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We signed a sales marketing contract 0n 30/1 with agent but now do not want to proceed right now...

Hi

We signed a contract with Dexters to sell our flat on 30/1, to begin marketing it AFTER the 23/2 (specified on the contract.
We had just had a sale fall thru with Foxtons and Dexters marketted it back in 2019 and were great, but the sale failed to go thru because of the flat cladding crisis which erupted, so after the palava with Foxtons, we decided to go back with Dexters.
So far all that has happened is that we signed the letter of appointment (actually only i have- my husband hasnt).
They have not done any listing or anything yet, as we had to give Foxtons 28 days notice, and that expires on the 22/2, so we told Dexters that they could not commence with marketing it until at least the 23/2.
We are providing all marketing photos and video for the listing (which they do not yet have) and they do not have keys to access it currently.
The price of our buildings has been greatly repressed because of the cladding crisis, so the asking price, 22 yrs after buying it is only 50% more than it cost all those yrs ago, which for a london riverside flat with a massive roof terrace is pretty crap.
We just found out that the cladding remediation is about to commence after waiting for 5 yrs, after which it will then be much easier to sell and achieve a much better price, so naturally it would be stupid to sell it now, right when its about to be remediated, so we want to wait until its done and then sell it through the same agent.
I looked at the contract signed on the 30/1 and it says " We reserve the right to charge a nominal withdrawal fee of 10% of the fee if the property is withdrawn from the market during the term of this contract and / or if an offer of the asking price from a ready, able and willing purchaser is declined.You will be liable to pay a withdrawal fee to us if such a purchaser is introduced by us in accordance with your instructions, and this must be paid if you withdraw the property  irrespective of your reasons."

Obviously its not yet listed and no one has been able to even know its on the market to view it yet as we've done nothing but sign the contract- they dont even have photos.

I looked up online and it says you have a 14 day cooling off period if you signed a contract outside of the office.
We signed it on a tuesday 2 weeks ago (it is tuesday today) so would we still be in a cooling off period today?
And if we are no longer in that period, then how should we proceed?
I don't want to pay a ransom fee when they've done nothing yet, nor be forced to sell immediately.
If we just don't give them the marketing photos, and no keys to the residence can we just ride out the 15 week period without withdrawing and getting a fee then?
I feel it would be silly to charge us when they havent yet done anything, and we'd be more than willing to go with them again once the building is remediated, as they would lose our custom later, but I know big companies like Foxtons etc, just fleece people when they can anyway, so i wanted to know where i stand.

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Comments

  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,437 Forumite
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    edited 13 February at 5:34PM

    Maybe try cancelling today under the 14 day cooling off period - and see if there's an argument about being outside the 14 day period.

    Why don't you want to go ahead with marketing the property? Have you decided not to move? Do you want to use a different agent? Or something else?


    Edit to add...

    Rereading, it sounds like you want to delay marketing the property until the cladding is sorted.

    I suspect that if you explain to the agent that you simply want to postpone marketing until the cladding is sorted, and then you'll resume your contract with them, the agent would agree to that. If I were you, I'd certainly give that a try.

    (But maybe best not to suggest to them that they are 'silly' or that they 'fleece' people.)

  • theartfullodger
    theartfullodger Posts: 14,597 Forumite
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    Negotiate 
  • Olinda99
    Olinda99 Posts: 1,240 Forumite
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    if the estate agents won't play ball, select a price at which it definitely won't sell unless the cladding is resolved and let it sit there until the cladding is resolved
  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    eddddy said:

    Maybe try cancelling today under the 14 day cooling off period - and see if there's an argument about being outside the 14 day period.

    Why don't you want to go ahead with marketing the property? Have you decided not to move? Do you want to use a different agent? Or something else?


    No, we like the agents.

    We tried to sell using them 5 yrs ago and they were great (same asking price as now, 5 yrs later!) and we had a buyer thru Foxtons, but that buyer pulled out after making us get our tenants out and then pulling a gazunder move when we were due to exchange, offering £300,000 or they walk (on a flat they were buying for £425,000 which was already a bargain for a gorgeous 3 bed river side flat in london with a 450st ft roof terrace!)
    They thought they could strong arm us to sell for a ridiculous price once we lost our tenants after giving them notice as requested by the buyers for exchange.

