Meet the Press
Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers, hear on the radio or see
on the television.
Nowadays one usually knows when the property market is hardening up. The number
of TV property programmes goes down dramatically. Presenters disappear from view
because they don’t have a view to present any longer, or certainly not one they
want to air to viewers. They can no longer sensationalise about making big money
from new home off-plan purchases, buy-to-lets or fix-ups.
But the media always seem to offer lots of ‘expert’ opinions on the property market.
From newspaper and broadcast journalists to eminent economists, they all find something
to say. The trouble is they rarely all seem to agree. While one says the market
is rising, another says it is falling. Every now and then an expert manages to report
that the market is rising and falling in the same sentence. This is hardly surprising
as none of them is clairvoyant. So, no matter how expert anyone thinks he is, nobody
really knows with real certainty.
Many of these spokespersons are not working day-by-day in the front office of a
local estate agent, and they are often the innocent mouthpieces of received wisdom.
Property statistics and trends do not have the immediacy of the stock market, in
property they take months to filter through and then distort the up-to-date truth.
So don’t believe everything you read in the press about the property market. The
media can be up to three months behind the market and the national newspapers cannot
reflect local market conditions that can swing wildly from county to county and
even from town to town.
So without the TV presenters to offer us their views where is one to go for the
right advice? Who does one turn to when the going gets tougher? Like most things
in life, when you need someone to show you the way it is best to find someone who
has been that way before and knows the path well.
Nobody can really be a true expert forecaster in property. But experienced estate
agents are experts in the present. They can uniquely deal with the market they are
in, and skillfully help buyers and sellers to make the best of the prevailing conditions.
Estate agents aren’t foolish enough to try to foretell the future. But at least
they understand the here and the now and do know a thing or two. They know what
is going on in their particular marketplace from day to day
So the property expert isn’t the building society or bank manager, the neighbour
with a keen interest in other people’s property or the friend who has always said
what a nice house you have and it will sell for a bomb. The real expert is the one
who is buying and selling local property every single day of the week. If he doesn’t
know what is really going on no one does.
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