London Evening Standard - Jonathan Hudsons 'Diary of an Estate Agent', January 2019

By JONATHAN HUDSON | 17th Jan 2019 | London Evening Standard

MONDAY

Everyone goes back to work after spending the holiday browsing the internet. Generally speaking, the period between Christmas and New Year is one of the highest browsing times for property all year, as customers have new home goals for 2019.

Last week was full of enquiries for sales and lettings and I am hoping for more of the same today.

Good news from Simon in sales, who has taken an offer on a house we were marketing before Christmas for an overseas seller. It is in a lovely mews close to our office in Charlotte Street and is presented really well with a great south-facing roof terrace.

TUESDAY

Spencer is viewing a lovely house in St John’s Wood today. It’s slightly off our immediate area of expertise but we have a buyer asking us to search, agree and close on a new home for them.

The couple, who currently rent in Marylebone, originally contacted us about a house we were selling and got on with Spencer, so they want to use him again.

The house they view today is a period terrace on the Eyre Estate which is located close to St John’s Wood High Street. Interestingly, the whole terrace in this street has garages and a small section of garden that is owned by the estate. The couple seem keen but want to think on it overnight.

WEDNESDAY

I’m out viewing a building over in Aldgate today with a European buyer who popped into our office between Christmas and New Year. He represents a fund that’s looking to buy big in central London. They see now as a good time to buy and invest while the pound is low. We view a building that is only just coming out of the ground but the price and yield — taking into account the exchange rate — work well for him and his investors.

It works on paper but he needs to do some more research before making the next move.  Spencer receives an offer on his St John’s Wood home but it is too low for the sellers. The buyers come back later with a suggestion that they will organise a survey on the property before they submit a further offer. This is an expensive way to go about things as surveys are normally carried out afterwards, but the seller agrees to it and we will await the report before moving forward.

THURSDAY

At the gym first thing I get a call from John Lewis saying they are delivering some furniture for a block we manage. I tell them to buzz the concierge but he is at another appointment. Thinking fast I ring my wife who fortunately hasn’t started the school run yet as it is just around the corner from where we live. She pops over there with the kids to open up the door and take the delivery. That’s a relief.

I get another call today from an old surveyor I know. He is fed up with the managing agent who looks after his block and has asked Hudsons to come in and sort out the mess.

It is a beautiful white stucco-fronted building over six floors close to the southern end of Hyde Park. Normally this is when you win the business — but it also means there’s a lot of work to remedy.

FRIDAY

Sandrine in lettings receives an enquiry on behalf of a TV comedian. The celeb is asking if anyone would be “bovvered” if her dog lived in one of our apartments with her. We make a call to find out, as it’s up to the landlord.

In the afternoon I receive a complaint from one of our residents. A builder who’s carrying out works at one of the properties we manage in Swiss Cottage is piling up bags of rubble in the communal parts of the building, which contravenes the licence he signed. This is normally met with a firm word and immediate action to remove it.

First full week back and we have agreed some good deals for our customers and made inroads with some others. Maybe 2019 will be a more exciting year for property speculators after all.