    However, we had tenants for 8 yrs there and never put up their rent- they were paying £800 under market value, so we were at the point where any repair etc would take us into negative territory and it seemed pointless keeping it...and with the looming remediations, we just wanted to get out of there.
    We thought at least we could use the little equity there'd be to do some work opn our family home, as we've lived in a place requiring massive renovation for 10 yrs with no money to do any.
    We thought we could do the 100 yr old bathrooms etc and at least have a livable home.
    However the actual market rate for rental on our flat now is very good, and it would actually be silly financial sense to sell out place at a knock down price when the cladding remediations are about to begin and once done the values will recover, and now that the last tenants have left, due to the failed sale, we could actually get a decent return on it now, so we'd be selling an income producing asset, after all these yrs of holding onto it, just before it gets remediated and the price recovers!
    Its been 5 yrs sitting waiting for something to happen, and now its about to happen.
    The management company doesnt keep any of us informed, and i only found out through someone last night, that has been on the Team pressuring the builder to remediate about the timescale.

    The agent replied to my email and said :" Hi xxx,

    Thank you for the update.

    Regards

    xxxxx"

    Does that mean that they are cool with it, or acceptance of our email or what?

  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,437 Forumite
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    The agent replied to my email and said :" Hi xxx,

    Thank you for the update.

    Regards

    xxxxx"

    Does that mean that they are cool with it, or acceptance of our email or what?


    What did your email say?

  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,519 Forumite
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    eddddy said:

    The agent replied to my email and said :" Hi xxx,

    Thank you for the update.

    Regards

    xxxxx"

    Does that mean that they are cool with it, or acceptance of our email or what?


    What did your email say?


    Yes please quote exactly what you wrote, so that we can see exactly what they replied to.
  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    My email said that we'd been down to dress the flat for sale, and that it looked fabulous, but after walking around the area and seeing all the new development and all the lovely restaurants and things that are now in the area that werent when we lived there, and seeing the price some of the new developments are selling for (more than double the cost of ours) when we have a lovely river view and much larger flats, i find myself thinking that we are being silly to sell right now, when the place is on the cusp of having the remediation done, and feel if we hang onto it until the remediation is complete and then revisit selling it , that would be a better decision and remove some of the roadblocks to selling it easily and getting a decent price.

    (Our developer is covering the cost of all the works, so theres no risk to buyers, but understandably, this whole cladding debacle and the costs associated with it are scary to anyone, even if they have a signed letter from the developer saying the costs are covered )  so it is still suppressing our values, and giving unscrupulous people the opportunity to think they can do what our last buyer did, which was pull a swifty right before exchange and drop their offer a further 25% (after already negotiating 10% lower on an already very cheap price!)

  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,372 Forumite
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    That sounds to me like they're happy with what you'd said, then. 
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  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,437 Forumite
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    My email said that we'd been down to dress the flat for sale, and that it looked fabulous, but after walking around the area and seeing all the new development and all the lovely restaurants and things that are now in the area that werent when we lived there, and seeing the price some of the new developments are selling for (more than double the cost of ours) when we have a lovely river view and much larger flats, i find myself thinking that we are being silly to sell right now, when the place is on the cusp of having the remediation done, and feel if we hang onto it until the remediation is complete and then revisit selling it , that would be a better decision and remove some of the roadblocks to selling it easily and getting a decent price.

    (Our developer is covering the cost of all the works, so theres no risk to buyers, but understandably, this whole cladding debacle and the costs associated with it are scary to anyone, even if they have a signed letter from the developer saying the costs are covered )  so it is still suppressing our values, and giving unscrupulous people the opportunity to think they can do what our last buyer did, which was pull a swifty right before exchange and drop their offer a further 25% (after already negotiating 10% lower on an already very cheap price!)


    If that's literally all you said - it doesn't look like you've said anything relevant to the contract.

    You need to make clear statements like...
    • "I am cancelling my contract with you during the 14 day cooling off period" (But you've probably missed that 14 day window now)
    Or
    • "I have decided to postpone the marketing of the property until the remediation is complete. Can we delay the start of your marketing contract from 23rd Feb until the remediation is complete?"


  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    Actually their contract mentions NOTHING about a 14 day cooling off period anywhere , and Citizens advice bureau says that distance selling regs say that a consumer MUST be made aware of their right to a 14 day cooling off period, and that period starts the day AFTER the contract was signed.
    But they haven't made us aware of a cooling off period, and if they havent informed the customer of a cooling off period, apparently that cooling off period doesnt start until they make you aware of it?

     
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