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

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  • HHarry
    HHarry Posts: 897 Forumite
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    Have a chat with them and see what they say.  We’ve just had some excellent service from an Agent who didn’t even get any commission (the first agent pulled an offer out of the bag at the last minute).  If they’re front runners to get your business (& recommendations) in the future then they may be happy.
  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    The agent responded to me and he's fine, as long as we don't run off to another agent and market next week etc....So i guess we'll rent it out for now and then revisit selling thru them after remediation, as they were great in 2019 when they got our last buyer, but unfortunately the sale didnt go thru because of the emerging cladding crisis at that time.
    I was just worried we'd be forced to sell it now, because we'd signed the contract, when we don;t actually want to sell it now due to the new info about the remediation being imminent!
    Thanks for your help all!
  • NameUnavailable
    NameUnavailable Posts: 2,867 Forumite
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    Your exchanges with your agent sound very wooly to me and they may well misunderstand your intentions.

    Do you know how long the delay is going to be before you are ready to try and sell again? If you're talking about letting the property out it could be years from now!

    To avoid any unecessary complications I would ensure that the agent understands what exactly your intentions are, otherwise they may be thinking you're ready to sell in a few months time.
  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    The remediation of our whole estate will take at least 2 yrs, so it wont be quick.
    The agreement is only for 15 wks anyway, so we could just issue notice on them 28 days before the end of the 15 weeks period and bring an end to the contract also... there's nothing stopping us doing that, is there?

    They never informed us on a cooling off period, so technically that doesn't start until they had properly informed us according to the appropriate act:
    The info on the cooling off period we found here: https://www.reallymoving.com/help-and-advice/guides/faqs-about-estate-agent-contracts#:~:text=What is the estate agent,contract has been entered into.

    What is the estate agent contract cooling-off period?

    Estate agents must give clients 14 days in which they can change their mind about instructing them to sell the property without incurring a penalty. The 14 day period begins from the day after the contract has been entered into. You must also be made aware of the right to cancel and if the agent has not told you this, then you may be able to get out of the contract sooner. (If you really want the detail, it's part of the  Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013).

  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,554 Forumite
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    They never informed us on a cooling off period, so technically that doesn't start until they had properly informed us according to the appropriate act:


    Just to clarify - the statutory 14 day cooling off period only applies if you signed the contract 'at a distance' - for example, at your home or place of work.

    If you signed it on the estate agents premises, there is no statutory cooling off period.



    But anyway, you've said you've agreed new contract terms with the estate agent - so why is the cancellation period relevant?...
    The agent responded to me and he's fine, as long as we don't run off to another agent and market next week etc....



    And again, why are you asking the following, if you've already agreed new contract terms with the estate agent?

    The agreement is only for 15 wks anyway, so we could just issue notice on them 28 days before the end of the 15 weeks period and bring an end to the contract also... there's nothing stopping us doing that, is there?



  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    eddddy said:

    They never informed us on a cooling off period, so technically that doesn't start until they had properly informed us according to the appropriate act:


    Just to clarify - the statutory 14 day cooling off period only applies if you signed the contract 'at a distance' - for example, at your home or place of work.

    If you signed it on the estate agents premises, there is no statutory cooling off period.



    But anyway, you've said you've agreed new contract terms with the estate agent - so why is the cancellation period relevant?...
    The agent responded to me and he's fine, as long as we don't run off to another agent and market next week etc....



    And again, why are you asking the following, if you've already agreed new contract terms with the estate agent?

    The agreement is only for 15 wks anyway, so we could just issue notice on them 28 days before the end of the 15 weeks period and bring an end to the contract also... there's nothing stopping us doing that, is there?



    We haven't agreed anything.
    We've just told him what we are planning to do, and he is fine with that, as long as we don't just "run straight off to market with another agent".

    The cancellation period is relevant as we don't want to be perpetually in a contract to instruct a sale for yrs until we decide to sell at some stage in the (not near) future.
    It is relevant, as legally i beleive we had the right to just withdraw completely according to what i read on citizens advice bureau and the distance selling act, without them putting stipulations on it.

