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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22388
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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We are currently in a contract with an estate agent to sell

Customer Question

We are currently in a contract with an estate agent to sell our property but wish to terminate it. We need to give 28 days notice after the "Initial Period" which we understand. However we do not understand one aspect of the clause and would appreciate your clarification please. What follows is an extract from the 'Agency Agreement Terms' and our query relates to what is meant by the text at point b) please. Surely it cannot mean that they are entitled to their fee for 2 years following termination?
a) In accordance with the Code of Practice (TPO), following termination of our agreement, if a purchaser introduced by us or with whom we have negotiated goes on to buy the property through another agency (and even if you have paid that other agent a selling fee), we will still be entitled to our fee, if a Memorandum of Sale (or equivalent) is issued by the other agent within 6 (six) months of date of termination of our Instruction (at the end of the 28 (twenty eight) days notice) and where exchange of contracts takes place.
b) In all other cases, we will still be entitled to our fee for an exchange of contracts occurring up to 2 (two) calendar years from termination (at the end of the 28 (twenty eight) days' notice) of our agreement.
Regards Corriene
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 6 months ago.
Good afternoon. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today. I need some more information from you please. Have they introduced a purchaser to you who is likely to complete a purchase or is your concern that whatever happens within the next two years, even if, for example, another agent introduces someone, they are still going to ask for their fee?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. The first clause is clear enough and not unusual or unreasonable if, the sale completes with a purchaser introduced by them. That would be enforceable. However the second clause, b) to my mind, is rather Draconian. It would basically stop you selling your property within the next 2 years to anyone else unless you pay their fee! This clause would fall foul of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations because it is unfairly weighted in favour of the agent and they are standard terms which have not been individually negotiated. You didn’t have the option of going through this with them and say yes I agree to that and no I don’t agree to the other. It would be different if this had been pointed out to you specifically and clearly. Further, this would in effect be a windfall for them if they were to get paid at any time within the next 2 years because they would be being paid for work which they had not done. If they decide to pursue you for these costs, you are however going to have to defend them. I think they have very little chance however of going to court and winning if you decide to defend their action (which I would do!) On the basis of the facts that it is in breach of the Regulations for the reasons I have already stated. Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this? Please do not forget to rate my answer service positively so that I get credit for my time today. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly’Although you may get the impression that the thread closes after rating it does not, it stays open and you can follow up any points that you wish. Thank you once again for your question. Kind regards
Expert:  Stuart J replied 6 months ago.
Good morning. This thread is still open. Can I assist youany further with it?When you get a moment, please do not forget to use therating service. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it’s really importantotherwise the expert doesn’t get credit. Thank you.Kind regards

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