We've just withdrawn our house from the market after nine months. We've had no interest at all and despite being told that they would contact us each month with an update, we've always had to chase up the estate agents to find out what's happening.
We've been the ones making suggestions about how to drum up more interest, eg reducing the price, including a floor plan and even suggesting it might be an idea to put a picture in the agents' window. Basically, they've done nothing besides putting up a board and sticking it on rightmove.
We sent a letter saying we were disappointed with their poor service, outlining the reasons above. They have now invoiced us for a £150 withdrawal fee and didn't even mention the issues raised, let alone apologise for them. I would have no problem paying this even without a sale if I had seen some activity on their part but it really grates given that they've done so little.
What's the likelihood that they will drop the fee if asked? Or do we just have to suck it up?
(It's a lovely house in a nice quiet area. Nothing needs doing to it and the decor's all neutral. We've since decided to let it and the letting agents found two potential tenants within a week. A different market I know but still...)
Does your contract with them say this fee will be payable if you withdraw the property from sale with them? I would be surprised if it does, outside the initial period which you were tied in for (usually more like 3 months). Even if it does, if they invoiced you following your complaint of poor service etc. it's a bit of a cheek. I would be minded to ignore raise your complaints again in response. Do check what your contract says though.
We've looked at the contract again and the fee is payable if you withdraw after 28 days. I think when we signed we just didn't think that we'd still be there nine months later doing the estate agents' job for them. They sent out a pro forma letter with the invoice inviting us to come back to them if we needed help selling in the future! I will be writing a snotty letter tomorrow I think... Grr.
I wouldn't be paying it - check the contract first of all to see if you're obliged to pay it. if you can't see anything, write back and say you are under no obligation to pay it, and even if you were, you think on the back of their dreadful service that it should be waived.
Stick to your guns - I refused to pay £200 of our estate agents' fees (even though they did in fact get us a sale because I'd effectively written the particulars, had to chase them every step of the way, they didn't put it on the market for 2 weeks after they said they would etc). Referred it to the Ombudsman in the end and he agreed with me.