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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Cancelled my contract with Barstow Eves within the cooling

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Cancelled my contract with Barstow Eves within the cooling off period due to incompetence on their part. Later sold privately, but to a buyer who was first introduced by Barstow Eves - they now want full commission - what is my liability?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What does the contract say upon cooling off and the removal of liability?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, I discarded their contract after cancellation!

They undertook no proper marketing, other than a A4 photocopied photograph of the property I was selling, only put it on line AFTER i cancelled the contract. Misrepresented the property in the online description and were just plain incompetent. I find it utterly unbelievable that instead of trying to rectify the problem they merely sat in wait until I sold the property then pounced! By the way they want £9600 for doing nothing! They are stating (am waiting for a copy of the contract to be sent to me) that under a certain section - their contractual fee is due should I exchange with a purchaser that was introduced by them - surely failure to supply a service would negate this?

Well, surely if they introduced the buyer they must have done something?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They introduced him as he had registered with them to find a property in the area in which I live. They trawled through a few potential buyers before any marketing took place - even going as far as demanding final offers within 24 hours of my instruction - without marketing the property to a wider audience. They also embarked on a negative strategy and misrepresented the property. The contract was cancelled within 3 days - signed on Thursday cancelled on Monday - the whole process on their part was amateurish to say the least! They basically had 5 potential buyers on their books whom they contacted and arranged viewings - non of whom wanted to pay the asking price. Bairstowe Eves then tried to get me to fit into their potential buyers limits rather than marketing my property - which I later advertised privately and one of the original viewers came back to me.

Surely £9600 is rather a lot to ask for nothing more than an introduction???

If they introduced this buyer and this buyer wanted to buy the property, why would they carry on marketing the property?
It could just as easily have been the first person they introduced bought it or the hundredth.
Importantly, did the buyer by the property before he saw only of the marketing material or afterwards?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He saw none of the marketing material from Bairstowe Eves he bought the property from my descriptions, selling off it, etc. There was no material in place when he first visited - I did the show around. When I advertised the property privately he came back for further viewings. No marketing was in place by Bairstowe Eves when he first bowed the property - they only put the property online the day I cancelled the contract and it was mainly due to their misrepresentation of the property that I cancelled the contract.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jo, how are you getting on with my response?
Would you be prepared to make them an offer of perhaps half?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Why should we do that when we fired them for incompetence - our property never reached a wider audience and therefore we were potentially deprived of a higher sale. They never once acted in our best interests - hence the reason for dismissing them. Surely we should be in a position of offering reasonable expenses and a finders fee?
That is what I am getting at.

What I am saying is to offer them something in full and final settlement of your indebtedness to them. It needs to be meaningful and not derogatory otherwise they will refuse it. However you are going to be far better to send them a cheque in full and final settlement rather than making them simple offer. The reason for that is quite simply because of they have a cheque in their hand as opposed to a simple offer they may be more inclined to cash the cheque than to take the issue to court and risk losing for breach of contract and breach of the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act for not carrying out the job with reasonable care and skill.

If you are sending a cheque the covering letter should tell them that if they fit they are accepting it in full and final settlement of all monies due to them under this transaction. It should go on to say that if they do not accept it, they should return it to you and cast and if they issue court proceedings against you you will defend them and counterclaim for any other loss if you’ve suffered resulting from their breach of contract and breach of the Act.

I would also suggest that you tell them to take legal advice if they do not understand the significance of the letter.

If they then cashed the cheque, you produce the letter in court if they go that far.

What you have to do is make the the amount that you are offering attractive enough that they don’t want to bother taking you to court.

They obviously entitled to something because they did introduce the buyer to you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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