    He can't hold us on a contract for an indefinate time years in the future and then force us to sell.
    If we decide to sell in 2 yrs, they would have no right to force us to stay in contract with them until we market in 2 yrs. There has to be a consumers right to serve notice on a contract at some point.
    If the original contract we signed was for 15 wks, and they haven't informed us of a cooling off period (and still haven't) then apparently from what I have read on information online, they can't hold us to any contract as they are legally obligated to inform us of our rights as set out in the appropriate act, and if they don't, then the contract is not valid until they do inform you and then the cooling off period starts.
    I believe If i have told him that we have decided we don't want to sell anymore at the moment, and want to rent it out instead, then we have informed them that we don't want to go ahead with the sales instruction.
    If he misleads us by not informing that under the contract law of distance selling, we are within our rights to rescind the instruction within 14 days after the contract is signed, and says that that is ok AS LONG AS we do not go to another estate agency, then that is not really above board, as the reality is that ubnder contract law we were within our rights to completely end the contract.
    And they STILL have not informed us of our rights to a cooling off period, which they needed to do in order for the contract to be valid.

    And no, we did not sign on the real estate premises.
    We signed over the internet via docusign.
  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    Thanks for your engagement on this thread.
    Just to clarify- I started this thread not to work out how to screw an estate agent over, (we're decent people) but hoping for someone knowledgable that could point me in the direction of facts stating what our rights would actually be in the situation.
    My intention was not to engage in a back and forth argument on the internet over different scenarios, or be given opinions rather than advice that was not in line with what the actual law is, but i do thank you for trying to help.
    If the law said in this circumstance we would have to pay because we signed, then I am signposted to that information by a knowledgable person, and i know the situation as it stands.
    However, I have done more research and read the actual act now, and the legal information i have found on this matter (for anyone else coming later wondering for themselves) seems to be that an agent is required by law (under threat of a fine) to notify consumers that they legally have the right to a 14 day cooling off people and have the information set out in a specific format, and if they do not, then they can't enforce their contract until they actually do so, and then the time starts from there.

    I note when we signed a contract with Foxtons last yr, before they marketed our place, that is DID it have this information stated at the bottom of the form, including a tear off part that you could fill out and send off if you chose to cancel , or instruction of where to email the electronic cancellation.

    This information below states: : https://www.rixandkay.co.uk/2017/11/08/estate-agents-beware-clients-cancel-contracts-without-paying-penny/  

    And the information in the schedule 2 of the act is here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/schedule/3/made

    Why do they have the right to cancel without paying?

    In June 2014, the Consumer Contract Regulations came into force, which gave rights to consumers to cancel a contract that had been made at a distance or “off premises”, without any reason other than they have changed their mind.

    The time in which a client has the right to cancel, known as the “cooling-off” period, is 14 days from the day the contract is entered into providing the client is made aware of their right to cancel.

    This is where many estate agents come unstuck. Their failure to inform their client that they have the right to cancel means that the 14 day cooling off period has yet to begin, leaving clients the right to cancel your contract at any time. Needless to say this can leave your business exposed to unnecessary financial risk and worse, a potentially expensive and damaging dispute.

    What is distant selling and “off premises”?

    There are of course some legal definitions as to what constitutes “off premises” but as a general rule, if you are not signing the contract together with the client, simultaneously, at your business premises, then it is likely to be deemed distant selling and the 14 day cooling-off period comes into play.

    Practical tips to protect your business

    There are a number of simple ways that estate agencies can make sure they protect themselves when entering into contracts with clients:

    1. Update your terms of business – Prior to 13 June 2014, the cooling-off period was only 7 days. Make sure that your current Terms of Business have been updated to reflect the new cancellation period of 14 days.
    2. Make sure your clients know their rights – Provide your clients with the information listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations, including the new model cancellation form for your clients to exercise their right to cancel if they wish. These can be obtained from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/schedule/3/made. Failure to do so may be a criminal offence and the agency may be liable to pay a fine.
    3. Ensure your costs are clear – It’s important that your Terms of Business provide clear information about the costs of your service, and the basis upon which any final cost will be calculated. This should help to avoid any disputes that later arise.
    4. Take caution when providing services inside the 14 day cooling off period – If your clients want you to begin providing a service within the 14 day cancellation period, you should gain their written consent and advise them that if they later cancel your contract they will need to pay for any services delivered until the point at which they cancel. If you do fail to do so, the consumer may not be liable for any costs that you have incurred during this time.
    5. Inform your client – Once the contract is signed, you should provide your clients with a copy of the signed contracts. The burden of proof that the required information has been given rests with the trader, so it is in your interests to keep good, clear records.



