Legal advice on property for sale with multiple agents?

by Readers Question

15:16 PM, 16th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Legal advice on property for sale with multiple agents?

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Legal advice on property for sale with multiple agents?

I need some legal advice on a property for sale, please. Three agents were advising on our property for sale back in September 2019. There were few offers, which were not accepted until January this year.

Agent A forwarded an offer in January, which was accepted but later on the buyer, which was a company pulled back. Few more offers sent by B & C were not accepted. “A “ again forwarded another offer in Late January, which was accepted.

After a valuation survey, the property was taken off the market on the request of A. All enquires done and exchange of contracts signed from our side. Since that Agent “A” has sent many emails and messages that everything is completed and exchange would be done in a weeks time, but it never happened because it was a chain and the buyer had a mortgage problem.

The property remained off the market till June without any progress. We had to spend a lot on mortgage, maintenance, utilities etc. Last month we put the property back in the market without Agent A.

This time Agent C, forwarded an offer a few days ago, which was accepted and C started their work. In the meantime, “A “ emailed us, stating the offer sent by C are the same people who were buying this property for their company through them, but now they are buying in their personal names.

If we sell to these people through Agent “C”, he will send us an invoice of commission since “A “ is the introducing Agent.

We are thinking of going to the Ombudsman Office with this whole scenario since “A “ has caused us a lot of loss with his pending sale and now again trying to delay the sale. Any good advice on offer, please.

Thank you

Mu



Comments

Graham Bowcock

11:52 AM, 17th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

The first thing to do is to read the terms of engagement that you will have signed with each agent. Any advice you receive here will be generic only and not binding unless the person advising has actually read the ToE that are actually in place.

On the face of it, it would seem that A did, in fact, introduce the new buyer and would be entitled to a commission. Buyers do sometimes change their nature (e.g. wife buying not husband, company not individuals) - I have done it myself depending on financing, etc.

If you signed with A and they effectively introduced the actual purchaser, then they will be due a fee BUT read the terms.

Mkahn

13:06 PM, 17th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Thank you for your response. Property was advertised by 3 Agents in 2019. Agent A introduced the party but later they declined. I understand when they declined , the case was closed. However another party of Agent A offer was accepted but they could not finish. Property remained off market for six months. Later re- advertised by Agent B & C. We did not allow A this time as we already suffered a great loss. Now Party introduced by A at the beginning want to buy but in their personal names through Agent C. Agent A is again stopping this sale. Is he entitled to do that.

Graham Bowcock

16:53 PM, 17th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mkahn at 17/07/2020 - 13:06
As I said before, it really does depend what you signed up to, but my initial view is that A would be entitled to a fee. I can't see that he is entitled to disrupt the sale - you can sell to whoever you like, the issue is really whether or not he is entitled to a fee, which is a contractual matter between you and him.

As ever with these questions, there is some complexity as you have multiple agents involved and have had the property off and on the market. The best way to get a definitive answer (notwithstanding there might not be one) is to take all your documentation to a solicitor and get their view.

If you delay the sale whilst arguing with A, any losses are unlikely to be reclaimed, so be wary about this approach.

Mkahn

17:04 PM, 17th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Thank you Graham Bowcock for your advice. Going to see a solicitor tomorrow.

Puzzler

10:18 AM, 18th July 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Why does anyone use more than one agent these days? Everything is on the internet so there's no advantage and it's more expensive. I don't think you can blame the agent for a buyer dropping out, it wouldn't be in their interests anyway.

You could offer to split the fee between the two


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