Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 15th Oct 16, 10:18 PM
    • 28Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Seller175
    Private buyer but have sole seller agreement with estate agent
    • #1
    • 15th Oct 16, 10:18 PM
    Private buyer but have sole seller agreement with estate agent 15th Oct 16 at 10:18 PM
    I've got myself in a pickle. I put my house on sale on a sole agreement with an estate agent 3 months ago. I then decided to list with a second agent a month later but unknowingly signed another sole seller agreement with them and am effectively tied in for 20 weeks. I have now found a true private buyer who has been introduced by my neighbour. I don't mind referring him to the first agent so everything is done via EA especially given that they only charge 1%. However would I then become liable for double fees with the 2nd agent having me on a sole agreement? I don't want to refer them to the 2nd agent as they charge higher fees and they haven't really introduced me to this buyer either. Or do I just take it off market and say that I have decided to take off market? I don't believe the buyer has contacted any of the EAs.
    Last edited by Seller175; 15-10-2016 at 10:30 PM.
Page 3
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 16th Oct 16, 8:13 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    READ YOUR CONTRACT!

    It will tell you whether it's 12 months or 24 months.

    As I said:



    READ YOUR CONTRACT!
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Chill Winston!!! I've read my contract and it says nothing about a 12 or 24 month tie in.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 16th Oct 16, 8:25 PM
    • 3,831 Posts
    • 3,476 Thanks
    eddddy
    Chill Winston!!! I've read my contract and it says nothing about a 12 or 24 month tie in.
    Originally posted by Seller175
    I think you're probably mistaken.

    Is your agent a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme?

    If so, they have a code of practice:

    This Code of Practice is mandatory for all TPO Members...
    And the code of practice says:

    Fee Entitlement and Client Liability

    5r At the time of accepting instructions from a client, you must point out and explain clearly to that client in your written Terms of Business:

    • that you may be entitled to a commission fee if that client terminates your instruction and a memorandum of sale is issued by another agent to a buyer that you have introduced within 6 months of the date your instruction ended and where a subsequent exchange of contracts takes place.

    If no other estate agent is involved this time limit extends to 2 years.

    Link: https://www.tpos.co.uk/images/documents/rules-codes-obligations/residential-estate-agents/TPOE27-3_Code_of_Practice_Residential_Estate_Agents_A4_-_Effective_from_1_Oct_2015.pdf
    • slowpoke rodriguez
    • By slowpoke rodriguez 16th Oct 16, 8:50 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    slowpoke rodriguez
    Basically fella, you didn't read your contract properly before signing it, and now you're stuffed! No amount of arguing on here is going to unstuff you.
    If you scan the contract in and show it here in it's entirety someone may be able to help, but relying on your interpretation we're all left in the dark.
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 16th Oct 16, 8:54 PM
    • 3,332 Posts
    • 5,304 Thanks
    mrginge
    I've heard a rumour that 'scum of the earth' estate agents add a premium onto their fees because they have to deal with all the illiterate shysters who waste their time.
    Last edited by mrginge; 16-10-2016 at 9:50 PM.
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 16th Oct 16, 9:34 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    Moving slightly off topic. Does the EA confirm to a buyer what he is being paid for the transaction?
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 16th Oct 16, 9:36 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    I think you're probably mistaken.

    Is your agent a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme?

    If so, they have a code of practice:



    And the code of practice says:
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Again key point here is if the agent had introduced that person to begin with. In my case the agent didn't introduce the private buyer in any shape or form.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 16th Oct 16, 10:12 PM
    • 51,234 Posts
    • 43,016 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    Again key point here is if the agent had introduced that person to begin with. In my case the agent didn't introduce the private buyer in any shape or form.
    Originally posted by Seller175
    Was there a sale board up outside the property?

