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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I signed a contract to sell my property on August 16th 1014

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I signed a contract to sell my property on August 16th 1014 and the company marketed the house until 28th November 2014 when I contacted the Agent asking him to remove the house from the market because I would be moving in to the property myself. He removed all sales information from Rightmove and other marketing sites at this time. The contract states that is for three months and may be terminated after that period in writing this terminated on the 27th October 1014. I assumed that the conversation and the subsequent agents actions were sufficient to terminate the contract. I decided to re market the property with another agent in February 2015 and the property was sold. The original agent has now contacted me in April 2015 requesting commission in full. This I have declined having already paid commission to the selling agent. He has now issued an invoice for £9639:00 threatening legal action if it is not paid and interest t 4% above Nat West rate if it is not paid within 10 days. I believed as of the contract had been terminated what is my position please.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. For the avoidance of doubt from what you say you did not cancel the contract in writing please but rather just verbally?The original agent from what I understand played no part in arranging the eventual sale and the buyer was not originally intorduced through the original agent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Re the cancelling of the contract, that is correct I did not cancel in writing but relied on the telephone conversation and his subsequent actions in removing the property from sale from his and Rightmove web sites.

e paragraph 2 The original agent played no part in the eventual sale.

Many thanks. One final question if I may - do you know if the contract with the original agent was a "sole agency" agreement as opposed to "sole selling rights" agreement? It is very likely to have been the former as the latter are comparatively rare. You can tell by checking to see that the agreement appointed the agent as your "sole agent" but does not mention "sole selling rights".
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it was a Sole agency agreement for a minimum period of 12 weeks

Perfect many thanks for that. On the basis that the agreement is a sole agency agreement then whether you cancelled the agreement or not, the agent should not be entitled to commission if he did not introduce the buyer.There is a leading case of Foxtons v Bicknell in which the Court of Appeal decided that Foxtons was not entitled to a £20,000 fee after a buyer it had originally introduced to a property but who decided not to purchase the property at the time, then went on to buy the property at a later date through another agent (Hamptons I believe).The court decided that 'introduced' meant introducing a buyer to the 'purchase' and not just to the 'property'. In this particular case, the buyer had made it clear to Foxtons that she was not interested at that time in buying the property and therefore Foxtons could not claim their fee. Obviously the facts here are even more stark in that the original agent from wha tyou say had nothing to do with the buyer so they are in an even worse position that were Foxtons who at least had some contact with the buyer previously.If an estate agent uses the term 'sole agency' in his agreement, then he must use the statutory explanation of 'sole agency' set out in the Schedule to the Estate Agents (Provision of Information) Regulations 1991. The only exception to this requirement would be if the use of the statutory explanation would be misleading because of other provisions of the agreement. The statutory explanation of 'sole agency' does permit an estate agent to claim his fee if the property is sold by another estate agent but to a person 'introduced' by a third party during his sole agency period. However, the Court of Appeal's ruling has now made it clear that 'introduced' means to the purchase and not just to the property. According to the Court of Appeal as above 'in order to be entitled to a commission under the Terms for having introduced a purchaser, Foxtons have to show that they introduced the person concerned as the (eventual) purchaser, or…that they introduced the purchaser to the purchase and not merely to the property.'Accordingly you may wish to consider reverting to the agent referring them to the above legislation and the above case and invite them to immediately withdraw their invoice failing which advise them that they should consider your email or letter a formal complaint as to their conduct and ask them for a final response together with details of their Ombudsman of which they are required to be a member. You can advise that if the invoice is not withdrawn and is demanded unlawfully you will having received their final response refer the matter to their Ombudsman and seek compensation for your wasted time. under legislation, all estate agents are required to be a member of 3 ombudsman services and the decision of the ombudsman is binding upon the estate agent though it is not upon you. The service is free to use and can award compensation where it finds it appropriate to do so.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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