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  • FIRST POST
    FrugalTopCat
    Sole selling rights in contract
    • #1
    • 26th May 10, 9:43 AM
    Sole selling rights in contract 26th May 10 at 9:43 AM
    Dear all,

    Please excuse me if this is covered comprehensively elsewhere, I have done some searches today and yesterday and it comes up within various threads but not as central subject as far as I can see in recent times.

    Have been trying to get house on sale and had valuations from three local agents. We had pretty much decided on one and had told them verbally we would like to use them, but when we read through the paperwork properly we were unhappy with inclusion of sole selling rights. Matter was then complicated when manager left suddenly (we had been told he was ill) so another member of staff came to take pictures and I raised it with him. He didn't seem to grasp my concerns and advised we raise it with new manager who started this week. So in the interim they have drafted details and then manager visited us on Monday to familiarise himself with our property but also to discuss this matter.

    Basically his response was kind of stonewalling along the lines of "I've asked my boss and all the agents here use sole selling rights". Not that that makes it OK...plus I obviously will check that for myself. In this discussion he implied that the important thing was that we could give our 14 days' notice on either side and that would be that. He also provided an abridged version of the agreement on plain paper yesterday (as the original was on a stupid brochure) but when we looked at this last night it still referred back to the full brochure and it still seems apparent that the sole selling rights portion is open-ended.

    Quote:
    SOLE SELLING RIGHTS


    You will be liable to pay remuneration to us...in each of the following circumstances:
    • If unconditional contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged in the period during which we have sole selling rights, even if a purchaser was not found by us but by another agent or by any other person, including yourself
    • If unconditional contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged after the expiry of the period during which we have sole selling rights but to a purchaser who was introduced to you during that period or with whom we had negotiations about the property during that period
    Now, the first one is bad enough, in terms of fairness (they get paid if I find a buyer?) but TBH we are not really bothered, so long as the house gets sold. By the way, this is absolutely NOT about trying to do these people out of their fee unfairly. It's more about the worrying nature of point 2 - there is therefore no expiry date at all on our agreement with them! For instance, let's say after a few months we terminate the contract because we are not satisfied with progress. And we sign up with someone else. Let's say a viewer who they introduced, but was unable to proceed earlier for say chain reasons, can now go ahead. Both EAs would want their fee, wouldn't they? I've seen threads recommend getting a list of "introduced persons" when you sack an EA but I can't see how that is going to play with any new EA -they are not going to agree to not getting their commission are they?

    This is stressing us out already and the house isn't even on the market yet. This morning I have emailed the agent to let them know we cannot go ahead with them and sign the agreement unless they remove SSR clause and we'll go on a sole agency basis. No answer by phone at the branch so not sure what's going on. Presumably they are not likely to back down on the contract content at this stage....not sure what to do next, was really hoping to get it up before Spring Bank.

    Sigh. Apologies for the long post. Feedback appreciated on sole selling rights contracts.....would members agree that such contracts are best avoided? Has anyone had success in getting this part of an agreement removed pre-signing?
    Thanks all.
    Last edited by FrugalTopCat; 26-05-2010 at 9:57 AM.
Page 1
    • Gwhiz
    • By Gwhiz 26th May 10, 9:54 AM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 2,242 Thanks
    Gwhiz
    • #2
    • 26th May 10, 9:54 AM
    • #2
    • 26th May 10, 9:54 AM
    There was a well known court case on this (Foxtons??) - the law actually states that the time must be reasonable and I think it was 6 months. These clauses are pretty common but now case law says they are unenforceable after that period of time.

    Regarding clause 1 - if you are not happy with it then modify the contract!
    • MissMotivation
    • By MissMotivation 26th May 10, 10:26 AM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 1,517 Thanks
    MissMotivation
    • #3
    • 26th May 10, 10:26 AM
    • #3
    • 26th May 10, 10:26 AM
    Lots of EA's now use Sole Selling Rights instead of Sole Agency, mainly to protect themselves after getting their fingers burnt in the past with Sellers saying they had found a buyer themselves! If you are genuinely not happy with signing a SSR contract and the agent won't budge then, unfortunately, you are going to have to see whether another agent will take you on on a SA agreement.

    The second clause is unfair and should have a timescale, I think Gwhiz is correct and it's 6 months.
    My home is usually the House Buying, Renting and Selling Forum where I can be found trying to (sometimes unsucessfully) prove that not all Estate Agents are crooks. With 20 years experience of Sales/Lettings and having bought and sold many of my own properties I've usually got something to say
    Ignore......check!
    • princeofpounds
    • By princeofpounds 26th May 10, 11:06 AM
    • 7,677 Posts
    • 10,103 Thanks
    princeofpounds
    • #4
    • 26th May 10, 11:06 AM
    • #4
    • 26th May 10, 11:06 AM
    It's an interesting vent, but I think you know the answer yourself - if you aren't happy with the contract, renegotiate or cancel.
  • FrugalTopCat
    • #5
    • 26th May 10, 12:10 PM
    • #5
    • 26th May 10, 12:10 PM
    Thanks for the responses so far...can you believe it, I finally get round to sticking this on here for advice and they have now backed down!

    The manager has called me back and after a conflab with head office they have agreed to take the Sole Selling Rights clause out, provided that we state in writing that we aren't advertising it elsewhere (which we won't be). I am very glad we stuck to our guns now. May come back for more advice once I have this revised agreement in my hand though...
  • FrugalTopCat
    • #6
    • 26th May 10, 12:11 PM
    • #6
    • 26th May 10, 12:11 PM
    Lots of EA's now use Sole Selling Rights instead of Sole Agency, mainly to protect themselves after getting their fingers burnt in the past with Sellers saying they had found a buyer themselves!
    Originally posted by MissMotivation
    Thanks Miss M, is this a recent change? As when searching for this term on the forum here I have read quite a few posts saying that SSR clauses are not widespread and a bit naughty.
    • MissMotivation
    • By MissMotivation 26th May 10, 12:44 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 1,517 Thanks
    MissMotivation
    • #7
    • 26th May 10, 12:44 PM
    • #7
    • 26th May 10, 12:44 PM
    Not really, I've known lots of agents use SSR for years. It's perfectly legal and I can understand why agents it SSR rather then SA.
    My home is usually the House Buying, Renting and Selling Forum where I can be found trying to (sometimes unsucessfully) prove that not all Estate Agents are crooks. With 20 years experience of Sales/Lettings and having bought and sold many of my own properties I've usually got something to say
    Ignore......check!
  • shinynew
    • #8
    • 4th Aug 10, 11:57 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Aug 10, 11:57 AM
    Hello,

    I have a further question about Sole Selling - I'm under such contract now with a High St agent, and would like to start using an online agent.

    I've already given notice to my High St agent, and there's 3 weeks left. The question is can I start ADVERTISING with another agent during these 3 weeks (i'm sure no contracts will be exchanged before the Sole Selling contract expires).

    I just want to make sure that Sole Selling doesn't mean property can only be advertised with them (can't find any specific mention of this..).

    Thanks for your help in advance!
    • googler
    • By googler 4th Aug 10, 12:17 PM
    • 14,914 Posts
    • 9,794 Thanks
    googler
    • #9
    • 4th Aug 10, 12:17 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Aug 10, 12:17 PM
    Sole Selling Rights = granting the agent The Sole Right to Sell your property.

    If you market it with someone else at the same time, while the contract is in force, you're breaching that contract, surely?
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