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.