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Pundit Henry Pryor says he offers 'media balance' against estate agents

Property pundit Henry Pryor says he is invited on TV and radio in order to provide “balance” against estate agents who are “hard wired” to give an optimistic view of the housing market in order to satisfy their vendor clients.

In a lengthy interview with property expert and TV presenter Phil Spencer, Pryor - who like Spencer is also a buying agent - says that his appearances on the BBC in particular are down to the need to counter what he calls the “nonsense” that estate agents come out with.

“The dear old BBC give me a staggering amount of airtime - their charter requires them to have balance” he tells Spencer.

Pryor says selling agents are “hard wired at birth to be optimistic … they see their glass as half-full.”

He goes on: “When you’re reading a newspaper report about the housing market or watching on TV … inevitably we hear that if you own a house long enough it will always increase in value, what could possibly go wrong, values also go up, blah blah blah.”

He says that firstly this is “nonsense” and that secondly selling agents are under pressure from their clients who would be unhappy if the market was talked down. 

Elsewhere in the interview Pryor is also critical of the public misunderstanding of what he believes is the role of the selling agent

“People, the customers, the public misunderstand … they think [selling agents are] brokers trying to bring two parties together, but they’re not.”

He is also critical of selling agents who assist buyers as well as vendors. He says those large high-end agencies that have separately branded selling and buying divisions have at least started to act independently but he accuses “lots of smaller brands” who “confusingly run with the fox and the hounds” in advising both sellers and buyers in certain circumstances. 

Pryor - who worked at Savills and Strutt & Parker before setting up some of his own property businesses, also says in the interview that he came up with the idea of attaching an individual agent’s name to property advertisements.

You can see the interview on Phil Spencer’s consumer-facing IQ service, here.

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    What a load of tosh. Of couse you would say that wouldn't you? The days of being overly optimistic and over promising are long gone. For starters the public are better equiped to see the reality than ever before. Sounds like someone protecting their little niche to me. If we are perpetuating stereotypes then i can smell the ******** from here.

  • James Robinson

    The last time we were instructed to sell a mews house that Henry Pryor was advising on it certainly didn't come to the market at a sensible price and nor should it.
    Agents have a fiduciary duty to get the highest price the market can bear for their clients. When valuing property good agents evidence their price with recent sales of comparable properties to show, not tell, the client what his house is worth. Most clients still ask us to try a higher price as they "can always come down' and we are not about to turn down instructions because our client wants to chance his arm.
    Henry knows all this but lets face it, when you are striving to keep your name in the Twittersphere, sound bites and controversial opinions get published and read. Its just a shame he has to deride the industry that gave him the knowledge and now feeds him with properties he needs to find for his clients to buy.

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    I think after 5-6 more years of null growth the public and investors will realise that the boom days of property are over and managing 2% in a good year will be normal.
    Certainty in large cities. The Bank of mum and dad is only a strut holding some sectors of the market up temporarily.

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    Pryor needs to decide if he’s a buying agent or a journalist.

  • Paul Barrett

    Indeed the BOMAD supposedly supports 35% of residential property purchases.
    If the BOMAD funds dry up then who will make up the 35% of sales that are currently financed by them?
    The ability to borrow on equity is now constrained by the MMR.
    Access to mortgage credit is constrained by the PRA.
    Affordability becomes even more an issue.
    So who will be buying all the properties that LL won't be buying along with the BOMAD.
    Until wages substantially increase the property market will remain in the doldrums.
    I would say for at least the next 15 years.

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