Sealing a deal give this Highgate estate agent a buzz

Mark Sumray at Benham & Reeves Highgate branch

Mark Sumray at Benham & Reeves Highgate branch - Credit: Archant

Mark Sumray of Benham & Reeves in Highate thrives on the adrenaline of selling a property. But for a calmer pace, landscape gardening would be just the ticket

What’s special about your agency?

We work in a very niche market, dealing with properties surrounding Hampstead Heath. Some of the staff have been here for 25 plus years and know the area better than most other agents.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live in Hampstead Garden Suburb with my wife and Cockerpoo Ozzie. It’s a great area to unwind and has plenty of open spaces to walk my dog. The Arts & Crafts architecture makes it an outstanding example of a garden city.

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

We bought our house about 10 years ago. You generally get a special feeling when you see the right house, my wife loved the character of the house and I fell in love with the garden.

Most Read

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

I would love to work in the City. I suppose it’s the buzz that you get from sealing a deal. That or a landscape gardener.

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

My first property was a charming first floor maisonette. Bought in the late 80s, it needed everything doing to it and even had a flood between exchange and completion.

What’s your dream house?

My dream property would be a character house, with an amazing garden, somewhere close to the office and in walking distance to the shops and cafes.

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

I have been an agent for nearly 35 years. During that time I have seen far too much. Discretion is the better part of valour.

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

Besides the demand far outstripping supply, it has got to be the prices. I have sold expensive detached houses for less than some of the stamp duty I have seen being paid now.

What are the most common mistakes clients make?

Not taking advantage of a situation. If you find the house that you want to live in, don’t lose it. Make sure you are in the best position to negotiate or you are either going to lose out or pay more.

What are your top tips for the local area?

Take advantage of the history, character and open spaces. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in our areas. If you do, absorb it all.