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chatham-chamber
chatham-chamber, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11847
Experience:  LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
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Thanos, we never formally agreed the quantum of your fee,

Customer Question

Hi Thanos, we never formally agreed the quantum of your fee, you did say you would like to get 2% to which I responded that I am wiling to pay you a "market rate". Having made several enquiries I believe that a 1% finders fee would be fair under the circumstances, however I am prepared to pay you a flat fee of £25k instead in the event my bid is successful. There are a number of reasons underpinning this which I am happy to talk you through but I do not want to negotiate on this. You recall that we initially met regarding a possible sale of my current property and therefore it came bit of surprise that you would want to charge me on buying a property! Robert
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Dear *****
As we are retained by you in this matter, I want to reiterate our fee arrangement, i.e. that if the above property is bought by yourself or by a member of your family or by a person or company associated with yourself, a fee of 2% (two per cent) of the sale price of the Property plus VAT shall be payable on exchange of contracts.
Thanos
My question: I am in disagreement about what fees I am due (if any) to a property finder with whom I have fallen out. I never signed a formal agreement and only had some email exchanges (example above). Whilst I acknowledge that he has acted as a representative (I meanwhile purchased the property) I wanted to know what my legal position is. What is the likely outcome if this goes to court? Also, technically speaking could I argue that since there is no formal written agreement in place, I am not due anything at all? What would be a reasonable outcome in your opinion?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Can you explain the circumstances some more?

Many thanks,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was introduced to Thanos who is a property agent in London to discuss a possible offmarket SALE of my current home. I showed him my property and very shortly after he contacted me saying that he in fact had a property to BUY for me and that I should come and see it immediately. Just before we entered the property he told me verbally "by the way I will charge you 2% in case you end up buying this property" to which I responded " I am surprised you want to charge me a fee as I was introduced to you regarding the SALE of my apartment and did not expect you would charge any fee at all"). I then said that I would be willing "to look after him". I never signed any contract for his services and I thought I made my position clear in the email exchange you have seen. I sent this email to him just before "exchange of contracts". I ended up paying almost £1m above asking price as he was pushing me to increase my bid (there were other bidders in a sealed bid) and I ended up grossly overpaying. It was clear to me that he was doing all of this in a desperate attempt for him to secure a fee.
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Thank you for the additional information. Based on the information you have provided, I cannot see how he can charge go a fee. You agreeing to 'look after' him is not a binding agreement and in any event, in the absence of a written agreement, it can be argued that there is an implied agreement however, these are notoriously difficult to prove and if the matter was to go to court, the courts will look at any correspondence surrounding the circumstances.

I would suggest that you do not pay him anything whatsoever. The general practice in the UK is that an agent would charge the seller a fee for marketing the property and finding a buyer, fees are not generally charged to purchasers.

I hope this answers your question. I so, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is various correspondence before and after exchange of contracts from which one could argue that he was acting as my representative, for example the sales memorandum of the property was sent to him and my offer letter (eventhough I drafted it) he sent to the selling agent so I think it will be difficult to argue that he was not acting as an agent for me. Does this change your view?
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

He may be acting as an agent for you on the sale of your property, but I cannot see how there can be a binding agreement in relation to your purchase. Therefore, my view still stands.

I hope this answers your question. I so, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the key point is that I never signed a contract? Under what circumstance would there have been a binding contract in your opinion?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If he can prove that he found the flat, introduced it to me and then conducted viewings and negotiations on my behalf, successfully securing the property - would that change your view?
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

In order to have a contract the three elements of offer, acceptance and consideration need to be present. In your case, I do not believe there was an acceptance on your part.

Therefore, my opinion still stands. If he wishes to recover anything from you, he would have to issue proceedings. It would then be for a judge to decide.

I hope this answers your question. I so, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,