    Was the property being advertised on Rightmove?
    “A man is rich who lives upon what he has. A man is poor who lives upon what is coming. A prudent man lives within his income, and saves against ‘a rainy day’.”
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 16th Oct 16, 10:16 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    Ad board - no
    Rightmove - yes
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 17th Oct 16, 12:05 AM
    • 522 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    steampowered
    Again key point here is if the agent had introduced that person to begin with. In my case the agent didn't introduce the private buyer in any shape or form.
    Originally posted by Seller175
    You can still be liable for both sets of fees even if the agents did not introduce the buyer.

    Most sole agency agreements say that you will be liable for the agent's fees if:
    - it is a buyer they introduced; OR
    - it is a buyer that buys the property during the term of your agreement with the agent; OR
    - it is a buyer that buys the property within a certain period of time (such as 6 weeks) after you terminate your agreement with the agent.

    The logic of this is that you are supposed to route any sale through your agent, and that you shouldn't be able to avoid fees by terminating their agreement just before a sale. Estate agents can easily find out when you sold your property by looking at the land registry and they do send legal demands for fees in this type of situation.

    If you want to avoid paying fees, you will probably need to give both estate agents formal notice that you are terminating their agency AND wait a certain period of time before concluding the same.

    You'll need to read the agent T&Cs to find out how long you have to wait. Ask the agents for a copy of the T&Cs if you don't have them. Why don't you scan them in and post a picture up on here.
    Last edited by steampowered; 17-10-2016 at 12:12 AM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Oct 16, 12:46 PM
    • 37,032 Posts
    • 40,952 Thanks
    G_M
    it's just become boring now.....
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 17th Oct 16, 3:52 PM
    • 2,157 Posts
    • 17,234 Thanks
    mije1983
    Head, meet wall

    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 19th Oct 16, 11:13 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    Thanks to all the sensible replies.

    I've spoken to the agent and he has categorically told me I am only liable for one fee....for the agent that gets me the buyer. He said these contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on. He has been in the game for 20 years and never has he ever had a dispute with any other agent where two sole agency agreements are in place.

    So I'm relaxed about it.
    • slowpoke rodriguez
    • By slowpoke rodriguez 19th Oct 16, 11:31 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    slowpoke rodriguez
    Thanks to all the sensible replies.

    I've spoken to the agent and he has categorically told me I am only liable for one fee....for the agent that gets me the buyer. He said these contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on. He has been in the game for 20 years and never has he ever had a dispute with any other agent where two sole agency agreements are in place.

    So I'm relaxed about it.
    Originally posted by Seller175
    So he told you you're only liable for the other agent's fee?
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 20th Oct 16, 11:18 AM
    • 5,243 Posts
    • 2,436 Thanks
    LeeUK
    Cancel both EAs and pay their cancellation fee if still under contract (a local agent near me charges £200 if you ditch them). Then sell directly to your buyer if they weren't introduced by an EA.

    And if agents really monitor sales, 6 months down the line when Land Registry is updated with the sale info, who they going to send demands to when they don't have your new address!
    Last edited by LeeUK; 20-10-2016 at 11:23 AM.
    Lee's No More Takeaways Club No.1
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 20th Oct 16, 7:39 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    So he told you you're only liable for the other agent's fee?
    Originally posted by slowpoke rodriguez
    You are only liable for the fee for the EA that gets you the buyer. He also said that in the unlikely event that the other agent billed me for another fee then he would take care of it in terms of sorting the situation out. I also have an email from EA2 stating that "you are only liable for one fee in the event of sale" - so I have confirmation of this from both EAs. The only time u could ever get an issue is if One agent sold it and it was the Client of the other.
    Last edited by Seller175; 20-10-2016 at 7:46 PM.
    • Seller175
    • By Seller175 20th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Seller175
    EA1 also said the fact that they had contract with me before EA2, that essentially overrides everything. He said technically speaking EA2 should have asked what type of contract I had signed with EA1 before proceeding which they didn't.
    So right now I'm keeping both on. If I get the private buyer to go ahead then I will just refer him to EA1 who carries the lower feee and just to avoid hassle.
    Last edited by Seller175; 20-10-2016 at 7:47 PM.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 21st Oct 16, 10:02 AM
    • 64 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    saajan_12
    You are only liable for the fee for the EA that gets you the buyer. If that was the case why would they bother with 'sole agency' or 'sole selling rights' contracts? What's their recourse if you do give other selling rights? He also said that in the unlikely event that the other agent billed me for another fee then he would take care of it in terms of sorting the situation out. What does that mean? If the other EA pointed to their contract and demanded their fee, what how would this EA 'sort the situation out'? Waive his fee entirely? Seems mighty nice, would he like to put that in writing? I also have an email from EA2 stating that "you are only liable for one fee in the event of sale"EA2 isn't privy to your contract with EA1 so they don't know when EA1's fee is payable so they can't possibly guarantee this. - so I have confirmation of this from both EAs. The only time u could ever get an issue is if One agent sold it and it was the Client of the other.So basically the situation you're in now.. you're a client of both, so if you sell it through one of them, you're a client of the other so there'll be an 'issue' then?
    Originally posted by Seller175
    If you're happy with this why did you bother posting instead of just asking the EAs?

