When is an expert, not an expert?  Knowledge is the key

We know that the internet hybrid agents are calling their valuers ‘Local Property Experts’. But how do you define ‘an expert’ in the eyes of the buying public? And if someone fails to meet that definition, should there be some form of recourse or sanctions against them for declaring themselves to be something they are not?

The dictionary defines an ‘expert’ as ‘a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilled in a particular area’. That would suggest that LPEs live in the area and have worked in those areas for some time to be able to advise sellers on price, demand and speed of sale. What’s the knowledge test?

Traditional estate agents employ from local sources. The unwritten rule is 15 to 20 miles from a base office is local. If you look at some of the LinkedIn profiles of some LPEs, they are one hour’s drive from the location they purport to be an expert in. Surely local knowledge is key to being an expert in that you must include information about schools, transport links and local demand. Wouldn’t it be interesting to ask the internet hybrid community if they think they are experts and then see just how local they are to the area they list?

Someone who travels an hour and a half to a location where they are an LPE, would suggest they are not an expert as they haven’t been working in that area for an extended period of time. It also throws light on the fact that traditional estate agents have large databases of local people and are able to advise sellers about the emotional buyers who will pay over the odds.

Hybrid agents probably won't have the intimate knowledge of those buyers due to not working specific areas for  ten years or more, unlike most traditional agents. For example, you might know that someone would like to buy property in a certain school catchment area and would pay £25,000 more. It is unlikely that an LPE would know of those people when valuing.

These days, online valuations and data showing asking prices and sale prices are readily available. So an LPE with the right knowledge will know pricing but he or she will not know the idiosyncrasies of those markets where those people may be paying more for a certain reason, such as a new high speed link to a commuter town.

It’s fair to say that one of the many reasons that London’s iconic cab drivers have risen up against Uber is because they must learn ‘The Knowledge’, to prove they know the local roads through the city, and the Uber drivers don’t.

The management and staff at Martyn R Cox & Co have been trained in inter-personal skills as well as local knowledge, specific residential areas and of course property values. We have been moving people since 1988 and the combined experience of our staff extends to 125 years.

We are your Local Property Experts, so for a completely FREE valuation, please call 01993 779020