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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71046
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am selling my house. My contract with the estate agent states:

Customer Question

I am selling my house. My contract with the estate agent states: " In this instance we are acting as a sole agents and will continue to do so for the minimum period of 16 weeks and therefore as sole agents for the same period automatically on the expiry of each period unless you give us written notice converting this agreement to a multiple agency or the agreement is terminated by written notice being given to the other, such notice to take place 21 days after the receipt of written notice. In case of multiple agency or for sole agency where no minimum period is specified then the agency will continue until 14 days after the receipt of written notice. If other agents are instructed at any time remuneration is calculated as 2.95% of the sale consideration of the property."
1. Can I terminate my contract giving a written notice at any time during the 16 weeks period?
2. If I decide to sell with another agency, do I owe the remuneration stated above (which is higher) anyway to my agency or just in case my agency sells the house?
Thank you in advance!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
1 Not on the face of that contract. You can cancel at the end of 16 weeks giving the required period of notice but not lawfully mid term.
2 There is an argument that it is due. It is clearly in your contract. You could argue that it is void because it amounts to a fine and so is void under UCTA. Whether a court would accept that or not is another matter. In fairness, they have a lost profits claim which might amount to this sum anyway or it might not. It is an arguable point. There is case law that weakens these things by effectively observing that a particular agent should not claim commission if they have not brought about the sale even in some small way but you are obviously taking a risk.
If you want to avoid this though I would just let the contract expire and give notice.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo, it is sufficiently clear.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
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