Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; One Vendor Tries to Dodge the Taxman and Another Has Trouble with Flesh-Eating Fish: Everyday Life in Wandsworth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent; One Vendor Tries to Dodge the Taxman and Another Has Trouble with Flesh-Eating Fish: Everyday Life in Wandsworth

Article excerpt

Monday

I start the day with an appointment at the "Toast Rack", the local name for a grid of roads jutting into Wandsworth Common. The best is Baskerville Road, with its gardens backing on to the Common, where houses sell for up to [pound]1.6 million.

I'd arranged to show a couple around a sevenbedroom house with a lovely 40ft garden. They are moving from Fulham and want to be near Finton House School.

This house would be perfect.

On to the slightly less exalted streets of SW18 to show a young lady a [pound]135,000 ex-local authority flat in Fitzhugh Grove, where around 75 per cent of such properties are now privately owned. They're not beautiful (Sixties high rise), but a good first buy. The viewer got quite animated about the possibilities, a good sign.

Tuesday

As I walked into the office at 8.30am the phone was ringing. Yesterday's young lady sounded so excited when she offered the asking price I guessed she'd barely slept a wink.

Bad luck for anyone who was trying to catch up on sleep a few hours later when an alarm rattled the windows in Trinity Road. There was excitement when we realised it was coming from our neighbour, Wandsworth Prison, but, with no sign of anyone escaping, we guessed it must have been a practice drill.

Wednesday

I've found the perfect purchaser. Not only has he offered the [pound]445,000 asking price on an unmodernised four- bedroom Victorian house, accepted by the vendor, but he has all his paperwork ready and is in a position to exchange contracts today and complete next week.

But I congratulated myself too soon. The owner rang back to say he now didn't want to sell until the end of April because of the tax implications.

He announced he would only complete next week if the buyer paid the equivalent of his tax liability, about [pound]9,000. …

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