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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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hi, I am in the process of selling my house and initially used

Resolved Question:

hi, I am in the process of selling my house and initially used an Estate agent although i made it clear that i did not want to be tied into a contract, i was unhappy with their service and actually found a buyer conpletely independent from them. I have never signed a contract but i was willing to cover their expenses but not the full fee. I was wondering where i stand legally without a signed contract?

Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

What do you specifically want to know about, whether you're liable for fees through the buyer being found by you?

Customer:

yes, the estate agent is stating that i should pay the full fee or they will take me to court and they say they do this all the time and win. I am confused as i never agreed that they would be my sole agent and never agreed to be tied into a contract

tdlawyer :

Did you agree that you would pay the fee if you found somebody? Did you agree that they would have any exclusivity?

Customer:

No, as the housing market is moving so quickly at the moment i clearly said that i didn't want to be tied into a 'Sole agent' contract

tdlawyer :

Good. Then in that case, you're not likely to be liable to pay the fee. To be liable, you would have to have had an agreement to that effect and everything you say here makes me believe there is no such agreement at all.

Customer:

There was a contract in their booklet but i never agreed to it and didn't even notice it until they told me it was in there. i was quite happy to pay up to 60% out of good will to ensure that their costs were covered and to keep things amicable. I really don't want to get into a situation where we have a dispute throught the courts and don't really kow what to do next....

tdlawyer :

okay - just handing you a document/contract isn't enough, you'd need to agree to it.

tdlawyer :

If you don't want to fight - then you need to try and do a deal.

tdlawyer :

You need to make the points you're making to me, which are good ones, about the absence of signing the agreement etc. and that you didn't even notice it.

Customer:

would they be likely to win if it went to court? their contract actually states that it is valid for 0 days anyway??

tdlawyer :

I dont think they would from what you're telling me.

tdlawyer :

No agreement = reaonable fee for service carried out.

tdlawyer :

That's the general position in default of agreement.

tdlawyer :

So your liability would be a reasonable fee for the service carried out. But if the agreement was you'd pay a commission on finding a buyer, that's a firm agreement, you pay when THEY find a buyer.

Customer:

they did find a buyer but they accepted the offer on my behalf and then prevented any other viewings where further offers could be put forward as they wanted the quick sale

tdlawyer :

They can't really do that. And this is why you're not happy?

Customer:

yes because i recieved a direct offer of more a few days later, so if they had done their job properly i am convinced that i would have recieved higher offers for the purchse of my house

tdlawyer :

Okay, then you could argue that there should be a reduction in their cost for this reason.

tdlawyer :

It's difficult to put a precise figure on that, maybe a 40% reduction is fair?

Customer:

i have agreed to pay 60% but they have not accepted that

tdlawyer :

Ah ... we're thinking the same things then! Well, in that case, you need to consider a revised offer or let them sue you and then defend it. You might have more leeway once proceedings have been issued to settle - as proceedings often focus minds!

Customer:

ok, thank you

tdlawyer :

Thank you. XXXXX ask whether you're happy with the service received today please?

Customer:

Yes i am, thank you

tdlawyer :

Thank you. Have yourself a great day.

tdlawyer :

Please remember to rate the answer for me. Thank you!

Customer:

ok Thanks

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