  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,554 Forumite
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    edited 14 February at 11:39PM
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    wannahouse said:

    We haven't agreed anything.
    We've just told him what we are planning to do, and he is fine with that, as long as we don't just "run straight off to market with another agent".

    You've written 2 sentences above...

    The 1st sentence says - We haven't agreed anything with the estate agent
    The 2nd sentence says - We have agreed a plan with the estate agent

    So it's hard to know what to say in response to that.

    Which one of those 2 sentences is correct?

    (To be honest, I suspect you've probably confused the estate agent as much as you've confused me.)


  • wannahouse
    wannahouse Posts: 372 Forumite
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    eddddy said:
    wannahouse said:

    We haven't agreed anything.
    We've just told him what we are planning to do, and he is fine with that, as long as we don't just "run straight off to market with another agent".

    You've written 2 sentences above...

    The 1st sentence says - We haven't agreed anything with the estate agent
    The 2nd sentence says - We have agreed a plan with the estate agent

    So it's hard to know what to say in response to that.

    Which one of those 2 sentences is correct?

    (To be honest, I suspect you've probably confused the estate agent as much as you've confused me.)


    I asked for advice on whether we had a right to withdraw from the contract- that is what i came to the site to find out.
    Regardless of what you, I or anyone says- the law states clearly that unless an Estate agent informs the consumer signing off the premises of their statutory right to a 14 day cooling off period, and set out the terms clearly as described in the act, then the contract is not valid and they cannot enforce it, until they do inform the consumer correctly and allow them the statutory right to a cooling off period from that point.
    They also have no right to charge any fees for any services rendered to that point, as they did not perform their statutory duty before hand.

    So whether you are confused or not, it doesn't affect the law.
    It does not matter if I was confused,(which i was) before i knew my legal rights either- the law still stands- and as they have not at any point, anywhere, informed us of our right to cancel within 14 days, we are in the clear.
    So neither of us need to be confused now.
    The Estate agent should not be confused as he should be well versed in his statutory duty to inform, and when a consumer contacted him to say they no longer wanted to sell, he should have known already that they actually had no right to hold them to an instruction until they had informed them of their right to a cooling off period.

    And i guess that is why the law expects agents to inform consumers of their rights before signing- so there is no confusion and they don't have to go online and ask other people what they think either.
    Thanks for trying to help me folks.
    I appreciate the time you have all taken to engage to try to help.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,554 Forumite
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    edited 15 February at 10:59AM
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    So moving on...

    You've read the estate agents contract from end-to-end and there is no mention of a 14 day cooling off period. So you probably have a case.




    FWIW, I have read dozens of estate agents contracts and I don't recall seeing any that 'forgot' to mention the 14 day cooling off period.

    The estate agent you mention is a large, long established business - I imagine they have a very experienced legal team and lawyers. They are regulated by The Property Ombudsman and the RICS.

    The property Ombudsman's mandatory code of practice says:

    5p Your Terms of Business must clearly state the minimum duration of your instruction, and how it can be terminated by either party. When a contract is signed by a client during a visit by you to their home, at their place of work, away from your premises or online, then they must be given a right to cancel that contract within 14 calendar days after the day of signing. The client should be given a ‘Notice of Right to Cancel’.

    Link: https://www.tpos.co.uk/images/codes-of-practice/TPOE27-8_Code_of_Practice_for_Residential_Estate_Agents_A4_FINAL.pdf


    RICS professional standards say:

    2.3.6 Cooling-off period

    In your terms of engagement, you must clearly state the client’s right to cancel the contract within the first 14 days.

    Link: https://www.rics.org/content/dam/ricsglobal/documents/standards/UK_Residential_Real_Estate_Agency_6th_Edition.pdf

    And 'The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013' makes it clear that there is a 14 day cooling off period.


    But I guess it's still possible that they messed up.  In which case you should have no problem getting a complaint upheld by The Property Ombudsman.



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