Significant national events such as elections and, in this case, referendums bring with them a level of uncertainty.
No-one can predict with absolute accuracy what the outcome will be and polls shift from one day to the next.
This, unfortunately, can have an effect on the property market as consumer confidence takes a knock.
News headlines provide a constant tirade of various predictions – more often than not peppered with a certain amount of doom and gloom.
So how should we as an industry work to provide reassurance to those considering a sale or purchase of a property at this time?
Well to start with, let’s throw away the crystal ball and stop speculating.
Let’s deal with what we know. Sure, any level of uncertainty affects confidence and given that for most, purchasing a property is the greatest expenditure they’ll ever undertake, this is understandable.
However, it is wise to not lose sight of the fact that the property market always has, and no doubt always will, go through cycles of slowdown and boom.
At times like this, commentary abounds from ‘experts’ who will tell you that one outcome will result in a positive way forward, whilst the opposite outcome will signal doom and gloom.
At the exact same time, other ‘experts’ will tell you almost the polar opposite! It is, therefore, understandable that our clients feel confused and uncertain how to proceed.
I’m not saying that this lack of confidence and resulting slowdown is irrational but I do think that we need to be measured about how we deal with it.
Certainly a result which sees the UK remain in the EU is likely to mean that the market rebounds relatively quickly as the status quo will be reinstated.
However, should the decision be to leave the EU we simply can’t say that this will ring the bells of doom and gloom for the property market.
Some commentators predict that the market could take up to two years to regain its pre-Brexit status, whilst others focus on the resoluteness of the UK market and believe it won’t take long at all to bounce back.
I'd like to think it’ll be the latter.
We’ve been through this all before. Whether it’s been a severe Budget, a war or just an election, once some clarity on the outcome, whatever that may be, has been established we see the housing market start to recover.
There’s nothing to suggest that the same can’t happen again.
As an industry, though, what need to be doing right now is what we do best: ensure we’re keeping tabs on how the market is fairing in the geographies in which we operate; identifying sound investment opportunities and working in the best interests of our clients at all times.
If we can achieve that, we’ll secure their trust and that alone could help stabilise the uncertainty we’re currently working within.
*Michael Robson is Chief Executive of Andrews Estate Agents