared the stones himself and sent me photos to show that it is clear. The buyer is still not happy, so I have to go to the house and climb through the hedge to access the drain. I try to video-call the buyer while I am there to show him the drain, but due to poor reception, I have to resort to voice-calling him and taking numerous photos of the drain from different angles. The glamour of this job never ceases to amaze me.

It turns out the movement on the other house was caused by a cherry tree in the road and once the council had it removed, the problem was resolved. The afternoon is spent calling solicitors, loss adjusters and insurance companies to try to get enough information to reassure the buyer. There is a delicate chain above, so this needs to be sorted out as soon as possible.

WEDNESDAY As I am currently selling my home and buying through Douglas & Gordon, I have to deal with the stresses of my own move, as well as co-ordinating those of my customers. …

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