If estate agency fails the Jeremy Clarkson lifestyle could be plan B

James Morton at Benham & Reeves NW3

James Morton at Benham & Reeves NW3 - Credit: Archant

What could be better than an exotic life full of fast cars and top hotels? For James Morton, director of Benham & Reeves, Hampstead property won the day.

What’s special about your agency?

The quality of our negotiators and managers. The depth of experience across our four offices is extraordinary and invaluable.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live in Strawberry Hill (near Twickenham) with my wife and three young children.

Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?

We bought our current property for its size (2,500sq ft) but more importantly because it is detached.

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If you weren’t an estate agent what would you be?

My father was the motoring journalist for the Evening Standard for 30 years and appeared to have a fantastic, exotic lifestyle full of fast cars whilst staying in the world’s best hotels.

When did you buy your first property and what was it like?

I bought my first property in 1995. A first floor, one bedroom, flat in a Victorian House. You could hear the upstairs neighbours alarm clock at the weekends…..I didn’t stay long.

What’s your dream house?

Period exterior, modern interior.

How long have you been an estate agent? What’s the worst thing you’ve seen on the job?

Nearly 24 years. The worse thing I see is something I continue to see – agents persuading sellers to market their properties at the wrong time at the wrong price – very damaging to the seller and the price they ultimately achieve.

How has the local property market changed since you started out?

The local (Hampstead) market has become less bohemian and more cosmopolitan.

What are the most common mistakes clients make?

Pushing the asking price too high. The North London market has a strong demand and a property will always find the right price level as long as it’s marketed properly by an agent with a large local database. Overpriced properties push viewings away and become stale very quickly.

What are your top tips for the local area?

The areas B&R cover are dominated by the Heath. However, the village feel, the schools and the transport links make this part of London a perfect mixture of countryside and city.

Benham & Reeves