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Estate agent fees with private sale?

(9 Posts)
Deliaskis Wed 13-Jul-11 11:41:31

We have had our house on the market with a local estate agent since January. We have in the interim secured a private sale, not through another agent, completely privately. This came about as we wanted to buy her house, put a note through her door (expecting nothing to come of it) and she called back, and by coincidence said she needed to downsize and wondered if we would be interested in a swap.

She has never looked at our house on rightmove, never spoke to the estate agent, was not even looking to move house (very immediate divorce so only just getting round to thinking about sorting the house situation out), and we don't have a board up.

The estate agent says he is still due his fee.

The contracts says we have to pay if contracts are exchanged:
1. with a purchaser introduced by the agent
2. with a purchaser who has been in negotiations with the agent
3. with a purchaser introduced by another agent (it's a sole agency agreement)

Is this worth us fighting over or should we just pay up? I feel that as they had no involvement at all, and due to the unusual way the sale came about (which can to some extent be backed up by computer files etc.), they are not due anything except the 'withdrawal fee'.

Anyone advise?


HerHissyness Wed 13-Jul-11 14:08:29

If you had a board up, there might have been some case for him to argue, but as you didn't, he can't prove that he was instrumental in the sale, so therefore he is not entitled to take commission.

Pay the withdrawal fee, dis-instruct him and go on with your sale.

If he feels strongly, let him try and take you to court.. you can then call the local press and kill all his future instructions grin

He's chancing it.

Go to the CAB for proper advice - I'm not a solicitor - but the rule of thumb is usually that if it feels unfair, it probably is!

cookcleanerchaufferetc Wed 13-Jul-11 14:12:19

Call the national association of estate agents for advice.

noddyholder Wed 13-Jul-11 14:15:06

You don't owe them anything. They didn't introduce teh buyer and thats that.

Amateurish Wed 13-Jul-11 14:16:21

The agent is not due his fee according to the terms of your contract. Pay the withdrawal fee and nothing else. The agent doesn't have a leg to stand on without evidence that he introduced you to the purchaser.

noddyholder Wed 13-Jul-11 14:17:39

What is a withdrawal fee?

Deliaskis Wed 13-Jul-11 14:23:20

The withdrawal fee is £200 for us to end the contract (i.e. take it off the market). This would be due whether or not we had a private sale, and in all fairness, is to cover their administration of e.g. the details brochures, website marketing, arranging the few viewings we had etc. We're more than happy to pay this!


bibbitybobbityhat Wed 13-Jul-11 14:25:18

He has to prove that he or another agent introduced the buyer to you, whereas you can presumably prove that you introduced the buyer to yourself.

He is trying to intimidate you. Do not give in!!

Deliaskis Wed 13-Jul-11 14:36:22

Thanks for replies, I thought he was trying it on! Trying to get to CAB tomorrow morning for back-up, then going to draft an initial 'here's your £200, don't even think about going for the rest' letter.


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