    If it came to it, do you think their explicit contracts or these ambiguous statements saying 'it will all be fine' will hold more water?
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 21st Oct 16, 10:15 AM
    • 3,831 Posts
    • 3,476 Thanks
    eddddy
    It's very clear that you are asking the EA vague hypothetical questions, and they are giving you vague hypothetical answers.

    You need to ask the EA very precise questions.

    If I get the private buyer to go ahead then I will just refer him to EA1 who carries the lower feee and just to avoid hassle.
    Originally posted by Seller175
    So say to EA2

    "- I have a sole selling agreement with you
    - I have found a private buyer
    - I will ask them to negotiate via EA1
    - I will pay EA1 a fee, but I don't intend to pay you a fee"

    ...and see what their answer is.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 21st Oct 16, 11:01 AM
    • 522 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    steampowered
    I am sorry but your understanding of estate agent contracts is not correct. You are taking a very real risk of being sued for two sets of estate agent fees.

    Most sole agency contracts are extremely clear that you will be liable for sales made during the term of the contract or a period thereafter, whether or not that results in you paying two sets of fees.

    There are debt collection companies who specialise in collecting estate agent fees in circumstances where people sell a house under a private sale while under a sole agency contract, such as http://www.sinclairdebtmanagement.co.uk/estate-fee-finder.html.

    There have been many examples of some estate agents taking people to court to claim commission for properties they advertised but didn't actually sell.

    I direct you towards http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?465757-Possible-Estate-Agent-Issue-Bairstow-Eves. If you read the thread and the pictures of the debt collection letter that individual receives they are self-explanatory and a similar situation to the situation you are in.

    You should strongly consider getting a full copy of the T&Cs from each agent, reading them all the way through and terminating your contract with one of them, if that is what you need to do to avoid being liable for two sets of fees.
    Last edited by steampowered; 21-10-2016 at 11:06 AM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 21st Oct 16, 11:04 AM
    • 522 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    steampowered
    EA1 also said the fact that they had contract with me before EA2, that essentially overrides everything. He said technically speaking EA2 should have asked what type of contract I had signed with EA1 before proceeding which they didn't.
    Originally posted by Seller175
    No, EA2 is not required to start asking you about the contract you have with EA1.

    You are legally able to enter into whatever contracts you like. If you have entered into two contracts which both require you to pay a set of fees if a property is sold during the term of those contracts, you can do that.

    So right now I'm keeping both on. If I get the private buyer to go ahead then I will just refer him to EA1 who carries the lower feee and just to avoid hassle.
    If you signed a sole agency contract with EA2, EA2 will be entitled to receive a fee if the property is sold during the term of that contract. Regardless of who sold the property or whether they had anything to do with the sale - that is what sole agency means.

    If you don't terminate EA2's contract, EA2 could check the land registry in a couple months to see that you sold the property, and start using debt collectors to chase you for his fee.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

693Posts Today

4,164Users online

Martin's Twitter