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Can anyone offer some advice. I wanted to sell my business in 2009, I contact a business Estate Agent who agreed to market it for

me at a good price I signed up with him. From then onwards I heard very little going to nothing from the company. In 2011 I discussed with my employee about selling and she wanted to buy. I wrote to the agent and withdrew my business. My employee

then advised me she was not able to pay the amount I was asking for it. As I was by this time becoming ill with the stress of running

the business I agreed a lower price with her and we eventually exchanged contracts in February 2012. I had heard nothing at all

from the business who I originally was selling through - out of the blue in December 2012 they wrote to me telling me they had not received anything from me withdrawing the sale and wanted 3% of the original selling price - which in 2009 was considerably (500%)

higher than the figure I sold it for. I wrote back sending a copy of the original letter. They now have issued a County court

action for the full amount.

I walked away from my business with literally nothing after forty years by the time all debts were paid, and now live on a pension

there is no way I can pay them this money. I feel I did all the right things - they never sent one interested party to me in all the time they were my agent. The contract stated I had to give 28 days notice and then there would be no charge - I did that.

Any help would be appreciated.

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As Alloyz1 says above, it would be good to see the contract.


Is there anything in the contract which states for how long it is to run? Often there will be a reference to a specific time frame.


You have a copy of the letter which gave them the required 28 days notice and presumably the contract is quite specific about this?


If they did not send any prospective buyers in two years then they were clearly not marketing the property properly.


On the face of it they have absolutely no hope of winning this, but I suppose they could lie.


When did the Summons arrive? You will have only 14 days to reply to say you wish to defend. You will have a further 14 days to prepare and send the Defence to the Court.


If you do not reply on time they will get Judgment by Default.

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  • 6 months later...

Seven months on, I have now been to court, although I may as well have stayed at home. The judge gave the agent judgement within ten minutes, on the basis that I had

started the negotiations with my employee- so the agent was entitled to his money in full straight away. Despite the contract actually stating '"if unconditional contracts for the sale of the business are exchanged". So for anyone else selling their business through this means, be AWARE that they can be liable for costs despite doing all the right things.

The judge would not even let me appeal.

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