Hamsters, haggling, and Starsky and Hutch: meet Helen Kovari of Admiral Property
PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:11 05 October 2016
Helen Kovari, director of a bespoke Belsize Park agency shares her top tips for selling your home - and her craziest estate agent stories
I love Belsize Village… it’s my favourite part of London. It’s charming, quaint and friendly with lovely restaurants and bistros, and beautiful stucco fronted buildings. Plus it’s minutes from Hampstead, Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage.
My first property… was worth £35,000, but today it would be worth well over £350,000.
High tech new build or a Grade listed period home? Definitely old style. I split my time between in a Grade II listed farmhouse in Wiltshire and a small flat in Belsize Park – the best of both worlds.
I’ve always been an estate agent… I got a summer job at 17 in a lettings agency and never left the business. It’s such a varied job. We have to know accountancy, property law and building regulations. We get to work alongside all types of trades too, from builders to inventory clerks, cleaners to carpet fitters.
The funniest thing I’ve seen on the job… was a hamster who escaped his cage in a top floor flat and chewed his way through the floorboards and plasterboards in the ceiling, ending up in the shower cubicle of the flat below. Amazingly, he survived!
The local market has changed since I started out… I’ve been working in the lettings industry for 28 years now, and back in 1987 it was still small fry.
My top tip for selling your house… is to find an agent who you like, and who genuinely likes your property. Don’t always go for the agent who offers the lowest commission structure.
If was Mayor of Camden for the day I would… sort out parking permission permits for licensed agents so we can do our job without running the gauntlet with parking wardens.
The best deal I’ve ever closed… was for a wonderful deaf couple with the most adorable children. We had to communicate using an amazing computer system that linked to a phone. They absolutely had to stick to a price and we found the ideal property but it was over budget. The vendor liked what we told them and let them have it at a reduced price – a very rare situation.
If I could own any building in London… it would be The British Library. I would never see daylight again.
I drive a… Landrover Freelander. I’m not really into gadgets but I do have a tractor and a quad bike.
My most interesting client… was David Soul. He was my first crush as a kid watching Starsky and Hutch.
Admiral Property is unique because… my business partner is my older sister (but everyone thinks she’s younger, which amuses her). We consider ourselves to be a bespoke agency, doing lettings, sales, rent collection and management all under one roof.
Good at Monopoly? I don’t think so; I’ve never finished a game.
In partnership with Admiral Property Ltd.