“True intuitive expertise….

…is learned from prolonged experience…” [sic].  So writes the 2002 Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman.  For those of you who may not quite be up to speed in their identification of those in the pantheon of psychology and its study, (putting the world to rights with Dave in The Dog And Duck, after ten pints and Wales having been beaten by South Africa doesn’t count), Mr Kahneman specialises in heuristics.  These are simple rules that people frequently use to form judgements and make decisions; invariably focussing on one aspect of a problem whilst ignoring other relevant factors.  Sometimes they work well, sometime they do not.  The resulting errors from this decision making are known as ‘cognitive biases’ and are what affect peoples’ choices in situations such as valuing a house.   I appreciate that gentlemen of the calibre of a Nobel prize winner probably don’t have the time nor the necessity to visit the fertile study grounds of South Wales, but should you ever Mr Kahneman  find yourself with a spare half hour whilst venturing westwards on the M4, pop into 10 Chapel Street (I could meet you at the Parkway if it would be easier) and let me show you how heuristics and cognitive biases affect selling a house in Ty Canol.  All vendors  – wholly understandably – want to sell their property as quickly as possible for as much money as possible.  It is my job, as an estate agent to advise them how this can best be achieved.  It is invariably a matter of compromise; the quickest sale does not necessarily mean the most profitable.  One cannot ride two horses in the same race. Professional opinion based on, ‘prolonged experience’ of selling houses, delivered with comparable evidence of such sales, does – if followed by the vendor – allow an agent to achieve the best price for the property working within an appropriate timeframe.  In layman’s terms; let the agent get on with their job.  Healthy discussion of the many contributory factors is to be encouraged, but cognitive biases  – often delivered along the lines of, “I have to get £130k so that I can buy the house that I want”; even if the property for sale is only worth at best £118k – can truly warp a vendor’s intelligent appraisal of their house sale, in particular its value.  Similarly, vendors who – with the best intentions – hang about whilst a property is being viewed by a potential buyer (who, I may add at Cheshire and Co will always be accompanied by the agent – unlike some other agencies), offering ‘helpful’ comments, do not always aid the progress of a sale.  Canada has a very sensible policy on property sales; when a property is being viewed, the vendor/inhabitants must be out of the property.  Very sensible for the health and well-being of all parties. There I was thinking that the best thing to be exported out of Canada was Pamela Anderson (and all the attributes that just about fitted into a 2-sizes too small red swimming costume).  Now tell me, on what other property website can you leap -without leaving the page –  from a colossus of the intellectual world to the pneumatic (and slightly plastic) figure of a lady who fuelled the fantasies of many a pre-pubescent (middle-aged) male?