Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; an Open Weekend in Surrey Has Potential for Disaster and a Valuation Is Hampered by the Inhabiting Wildlife

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; an Open Weekend in Surrey Has Potential for Disaster and a Valuation Is Hampered by the Inhabiting Wildlife

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW BLAGDEN

Monday

Up early for an interview at the local radio station about the property market in Surrey's rural locations. Guildford is very expensive, but eight miles south, here in Cranleigh, prices have always been significantly cheaper because there is no railway station.

Now that some people can work from home and don't have to travel up to London every day, we are catching up.

But in the [pound]400,000-[pound]800,000 bracket, you still get more value for money in Cranleigh.

Returned to the office and to a simmering argument with a client who is furiously contesting the size of our fee.

Exasperated, I played the sympathy card and told her I had a wife and four children to feed and a mortgage to pay. It cut no ice with the client, who suggested my wife went out and got a job (not a bad idea).

Tuesday

Great hilarity in the office.

Clients have to complete a Property Misdescriptions Act questionnaire. In response to the question, "Is the loft insulated? If so please give details", one of our new clients had responded, "Yes, it is yellow, soft and fluffy."

Off to value a lovely 1930s family home which overlooks the village green and duck pond, but I was taken aback when the owner, a forthright lady, demanded, "Why are all estate agents so smooth?" Assuming smooth meant polite and well presented, I said I completely agreed with her. Would she employ me if I were to turn up in a shabby suit and was unpleasant? She took the point. Later, I arranged for a colleague - a stocky, bearded rugby player with a broken nose - to return the next day to take the photographs for the details.

Which proves there's no such animal as a "typical" estate agent.

Wednesday

A coup! I had been negotiating the sale of a delightful [pound]550,000 three bedroom, 16th century cottage with two buyers, one with a house to sell and one who was renting. …

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