“As a general rule..people ask for advice only in order not to follow it…

…or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.” Alexandre Dumas. I could empathise with the French novelist and playwright (Q. Name two of his most famous works? Clue; “All for one and one for all”), this week when valuing a potential vendor’s property. The Chesh cabaret act was in full Vegas mode and I duly obtained the instruction. I was informed that I was very professional, “well-researched” and all-in-all, a thoroughly decent chap. In addition to the paean to my professionalism, I was also told that the other agent who had come to value the property was a “p%^&k” whose knowledge of the local property market was negligible. I have to say in defence of the other agent, that the individual in question is not clueless and is a professional of some year’s standing. Having measured the property, taken pictures and closed the act with a bring-the-house-down rendition of “My Way” Ok, I made the last bit up, I asked the vendor to agree the asking price that we had discussed at length. The gentleman then ‘suggested ‘that we ask an additional £10k to the price that we had debated and cogitated about, as the other agent-whom he had dismissed with a disdain bordering on contempt-had said that it was worth more than I had advised. Clearly the other agent was such a buffoon that the vendor wanted to use his valuation that fails to stands up to any researched comparables? What odds that the vendor starts to ask in the time that it takes Sharon Osborne to put on all her makeup, why there has been no interest, accompanied by, “You said…” At the other end of the spectrum, I recently listed a property at an asking price agreed between myself and the vendor after-quite rightly-much discussion and use of supporting evidence. It was sold on the first viewing. Was the owner pleased at the alacrity of the sale? That would be a negative ghost-rider. He was aggrieved that the sale had been agreed so speedily as I had obviously undervalued it. As George R.R. Martin wrote, “People often claim to hunger for the truth, but seldom like the taste when it is served up”. Q. What is the name of his multi-award winning, record-breaking, fantasy drama series that features amongst other things, some very attractive ladies who-alongside their sword-fighting capabilities-have an ability to divulge themselves of their clothing quicker than I sold the aforementioned house?