Hit in the face by a golf ball

Broken teeth, stitches and now drinking and eating through a straw. Fortunately this has not happened to me, but to a great friend, Ollie, who is in fact Flora’s godfather.

He had taken a client to play golf and was half way through the round. He wasn’t watching his client who was trying to play out of a fairway bunker 25 yards to his left. Unfortunately the client somehow contrived to hit the ball at 90 degrees to where he was aiming and the ball smashed into Ollie’s face.

The damage although deeply unpleasant is only temporary. Although as Ollie points out it is rather irritating to only be able to eat through a straw. He has also said that he will now always stand behind amateur golfers – although they may look as though they know what they are doing, it doesn’t mean that they always get it right.

I bring this up because I was recently conducting one of my property orientations with a lady who said that she had been advised by friends not to look in a certain area.  When I asked her what was wrong with that particular address she did not have an answer and, in fact, had thought it was rather nice but felt that her friends knew better.

This is an issue that I often see: well-meaning friends giving advice when in fact they have very little qualifications to do so. Of course we tend to listen to our friends because we trust them. However, this does not mean that they are right. In this instance I expect her friends may not have visited the area for years if at all.

In other cases friends sometimes will just tell you what they think you want to hear. Many years ago a client called me to say that she had seen a house on the internet that looked great and wanted to visit it. I explained that it was not suitable for a number of reasons including the fact that you could hear the underground from the house.

Nevertheless she wanted to see it and I arranged the viewing. She arrived with a  friend who proceeded to tell her how wonderful the house was despite the fact that it was too small for what they needed, was poorly laid out and was affected by the underground. I tried to explain what the disadvantages were but the friend told me I was mistaken… Fortunately the husband made an appearance and after one minute took me aside and whispered: “Has my wife gone mad?” – I am pleased to say that they did not buy the property.

This is not to say that you should ignore your friends’ advice about property. However, you do need to ensure that:

a) They have a clear understanding of what you want and what you are trying to achieve

b) They have an in-depth knowledge of the areas you are targeting

c) They are not inadvertently putting their preferences ahead of your needs

I cannot overemphasise how important it is to have an in-depth understanding of the areas in which you wish to buy. It does take time to gain this knowledge but if you want to make an astute purchase you either have to take the time to educate yourself or have someone represent you.

Too many people substitute this by asking friends who are totally unqualified to give their opinions. Although it is nice to have reassurances that the property you are buying is right, it can be hugely misleading and result in a costly mistake. Conversely, you may miss out on great opportunities again because your friend puts you off buying a property.

To avoid making this and other mistakes when buying a property email veronika@mercuryhomesearch.com quoting twitter, to request your free copy of The Seven Most Expensive Mistakes London Property Buyers Make & How To Avoid Them.

Best regards,