How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Joshua Your Own Question

Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

We are currently purchasing a house. We are cash buyers,

Customer Question

Hi We are currently purchasing a house. We are cash buyers, we have the funds available and do not need to sell our current house. Our current house has no mortgage. We are buying from a lovely old couple who in turn are buying a smaller house.
We called to see the couple we are buying from this evening, they informed us that a local estate agent said that they knew us and our financial status and we DID NOT have the availabe funds and they were therefore they were less attractive buyer than somebody else who was interested in the property. The old couple had to increase their bid by £5000 to secure the deal. I know the name of the actual agent involved.
We had tried to buy a property in the area over a year ago through this estate agent. since then I have received a six figure insurance payment as I contracted cancer which has thankfully been subsequently been cured.
Can you advise what legal recourse I have please:
We feel that the estate agent has cast aspirations on our character, effectively calling us lairs, further the inaccurate information they cited was out of date and confidential. This negligence has caused the old couple 'damage' as they had to pay an extra £5k that they can ill afford.
It would be great if I had a case for us, but more importantly for the old couple that have had to pay extra.
Any queries please ask.
Thanks
Brian
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Could you kindly clarify please - why did the couple have to increase their offer by £5K as a result of the information the agent provided please? I follow entirely everything else you say but I suspect there is a missing component which may not have been mentioned as the above is not clear to me. Could you kindly advise?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi the reason the couple we persuaded to increase their offer was that they were one of 2 parties trying to purchase a house. both parties agreed to pay the asking price however the estate agent (who we had previously been in contact with) said he would have to advise the seller that the old couple did 'not' have a cash buyer (my wife and I) as he knew we did not have the funds and would have to 'remortgage or sell our house.

This put the old couple at a disadvantage (due to incorrect information) and therefore were persuaded to pay an extra £5 k to secure the purchase. We do not know how the local estate agent knew that we we buying the old couples property.

This in turn caused the older couple increased anxiety as they thought we may not have the funds to complete the purchase of their property.

I hope this makes sense.

Brian

Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the explanation. Lastly, the estate agent in question - do I understand that this is the estate agent acting for the seller of the property the couple are buying from?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is correct.

We used a different agent to purchase the property from the old couple.

Regards

Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks. I do not wish to be anything other than positive but I am concerned that this may be difficult to pursue based on what you say. With your permission I will address your position and then the couples'.
As regards ***** ***** the agents have from what you say provided in correct information about you to a third party. If you could show this information damaged your reputation and caused you loss then you may have a claim against them for libel. However I consider that you would potentially struggle with the former and that you have suffered no loss so a claim would be dificult to conceive. Libel claims are extremely expenseive to pursue - fees of £50K plus are not unusual and can often be considerably higher so libel claims are in practice reserved to those with very deep pockets. There is the potentialto fashion a cliak for libel (presumably specifically slander in the assumption that the information was spoken rather than written) but if it was only communicated to one or two parties, the potential for damages would be limited and the costs of pursuing a claim could be very high. It is therefore a situation where the risks could not justify the reward unless you have very deep pockets and were prepared to risk legal costs on a point of principal. You could contact the agents with a cease and desist letter requiring the agents to correct their incorrect information and undertake to not inform any one else of incorrect information about you failing which you reserve our right to bring a claim for defamation.

In terms of the couple, from their perspective it seems like the estate agent has been very effective at doing an estate agents job by encouraging them to increase their offer. The couple would have no claim against the agents for this as this is the function of an estate agent - albeit an agent cannot lie or misrepresent facts in order to secure an offer though the agentwould undoubtedly claim they gave the information in good faith. The couple if they have the stomach for it may do well to consider reducing their offer on the basis it was obtained under false information though whether it is wise for you to encourage this is questionable as it will do you no good if their purchase does not proceed. Ultimately I suspect the agent may have found another reason to encourage them to increase their offer if it was not for the incorrect information they provided. Agents are never happier than when they have more than one buyer to play off each other.

If you are unhappy with regards ***** ***** agents, which I would fully expect to be the case and would like to pursue the matter albeit not at the risk of potential huge legal costs, you may consider a formal complaint to the agents and following their response. consider a complaint to the Property Ombudsman of which they are required by law to be a member. The Ombudsman can determin complaints on the basis of a breach of the Estate Agents Code of Practice and can award compensation where they find a breach. I would not wish to suggest that such a complaint is bound to result in compensation, but it may at least cause the agent some work and censure as excessive complaints to the Ombudsman can result in disciplinary action and of course the threat of compensation being awarded.

I hope the above is of assistance though I am sorry I have not been able to be more positive but I have a duty to advise you based on the facts and the law and it would not be fair to attempt to spin either to raise false hope. I hope the above gives you some thoughts as to what further actions you may wish to take though. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much, your response was both clear and very helpful.

Kind regards

Brian

Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
I am glad it was of assistance. Good luck with your purchase

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
 
 
 

Related Law Questions