Hey, guys. I am going to say something controversial…
I LIKE ESTATE AGENTS.
I do – I genuinely like them. I like their brusque no-nonsense tones and their property speak and their shiny shoes. I like their tiny cars, their phone manner, their merry jangling of keys. I like their optimistic engorging of features – I like the fact they can see a crack in an attic roof in Shoebury and call it a sea glimpse. It’s creative. It’s positive. It’s fun.
I’ve come into contact with quite a few estate agents lately because my boyfriend is buying a flat and has trusted me to do a lot of the sorting because a) he is a very busy boy who just wants to move into a flat that has magically appeared like a giant pop-up tent, and b) I have a genuine perversion for the Right Move website. An actual serious medical problem. When Matt made an offer on a flat a part of me died because I knew I would have no sane reason to take virtual tours round strangers’ houses anymore. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stare at utility rooms and wonder how many boxes of washing powder you could stack in a pyramid until you got stuck and had to call for help. Not anymore. Not without it looking a bit weird.
It’s quite an intimate relationship you have with your estate agent. They know lots of stuff about you. They know what you earn, they know your homely desires. They know how to stand in a lounge doorway and prep you correctly for a nice original fireplace because they can tell you’re a bit hormonal about features that day. They’re like family you don’t have to live with. The perfect kind.
I’ve compiled a list of my favourite types of estate agent. I like:
i) Young dudes who go to work in a suit that doubles up for a night out (EVERY NIGHT IS A NIGHT OUT) – hair spiked, cheeky swagger. I like this young breed of home-pimp. They know you want a home, they’ve got some bloody keys in their hand – they’re gonna find you a bloody home, get back to the bloody office, stick some paperwork in a sodding drawer and be down the boozer by five thirty. Bosh. I trust a man who likes his beer and gets the job done without faff.
ii) Lady estate agents who rock up fifteen minutes early to an appointment and stick a Glade Plug-in in the entrance hall. They usually wear pencil skirts and have nice bottoms. This pleases me. (Although I do not like the sound of their heels on laminate floor. This makes me tense. They should bring slippers with them.)
iii) The ones who try to squeeze fifteen years of imagined friendship into a ten minute appointment. The conspiratorial ones who tell you secrets about the owners. The ones who quietly slag off the curtains and flatter you by saying they can tell from the way you dress that you’ll be able to make it look way nicer. The ones who have their little stockpot of jokes to make you giggle. The ones who make massive assumptions about your life and don’t pause to hear you correct them. This harmless bullshit amuses me. At least they’re bothering to craft some sort of persona. You don’t want to be shown around by a bloody mannequin. That’d be spooky.
iv) I think my favourite kind are the ones who are a cross between the nicest Dad ever – (sensible, measured, smelling of Paco Rabanne – the kind who offer to come and strip your banisters at the weekend) – and gangsters. The kind who have dodgy contacts who will take out your noisy neighbour if they don’t desist in playing Greensleaves on their Yamaha Synth at 7am on a Sunday. Lovely amenable DIY-doing daddy gangsters who will kill for you – they’re my favourite kind.
I don’t trust: ones with fake nails who take ten minutes over a Chubb lock and in the meantime phone the office to discuss how to open doors and what they’re thinking of having for lunch, ones who only have the adjective ‘nice’ in their vocabulary, or ones that don’t get excited when I get excited about extra storage.
Also shit are the estate agents who are a bit jaded by it all. The kind who started their career while Thatcher was in power – that slope around their desks not able to work the Internet but pretend to know everything. They are usually very nasal, these ones. I don’t know why.
So. Estate agents – on the whole, a big thumbs up from me.
Next week, I shall write quite a different sort of column – about solicitors.
Strap in, motherfuckers. That shit gonna sting.*
*I will not write that column. I will get sued. My editor said.**
**I might write about editors instead.