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Estate agent claiming a fee when no agreement is signed

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Hello Guys,


I trust you're all well. Could someone please help me with a problem that has airing with a national estate agent. Sorry it's a bit long winded!!!


We placed our property for sale with this agent, who found a buyer within about 4-5 weeks. During this time we were looking for a property to buy, assuming that we'd sell our home. Everything they showed us wasn't really what we were looking for, until the manager of our local branch called us to say that they've just been to value a property that would suit us but they have not signed it up because the owner of the house (who was left the house in a will by her aunt) was emotionally attached to the house and may not sell it immediately. We asked the agent or the address, but they would give it to us however they gave us a description of the house and the area of where the house was situated. We set off to find the house, and narrowed it down to a shortlist of 1. We asked the agent if this was the house, to which he said yes.

We liked the house from the outside and said that we would really like to see inside. Over the next couple of weeks the agent was in email contact with the owner, who said that they haven't made up their mind about selling the house. By this time we had accepted an offer on our house with completion set at 8 weeks. With this in mind, we asked the agent to contact the house owner again to see if we can have a look inside, as we've sold our house. A couple of days later the agent ace back to us and said that the house was not fore sale. As we'd pinned all of our hopes on this property and with the completion of our house set in May, we composed a short letter and put it through the letter box of the house that we'd like to view.

Almost a week passed before we got a phone call from the house owner saying that they liked our letter and would now consider selling the house to us. We made an appoint to view the house directly with the owner for last Sunday. We duly viewed the house, loved it and came to an agreement on price. However today we got a phone call from the agent saying that he knows of our involvement in the purchase of the house that he introduced us to and that he has written to the vendor. He wouldn't tell me the content of the letter, however I can only assume that he is claiming a fee from the vendor!!


So, my questions are, 1) can the agent claim a fee from the seller when there is no signed contract between them? & 2) has the agent broken any data protection laws or any other laws by telling us of the property for sale, in the absence of a contract?


As always


Thank you so much in advance



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I imagine he can try! but the vendor would be under no obligation to pay them anything.

Not really your problem!


Tend to agree that it is not your problem - except that his involvement might put a spanner in the works if the vendor was hoping to get away without paying a fee. Obviously agent and vendor may have had discussions that amount to an oral contract.


I would assume that he phoned you as a fishing exercise to confirm his suspicion.

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concur with the above. the agents have a right to collect their money if the sale is a result of their involvement, even if it is after an agreed contract has expired. The agent's problem appears to be that they never had the contract in the first place so would have to rely on reasonable expectations of being renumerated for work done. This is basically an oral contract and may well be enforceable but could just be a claim for their time and expenditure rather than a fixed percentage of the sale value.

However, not your worry unless you promised them a finders fee.

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  • 2 weeks later...

if the vendor has not singed a contract of sale with the agent, then he can not be charged. The agent was very foolish to give you any info that could lead you to the property. However if the vendor has signed a contract with the agent, they are with in their rights to charge the vendor, as they have in fact "introduced" a buyer to them.

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Thank you for your replies.


There has been no mention of a finders fee to the agent. All and any info that they offered to us was completely voluntary :0)

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