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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3656
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Stuart. I put my house on with a local estate agent as a 'sole agent' a few

Customer Question

Hi Stuart. I put my house on with a local estate agent as a 'sole agent' a few weeks ago (12 week contract) - my contract was signed within my property that I'm selling. Due to the inability of the agent to get a single viewing, I emailed them within 12 days of the contract being signed to remove it from the market, to which they replied they will do immediately and it was. I have since found another house I wish to buy (new build) and the house builders have a service where they market my house for me in order to sell quickly and buy theirs. Obviously my original Estate agents have now seen the new marketing and have threatened to claim their fees should I sell. I haven't instructed the new agents myself, the house builders have and I haven't signed any other contract, again the sell is between the house builders and the newly instructed Estate agent. Also, am I right in saying I am entitled to a 14 say cooling off period with my original Estate agents as I signed at hom
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was informed of a cooling off period but should I have been so legally and am entitled to it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry meant to say I wasn't informed of a cooling off period
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. In the 12 day period that you signed the contract did they actually do any work? What "fees" are they threatening to claim? A full commission? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex, thanks for your email. They sent 1 family round to view and that was it, didn't even receive a feedback call from them. There was no communication at all, not even to suggest lowering the asking price to attract more views - I called them and suggested that myself. the fees they are looking for, if I sell elsewhere, are their 1%plus vat sole agents fees
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Thank you. I would write to them as follows:(i) Say you have lawfully exercised your right to terminate the agreement;(ii) You at no point agreed to pay any termination fees;(iii) Say you deny any liability to pay them a 1% commission for a sale they at no point introduced;(iv) If they pursue you for this money you will deem it harassment under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 - which is a criminal offence. (v) Say you hope this brings the matter to a close, but if they insist on harassing you further you will report them to Trading Standards - http://www.tradingstandards.ukIf they do actually sue you, they won't be able to until (a) the property has actually been sold (b) they have to prove they could charge a termination commission. In any event if they do sue you, you will have to take steps to defend the claim or alternatively offer then a couple of £100 in settlement to make the matter go away.I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your email. Are we legally entitled to the 14 day cooling off period as this wasn't mentioned when signing the sole agents contract?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi thank you. You signed the contract at home but did the estate agent actually approach you for the services at your home? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, by luck I bumped into the agent in the high street as he was going to post through my letterbox. Instead he handed to me, asked me to take home, sign and return, which I did (signed at home, and hand delivered back the following morning to their office) as requested. The agent was not present in my house when I signed, he simply asked me to take home, sign then return
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ps the above relates to the sole contract paperwork
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi thank you. The cooling off period only applies if you negotiated the service provision away from the estate agents office. The contract should still contain a termination right in any event? Can you send me the contract? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex, what's the best way to send the contract, my scanner is playing up but happy to take a picture and email over
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hopefully contract attached, thanks
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Thank you. Clause 2.7 says you can terminated the agreement on 14 days written notice, so you have given 14 days. My only concern is they have not arranged the sale, but they have drawn a floor plan and advertised, they may have grounds to claim a small administration charge for this but this wont be 1% of the sale. If they sue you I would try and settle this as soon as possible by offering a couple of hundred pounds at the very most? I would start by writing to them as I have detailed above. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex, but clause 2.6 shows 2 weeks notice required At expiry of agreed agency period (which is 12 weeks) hence I asked if we are legally entitled to 2 weeks cooling off periodThank you
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Thank you. ***** explained I am afraid you are not entitled to rely on the cooling off period, if the service was sold to you at the premises of the estate agent - did you ever attend the estate agents office?As things stand you have actually terminated the agreement anyway, and the agency have not introduced a sale. Therefore you are potentially in breach of contract, the claim for a breach of contract is any losses that are a naturally occurring consequence of your breach, this would not be 1% commission- it would be their wasted costs in advertising the property. Therefore even if you are not entitled to terminate the agreement, the fact remains if they sued they would only be able to claim wasted administration costs (i.e cost of drawing a floor plan or the cost of putting up an advertising board etc).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex, that's clearer now. Thank you for your help
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To answer your question, the only time I entered the agent's premises was to find out why I've had a lack of interest, the contract was signed at home but hand delivered back
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Thank you. No problem. As I have explained, I would deny liable and stick your guns that the contract is terminated. If they sue you (which is their prerogative) then try and settle for the cost of the administration charges - you wont recover the time wasted dealing with a county court claim.If you never entered their premises and the services were sold either in your home or online, then you do have the right to a cooling off period.
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