The Archway agent who could have been a barrister or a barista

Gary Rosenthal, Whitehall Estates

Gary Rosenthal, Whitehall Estates - Credit: Archant

Gary Rosenthal, the director of Whitehalls estate agent in Archway will brew viewers a mean coffee but if being an agent had fallen through, maybe the Bar would have called.

What’s special about your agency?

Whitehalls don’t do ties or flash suits but we do do good coffee and give honest no nonsense advice based on over 30 years in the industry! Moreover we are a family Company as my eldest son Ben works alongside me. But to really see what’s special have a look at our ‘happy client’ testimonial page on our web site.

Where do you live and with whom?

Home has always been amongst family and friends in North London, namely Southgate, Whetstone, Winchmore Hill and Cockfosters. My wife Tracy and two of our three children reside there.

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

Because my wife fell in love with the house and, as we generally like the same things, I had to agree. It’s a great entertaining house which we seem to do to excess; it is also very convenient being a short walk to the restaurant-generous High Road and has a superb far reaching view which we love.

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

A Pro Tour golfer would be pretty dreamy but in reality maybe a barrister. Yes that’s barrister not barista despite my earlier coffee remark.

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

1984. It was an attractive two-bed first floor Edwardian conversion (just £34,000) in Winchmore Hill which my fiancé, now wife, refurbished.

What’s your dream house?

Nothing ostentatious or sprawling. Somewhere overlooking water, and near a golf course!

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

I started out in 1982 cutting my teeth in Mill Hill; then spent 19 years with B&R (Highgate, Hampstead, Dartmouth Park and St Johns Wood offices) which gave me a fantastic grounding. Whitehalls came to life just over 10 years ago. There are a few squalid stories I could relate but one of the worst things I have seen is the bastardisation of The Bishops Avenue. It is nothing other than an architect’s playground.

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

Whenever you think that prices cannot keep rising they do. Property I was selling in 1990 for £170,000 is now selling for £1.2m. However, the buying process has become so much harder with more paperwork and form filling than ever before. The whole process of conveyancing is in urgent need of simplification and streamlining to make an very long-winded process swifter, which can only be beneficial to all involved.

What are the most common mistakes clients make?

Not listening to an experienced agent giving them sensible advice. Whether that is related to the price; the way a property presents or the way to market a home we generally DO know best; unless the agent is fresh out of school and drives a mini...

What are your top tips for the local area?

The Whitehall Park conservation area, in which our office sits, is a very family orientated village-like environment. Many of the properties here enjoy some breathtaking views of London’s ever changing skyline. The recently opened Whitehall Park Primary School has been very well received by local parents who are delighted with all it has to offer.