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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I have a dispute with my estate agent over commisison. In

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I have a dispute with my estate agent over commisison. In discussions he said that our fee would be 0.9% unless he sold for over £250k, in which case it would be 1.1% - which I agreed. He wrote on the form, "0.9% unless 250+ = 1.1%"
We sold for exactly 250,000. He is claiming that our contract says 250, 00 or more so is charging 1.1% I am claiming that he said it had to be more than 250,000 and this is he meant, and I understood, when he wrote 250+ = 1.1%
I have two questions really, one - do you think I have a case that I have been misled, or that the contract is confusing, or he is not acting in the spirit of what I he said the contract would be?
Two - Should I pay the full amount before I put my case to the Property Ombudsmen in 8 weeks time, or should I pay the bit that is not disputed and with hold the last £600 until a decision has been made?
Many thanks
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today.
The wording does appear a little ambiguous. Usually to avoid ambiguity wording such as '250,000 or more' would be used. The wording as it stands indicates that 1.1% would be become payable if the selling price "exceeded" 250,000 which the deal did not. The "+" indicates"more than" not "equal to".
My view is that you should pay him the lower sum which he is due anyway and argue the balance. There is no point withholding the whole sum which might be seen as being unreasonable.
This is certainly worth a complaint to the ombudsman service; you have nothing to lose. The issue is interpretation of the agreement and the commission payable under it.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for your time and advice.

My pleasure. Have a good weekend.