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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47404
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Estate agents contract - can I challenge "sole selling rights"

Customer Question

Estate agents contract - can I challenge "sole selling rights" and "ready, willing and able" terms in a contract? are these 'standard' terms?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a copy of the agreement I can take a look at?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hi Ben, attached file. it's on behalf of my daughter and husband who haven't sold property before. it's 30 years since I last did! this contract seems entirely one-sided. there appears to be no way that they can get out of it if, for instance, she gets posted to work in Rio for Olympics and they withdraw from a sale .... Andy
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your patience. The use of these specific terms is a standard occurrence in estate agent contracts and has even been the subject of formal reports and investigations by the Property Ombudsman. The situation as it stands now is that estate agents are entirely free to include these terms in their contracts but they have to use certain definitions to describe these to ensure that sellers are aware of what they are actually agreeing to. A lot of the disputes that the Ombudsman deals with in relation to this are from people who argue that they did not fully understand their meaning and as such were misled.
There is nothing stopping you from negotiating with the agent before you enter into an agreement with them to try and amend these restrictions but if that is their standard contract they may easily refuse to budge. If that is the case then it is a matter of shopping around and finding an agent whose terms are more favourable and you are happy to be bound by.
The only other way out if you have already signed the agreement is to try and argue that it did not follow the required definitions of these terms and was misleading.
The Ombudsman Report, which provides some interesting reading on this subject can be found here:
https://www.tpos.co.uk/images/documents/interim-reports/interim-report-2-2012.pdf
The law with the specific definitions I mentioned can be found here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1991/859/schedules/made
I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you Ben, it's difficult I know and contracts are only valid if understood and agreed by both sides.
still seems very one-sided and ignores what might be common circumstances of 'Life' getting in the way of good intentions.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
yes of course I understand that but in the end they are providing a service and you either decide to use it based on their terms or refuse to work with them and fine someone with better terms or sell privately