Adrian Tod of Hayward Tod Associates in Carlisle comments on the property market as the autumn market approaches.

Some people are naturally gifted with clothes or plants or DIY or cooking. Others are less so. Some people are really good at buying and selling property. The process seems easy to them. But others can find it stressful, difficult and emotional, and they hardly enjoy the process.

Its understandable to think that an estate agent’s job is simply to find a buyer and that is it, job done. But in truth the role is as much about project management as sales. Finding someone who says they want to buy your property is a far cry from their being able to buy your property. Then there is chain management – several house sales and purchases may all be interdependent. Here a lot can go wrong. Most properties need surveys, many need mortgages and all will be subject to the emotional rollercoaster of property transactions that may, in the end, rest on a group of strangers all behaving well and sensibly towards each other.

A few brave souls would happily build a new house without the services of a project manager to bring together all the professionals, tradespeople and suppliers that are inevitably involved. But most people wouldn’t dream of being without one. Property sale and purchase is the same. Doing it yourself or getting the service on the cheap could save you a bit and work out reasonably well - if you remain focused, detached, flexible, reasonable, compassionate, completely understanding of your fellow man and have some luck.

But if you have little time, little relevant experience, little patience, don’t wish to gamble on luck and lack that natural gift for coolly buying and selling hugely important and valuable items of personal importance, it may be better to leave it up to an experienced and talented project manager to bring it all together. Successful house sales and purchases don’t usually happen all by themselves. They happen because skilful, experienced, patient and tactful people behind the scenes make them happen.

An estate agent might be expected to say this, but time and again it proves to be true. Valuable and important items like fine art or wine, stocks and shares, cars, yachts or land and houses are often best sold through a third party - and the better the third party the better.

So if you are intending to sell your house this autumn, don’t compromise. Insist on the best sales and project manager you can get. It is the sure way you will get the best result. Or do you feel lucky?