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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We are currently purchasing a house. We are cash buyers,

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Hi We are currently purchasing a house. We are cash buyers, we have the funds available and do not need to sell our current house. Our current house has no mortgage. We are buying from a lovely old couple who in turn are buying a smaller house.
We called to see the couple we are buying from this evening, they informed us that a local estate agent said that they knew us and our financial status and we DID NOT have the availabe funds and they were therefore they were less attractive buyer than somebody else who was interested in the property. The old couple had to increase their bid by £5000 to secure the deal. I know the name of the actual agent involved.
We had tried to buy a property in the area over a year ago through this estate agent. since then I have received a six figure insurance payment as I contracted cancer which has thankfully been subsequently been cured.
Can you advise what legal recourse I have please:
We feel that the estate agent has cast aspirations on our character, effectively calling us lairs, further the inaccurate information they cited was out of date and confidential. This negligence has caused the old couple 'damage' as they had to pay an extra £5k that they can ill afford.
It would be great if I had a case for us, but more importantly for the old couple that have had to pay extra.
Any queries please ask.
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.

Could you kindly clarify please - why did the couple have to increase their offer by £5K as a result of the information the agent provided please? I follow entirely everything else you say but I suspect there is a missing component which may not have been mentioned as the above is not clear to me. Could you kindly advise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi the reason the couple we persuaded to increase their offer was that they were one of 2 parties trying to purchase a house. both parties agreed to pay the asking price however the estate agent (who we had previously been in contact with) said he would have to advise the seller that the old couple did 'not' have a cash buyer (my wife and I) as he knew we did not have the funds and would have to 'remortgage or sell our house.

This put the old couple at a disadvantage (due to incorrect information) and therefore were persuaded to pay an extra £5 k to secure the purchase. We do not know how the local estate agent knew that we we buying the old couples property.

This in turn caused the older couple increased anxiety as they thought we may not have the funds to complete the purchase of their property.

I hope this makes sense.


Thank you very much for the explanation. Lastly, the estate agent in question - do I understand that this is the estate agent acting for the seller of the property the couple are buying from?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes that is correct.

We used a different agent to purchase the property from the old couple.


Many thanks. I do not wish to be anything other than positive but I am concerned that this may be difficult to pursue based on what you say. With your permission I will address your position and then the couples'.
As regards ***** ***** the agents have from what you say provided in correct information about you to a third party. If you could show this information damaged your reputation and caused you loss then you may have a claim against them for libel. However I consider that you would potentially struggle with the former and that you have suffered no loss so a claim would be dificult to conceive. Libel claims are extremely expenseive to pursue - fees of £50K plus are not unusual and can often be considerably higher so libel claims are in practice reserved to those with very deep pockets. There is the potentialto fashion a cliak for libel (presumably specifically slander in the assumption that the information was spoken rather than written) but if it was only communicated to one or two parties, the potential for damages would be limited and the costs of pursuing a claim could be very high. It is therefore a situation where the risks could not justify the reward unless you have very deep pockets and were prepared to risk legal costs on a point of principal. You could contact the agents with a cease and desist letter requiring the agents to correct their incorrect information and undertake to not inform any one else of incorrect information about you failing which you reserve our right to bring a claim for defamation.

In terms of the couple, from their perspective it seems like the estate agent has been very effective at doing an estate agents job by encouraging them to increase their offer. The couple would have no claim against the agents for this as this is the function of an estate agent - albeit an agent cannot lie or misrepresent facts in order to secure an offer though the agentwould undoubtedly claim they gave the information in good faith. The couple if they have the stomach for it may do well to consider reducing their offer on the basis it was obtained under false information though whether it is wise for you to encourage this is questionable as it will do you no good if their purchase does not proceed. Ultimately I suspect the agent may have found another reason to encourage them to increase their offer if it was not for the incorrect information they provided. Agents are never happier than when they have more than one buyer to play off each other.

If you are unhappy with regards ***** ***** agents, which I would fully expect to be the case and would like to pursue the matter albeit not at the risk of potential huge legal costs, you may consider a formal complaint to the agents and following their response. consider a complaint to the Property Ombudsman of which they are required by law to be a member. The Ombudsman can determin complaints on the basis of a breach of the Estate Agents Code of Practice and can award compensation where they find a breach. I would not wish to suggest that such a complaint is bound to result in compensation, but it may at least cause the agent some work and censure as excessive complaints to the Ombudsman can result in disciplinary action and of course the threat of compensation being awarded.

I hope the above is of assistance though I am sorry I have not been able to be more positive but I have a duty to advise you based on the facts and the law and it would not be fair to attempt to spin either to raise false hope. I hope the above gives you some thoughts as to what further actions you may wish to take though. 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

Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much, your response was both clear and very helpful.

Kind regards


I am glad it was of assistance. Good luck with your purchase