Insights from Across the Pond

Market Commentary from our London Office: Navigating your Real Estate Journey

Nick Churton of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Robert Paul Properties’ London office points the right way through the new year property market maze.

There are areas of the world, especially in some mountainous regions, where, due to
magnetism in the local rock, a compass doesn’t work. Not being able to trust one’s compass
is always unnerving – and potentially dangerous.

At the moment the real estate market is like an untrustworthy compass. The needle should
point accurately; instead it is going round and round, making people uncertain about the
correct way to go. The rotating needle of conflicting information from the press and social
media is confusing. Some commentators point to falling values, while others disagree.
Headlines scream that higher mortgage rates will make it difficult for first time buyers or
that in a few short months we will be back in a pre-banking crisis, and pre-pandemic real
estate market Utopia.

It’s challenging for most to know which way to go. Should one hold off buying or selling in
the hope of a better market? But buyers and sellers will be piling in by then, which could
mean losing the advantage of bold action now.

The answer to all these questions is to ignore the confused media compass and find a more
reliable pathfinder. Enter the real estate agent. It is astonishing how much a good and
experienced agent understands about their local property market. After all, agents’ activities
are seen in the main to consist of marketing. But real estate agents are like icebergs: ninety
per cent of what’s going on is unseen.

Author, Malcolm Gladwell, suggested it takes 10,000 hours (or approximately ten years) of
deliberate practice to become an expert in a particular field. Over ten years a good real
estate agent will have marketed and sold hundreds and even thousands of homes through markets good and bad, economies booming and busting, in spring, summer, fall and winter.
These property experts will have also helped families move during the good and the not so
good times in their lives. Over 10,000 hours experienced real estate agents have learnt
what’s best for their clients whatever the market, and they know what to do now.

So, if you want to know what direction is best for you in the prevailing property market,
ask an expert.