How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask ivorylounge Your Own Question
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33523
Experience:  Barrister at Self Employed Barrister
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
ivorylounge is online now

We took our house off the market in December 2014 and decided

This answer was rated:

We took our house off the market in December 2014 and decided to let it but just prior to this we had a low cash offer which we rejected. In Feb this year the estate agent rang and said that the person who made the offer were going to put their house on the market in the hope that it would sell by the time our tenants 6-month tenancy was up in July and would we consider selling the house to them them. We said we would consider this but our tenants were also interested in buying the house, but as they couldn't do so until later and the person who had originally offered on it managed to sell their house to complete in July and so we agreed to sell it to them and gave our tenants notice to vacate the house. We were selling at the price we had dropped it down to in Dec 14 in a last bid to sell it prior to having to let it again until the market improved at £272500 as this is when they had made their offer. They were supposed to be cash-buyers and we were told this all along. The tenants vacated the house earlier and the purchasers wanted to view it prior to buying and we met them along with the estate agent at end of June - hoping to exchange in early July. It was in excellent condition having recently been newly painted and decorated throughout and they were happy to go ahead - however they were now waiting on a mortgage and were not cash-buyers as we had been led to believe all along, so there was a slight delay in when they could exchange.
When we were there that day I noticed that the house next door but one - which was exactly the same type of house as ours, but it had a tandem garage attached to next door house, and only a thin front lawn which went onto the road and parking for one car on their drive - compared to our house which had a double gated entrance to a large drive enough for about 6 cars along with a detached double garage opposite our house, and their house had a sold sign outside- which seemed to have sold very quickly as it was not on the market in the few weeks or so since I was last at our house. Being exactly the same house type as ours I asked the estate agent if she know how much it had sold for - and she said £265000 - to which I replied that I was pleased that we were getting more for ours - as we should do with all the extra drive etc, then the purchasers of our house mentioned that it was their friends who were buying it so that their children could play together. So the sale went through in July. Then a couple of weeks
ago we had an email come through form house prices sold in your area - and noticed that that one had sold for 285K not the 265K that I had been told. I am annoyed that the estate agent did not tell me the truth especially as she was acting for us and therefore should have tried to obtain the best possible price for us (we originally had our house on with them for 290K and had only dropped it because they kept telling us to) we can only assume that she told us that house had sold for less than we were getting for ours as she had two sales resting on our sale as she was also selling the purchasers property as well as ours, and as it was so near to exchange and completing she didn't want to "rock the boat". I have since found out that our estate agent also valued that house and knew that they would not accept any less than 385K for it. I have written to the estate agent telling her all the above and she has replied stating that she told me that she had valued that house at 290K and had mentioned another house was on the market nearby at 265K ( a different type to ours) and that the one next door but one to ours was valued at that price due to its good presentation - apparently I have heard that it was old-fashioned inside as an old couple lived there - ours was in show-room condition with wooden type floors and had the extra drive and detached double garage - so I believe she should have told me that maybe we could get more for our house as they had sold theirs for 285K - but I was not given this information. As she has denied this in her reply to my accusation that she undersold our house, my next stage is to go to the Property Ombudsman and I wondered if you could advise me on where I stand and how to go about putting this across.
I look forward to hearing from you
***** ***** tel: 01453 849300
Is it your case that the agent has simply been negligent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I wanted to know what I should say to the ombudsman on what grounds my claim is and if you think there is a case that the property was undersold.

Thank you for that. The basis of your claim would be on misrepresentation and/or breach of contract - it that you relied on the advice of your estate agent and you consider that they basically got it wrong. That this was either simply in error (negligence) or I think you are stating perhaps intentionally to ensure that they also sold other properties. These cases are not simple - in fact without evidence of an undercharge quite difficult to prove. You would need a surveyor to agree with you that at that time your property was in fact worth considerably more than it was sold for and the agent got it wrong. Happy to discuss but please rate positive
ivorylounge and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
I hope that this helps - please rate positive - thanks