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  • Writer's pictureSimon Deen

Lessons from the past 12 months

I was thinking this week about how much has changed in the last 12 months on both a personal and global level. Unless you’re old enough to remember the Second World War, the last year will surely be remembered as the most turbulent of most people’s lifetimes.

Given the backdrop, it seems almost insensitive to discuss the property market. However, move forward we must and perhaps it’s a good moment to reflect on what lessons can be learned from the experience, both in terms of the residential real estate market, and my own key takeaways.

So here goes.

Be prepared

Whether you’re buying or selling, please make sure you are ready.

From a buyers perspective, the market is extremely competitive right now, especially for family homes. If you’re taking a mortgage, make sure you have your offer agreed in principle. If you’re selling your current home, make sure it’s on the market. Better, under offer. Best, sold.

Make sure you’ve appointed a Solicitor. Preferably one you’ve worked with before. If in doubt ask a Real Estate Agent you trust for a recommendation. It’s easy to underestimate the difference a good Solicitor can make to a transaction.

If you’re selling your property, make sure the paperwork is in order. If it’s an apartment, you’ll likely need a standard package of information from your managing agents. Ask for it before your property goes on the market. If you’ve made alterations to your home, make sure your planning permissions, structural drawings, building regulations certificates etc. are all in order.

In all likelihood some information is going to be missing. Finding that out early will save a lot of time and stress down the line.

Be empathetic

I’m always amazed by how entrenched people can get in their own perspectives. Buying and selling property is extremely stressful at the best of times, never mind in a global pandemic. People are making life changing decisions and there are a lot of emotions at play.

A little kindness and understanding can go an extremely long way.

If you’re buying a home, buy for the long term

The cost of moving has become extremely high over the past ten years, mostly due to Stamp Duty. Once you’ve factored in all of these costs in addition to the capital sum paid, in all likelihood your new home is probably going to be worth less than you paid for it, at least for a few years.

If you are buying a family home, it’s almost always worth pushing yourself (if you can afford it). This pandemic will live long in the memory, and the feelings of safety, of comfort and of enjoyment that a good family home can offer are more important than ever before.


And what did I personally learn from the past 12 months…..

To be stoic (or try my best to be). I started here, with a book I read one page of every day. It’s also the book I’ve gifted most often.

To really value people of whom this is true.“It’s appropriate and praiseworthy to associate with people whose lives would be improved if they saw your life improve” - Jordan Peterson, from his book, 12 Rules for Life

To think this way about my new business. Now, instead of asking, “How can I get more people to listen to me, how can I get the word out, how can I find more followers, how can I convert more leads to sales, how can I find more clients…?” you can ask, “What change do I seek to make?” - Seth Godin, from the best book I read in 2020


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