HERE’S a story you don’t often read. An estate agent is hailed a hero by a grateful client.

According to folklore, moving house is more stressful than divorce (it probably causes a few).

By any standards it’s a red letter day when a homeowner bearing the scars from the latest experience wants the world to know just how good the agents were.

Usually the professionals get the flak when a house sale cause blood pressures to rise. Just occasionally, like the example this week, a couple who’ve weathered the storm go on record to show their appreciation for a job well done.

Author Margaret Graham and her husband Dick went through a traumatic time when they moved from Downley to Yorkshire this year.

Delays caused by the chain of sales collapsing further down the line threatened to derail the sale of their own house and scupper the purchase of the new one.

To raise the stress level even higher, Margaret was trying to finish her latest novel. Writing under her nom de plume Milly Adams, she was up against a deadline to deliver the final book in her Waterway Girls trilogy to the publisher.

She produces two novels a year for Arrow, one of the companies in the Random House publishing group.

She not only wrote to thank the estate agents and solicitors who kept the house transaction on course through thick and thin, she included them in the list of acknowledgements in her newly published book.

After thanking others who helped in the production of the book, she says: “The people though who made Hope on the Waterways reach the bank were those who progressed the sale of our house and the buying of another throughout the writing of this novel.

“Him Indoors and I are enormously grateful to Wye Residential in High Wycombe to Darrell [agency partner Darrell Litchfield, pictured] and the girls and especially to Ian [Fergusson]. He must have made hundreds of phone calls on our behalf to keep the chain vaguely moving and is now surely bald, as we are now, from pulling out our hair. He is lying in a darkened room as I write this.”

Margaret recalled the harrowing house move when she talked to the Bucks Free Press this week from her new home in Thirsk.

She and her husband, an ex-submariner, bought their home in Bucks nine years ago to be near three of their four children and help out with childcare. The grandchildren are now teenagers so childcare is no longer needed, hence the decision to move back to her native Yorkshire.

Dick remembered: “We put our house on the market at the end of February and accepted an offer in less than seven days. We were expecting to complete by the third week in May but the sale didn’t finalise until July 25.”

Their agents will never to forget the couple who owned the house in Downley.

“Margaret and Dick are lovely people,” said the boss on Monday. “They had a bit of a torrid time during what turned out to be a protracted transaction. Shortly after they moved Margaret sent me a signed copy of the book with a special mention of us [and their solicitor at Blaser Mills] in the list of acknowledgements at the front of the book.”

“I love the team at Wye,” Margaret told the Free Press. “They were Trojans. They didn’t hide beneath their desks when one or other of us appeared.

“Whereas the deadlines with the sale of our house and the one we were buying in Thirsk got flakier and had to be adjusted to keep the transactions on track, you can’t change a publisher’s deadline. I didn’t have any room to manoeuvre. It was a relief to know we could leave the professionals to look after our interests on the house front.

“As the pressure mounted, Darrell and Ian and Joe Da Silva (senior associate at Blaser Mills) and Ann Buckle (paralegal at the Wycombe law firm) kept us in touch all the time.

“What was so good was that we could go into their offices and chat to them across the desk, face to face.

“They were enormously supportive and friendly. We’d been through a great deal together. We were able to laugh to keep things in proportion. I felt like they’d become my best friend.

“They always kept us in the loop. They chased and chased at every stage all the way. There was a constant dialogue between us.”

It’s now three and a half months since the sale went through. The memories haven’t faded.

“All’s well that end’s well,” say the relieved agents in Wycombe.

As for the Grahams, Margaret says they love their newly built house in Herriot country in the north riding of Yorkshire.

“We’re on the edge of the town. Everything’s within walking distance. The countryside is glorious. 

“It only takes me two hours to get to London by train to get back to see the kids.”

Her newly published book is receiving five star recommendations from readers on the online website Goodreads. 

The wartime saga is inspired by the experience of the women who manned the canal boats during World War 11.  

When the men were called away to the front, wives, girl friends, sisters and daughters took over the tiller to ensure goods yards up and down the network of waterways continued to receive their supplies. 

The author has since finished another book for Arrow and started on a follow-up to a new series.