Doctor knows best…

Yesterday, whilst swinging my man-bag and strolling through the playboy centre of Puerto Banus, I walked straight into my doctor of thirty years.  Having chatted genially for some time and established that we were both on holiday with the named individual on our respective marriage certificates (it has been known… “Darling, work are sending me away on a b%^&dy course for a week…”), I was also able to determine exactly who from the pantheon of movers and shakers in the NP44 postcode owned palatial properties in the den of iniquity that is Marbella.  What it did highlight was that even in the age of the information super highway where any amount of intelligence, wisdom or data is merely a mouse click or a tap on a small screen away, local knowledge and expertise still has the ability to reign supreme.  Knowledge of one’s chosen subject matter should never be underestimated but is increasingly discarded as not wholly necessary. Last week (prior to my waxing and spray tan), I went to a valuation where the vendor informed me that  his property was definitely worth £130,000 as the property over the road had sold for £125,000 and his was in far better condition.  No, it didn’t I told him, I sold it for £118,000 – whatever your former neighbour may have smugly announced.  I was also informed that a full rewriting had been carried out on his property, to which I responded with a request for the installation certificate.  “I don’t need one”, I was told. Yes, you most certainly do.  It may be possible that that the local, independent estate agent knows more about the selling of properties in the area, for no reason other than that is their job.

Which rather neatly segues with Ms Sarah Beeny and her latest televisual programme, “Selling Houses”, that goes under the working title, “Tell estate agents to f%^* off”.  For the benefit of the court, may I state that it is a good programme with mass appeal that conveniently promotes Ms Beeny’s online, pay-up-front estate agency; for which there is a place, as there is for all things.  I do feel however that – unsurprisingly – it is edited to heavily favour the ideals espoused by Ms Beeny’s latest venture. In all previous incarnations on the small screen, Ms Beeny has always advocated vendors asking at least three estate agents to come and value their property.  Now, to highlight how there is no longer any need for a living, breathing person to have any physical role in the selling process, one misguided agent is called out and Ms B then queries the validity of their appraisal.  At no point are we told what the brief was to the agent nor the parameters (if any) that they were required to work within when offering a professional opinion. Cut to the final few minutes of the programme and we learn that after seven months the property has been sold for £10,000 more than the estate agent valued.  The thirteen unqualified viewings and delayed completion date, (by 4 months) because of “complications with the buyer”, are nonchalantly brushed over.  The owners, rather than looking rested and luxuriating in the comforting glow of Beeny-land look in desperate need of a stiff drink and a week spent lying pool-side in 30 degrees.  Which reminds me…