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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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February last year I put my property on the market with a local

Customer Question

February last year I put my property on the market with a local estate agent. After the contract period I decided that they had not been very pro active in selling, the property had been advertised on Rightmove and the shop window but never appeared in the local papers and the viewings I had they were mostly unable to send an agent so I had to take time off work to show potential buyers around. I took the house away from them and placed with another agent, a lot more viewings, I did reduce the price of the house because the agents fees were half of what the original agent was.

In September last year I had a viewing from a lady whom I recognised from viewing with the first agent. I telephoned my new agent to notify her of this. This later went on to put in an offer and purchase the property. I had spoken to my new agent about the fact that she was introduced by another agent but was reassured that this would not be a problem and my agent also told me that the purchaser would not purchase the house through the original agent because I would not have been able to reduce enough with their fees.

The sale was pushed through very fast and in fact I had to go into temporary accommodation because of this. I paid my new agent her fee. A week later I had an invoice drop through the door from the original agent for £6k being their fee for introducing the buyer. I am absolutely mortified that I had already paid one agent and now I have to pay a second. I have brought the problem up with the second agent and she has completely dismissed it. Please I would appreciate any advice, I really cannot afford to pay 2 agents especially when I reduced the price of the house too

Lorraine Stockley
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello Lorraine my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Did the first agent ever agree to waive the fee at all please? Was this in writing?

Customer:

No, I received a letter from them a few weeks after I put with second agent with a list of people that had viewed. I did tell the 2nd agent that this lady was on that list

Alex Watts :

And I assume the agreement with agent 1 states you are liable for the fee if anyone they have introduced goes through with the purchase, regardless of whether THEY carry it through?

Customer:

Unfortunately it does, my 2nd agent reassured me that I would not have this problem and I am feeling so let down by her

Alex Watts :

Did the 2nd agent but that in writing?

Customer:

No unfortunately she didnt, it was all verbal and she wont even speak to me about it now

Alex Watts :

Its bad news then I am afraid, you are liable for the 1st agent fee because you have a legally binding contract.

Alex Watts :

However you may have a claim against the 2nd agent, if they told you that you would need not worry about the fee

Alex Watts :

Ideally you would need some record of this conversation or witness.

Customer:

I reduced the house because her fees were less and now it looks that I am going to have to pay higher fees and less equity

Alex Watts :

If you have some evidence you may be able to issue proceedings against the 2nd agent for the 1st agent fees.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


 


If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.


 


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


 


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.


 


Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

If she is denying conversations how do I stand. I believe she said to the purchaser of my house that if she went through the first agent then she would have to buy the house at the orginal price

Alex Watts :

Ok - it may be tricky in that case.

Alex Watts :

You are liable for the fee, there is no doubt about that

Alex Watts :

But as I said you may have a claim against the second agent.

Customer:

When you say set out my losses, that would be the fee I am to pay to the first?

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Sadly yes.

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