Family life in the Game of Thrones village is great for Stanmore agent
- Credit: Archant
Startling naked girls and coveting California Modernism, Stanmore estate agent Steven Schiller could be equally well-suited to life as a Hollywood film producer.
What’s special/different about your agency?
It’s still an independent name, we’ve been around for 55 years. It’s a great local name and reputation. We’ve now been taken over by Hampton’s so we’ve got a great database. My department deals with all properties over £1million so we’ve got stock ranging from £1million to £15million. It gives our high wealth clients a bit more exclusivity.
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in King’s Langley in Hertfordshire with my wife and three boys, although my oldest is at university now, and our Pointer.
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They changed the name of the village to King’s Landing for a month last year because of Game of Thrones so we ended up with loads of people in strange costumes wondering around.
Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?
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We bought it when the kids were tiny because my wife found an amazing Steiner school out here and it was too much of a commute so we moved out here. my favourite thing about the house is that the kids have grown up here and it’s been a really lovely family home.
Do you prefer a fixer-upper or plush new-build?
I love Art Deco and Modernist houses so I guess if somebody designed a really great Modernist house that was new, I’d move into it happily. I just love the use of light and space.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell yourself when you bought your current home?
Location location location.
When did you buy your first property and what was it like?
It was 1988. I bought a lovely little garden flat on Highgate West Hill, which I wish I’d never sold.
What’s your dream house?
Anything designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Something white and shiny in the California Hills.
How long have you been an estate agent? What’s the worst thing you’ve seen on the job?
Too bloody long. Probably about 25 years with breaks in between doing other things. I started a garden design company, which is still going. The worst thing I’ve seen on the job was when I first started working as an estate agent and the boss gave me keys to all the properties for me to look round and familiarise myself with them. I didn’t think to phone the vendors in advance so I let myself in to one house, only to find myself face to face with a gorgeous girl, completely naked, who started screaming at me. We were de-instructed from that property.
What are the most common mistakes clients make?
Spending money on their properties to sell them and just wasting it by not listening to our advice. They think that if they re-do the kitchen it will help them get a better price, but it will just be to their personal taste. The first thing you see is people ripping it out and throwing it in a skip.
What are your top tips for the local area?
First of all it’s an amazing location. Price wise we’re probably at a quarter of the level of Hampstead and St John’s Wood but it’s only 25 minutes in the car. You can get the Jubilee Line to Bond Street and Canary Wharf.
There are also some fantastic properties here, from Art Deco and Modernist to 14th century houses. And it may be only a quarter of what you’d pay to live in St John’s Wood but you get huge gardens and huge green areas like Bentley Priory or Stanmore Common.
I’ve got a lot of applicants registering from West Hampstead or Hampstead Village. They want to be on the Jubilee Line.