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Bullied and Intimidated by an Estate Agent


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Hi all

 

I am having a very unpleasant experience with a local estate agent who is behaving appallingly and wondered if I could exploit a little free advice before I have to contact a solicitor on Monday morning.

 

In August I signed a sole agency agreement with an estate agent for them to market my property for a period of 20 weeks.

This was on a set fee basis (instead of percentage based)

 

I can go into more detail about what happened in period until latest offer received but may not be relevant so to keep it short(er), finally accepted a substantially lower offer from a purchaser who was in no chain and who the estate agents state they had qualified as a cash buyer. I therefore agreed to withdraw the property from the market at this stage. This was the 29 September. However, as of the 30 October, the estate agents were still unable to give me an idea of the expected exchange or completion date, therefore I issued my own solicitor letter stating I wanted exchange of contracts by 10 November.

 

This didn't happen. I found out that the purchaser had not signed the contracts or deposited any monies with her solicitors at all. The local searches had been done and the buyer did not want a survey (house only 3 years old and NHBC 7 yr guarantee remaining). I therefore requested that the property be re marketed. The agents have refused to do this. They have not put the property back onto any of the well known property websites, or advertised in the local paper. I gave them notice that unless they did this I would withdraw their services.

As of 1/12 they had still not done this, their manner had become very aggressive refusing to advertise the property because they were 'still optimistic of this sale going ahead'

 

I cannot afford to keep paying a mortgage on an empty property and therefore had no choice to go to another estate agent to market the property. This is where all my problems have started.

The new agents abide by the code of estate agents and I have found out that the period of 20 weeks 'tie in' from the original agents was excessive (as stipulated by the code of conduct) but more importantly today I have been harrassed by a representative of the original estate agents coming into my garden and removing the new agents sign.

This has happened twice today.

 

Spoke to the agent who was very rude and aggressive basically telling me that I couldn't stop him or his representatives from putting a sign my garden if they stand in the road to do it, I can't remove it because it's their sign, and that even though they are refusing to market my property, they haven't broken the agreement, I have, by not giving their purchaser (even more!) time to complete the sale!!! Still has not deposited any money with her solicitors who are apparently aware that I am within my rights to re market the property and have as much trouble getting hold of their client as my agents do!!

They are not a member of the NAEA and do not subscribe to the ombudsman scheme. Is there no one that regulates these cowboys?

 

I don't want to end up paying 2 agency feess, nor do I want to get into a lengthy costly legal battle but I do not want to be threatened or intimidated again and will therefore not speak to them again so how can we have a client relationship any more. The are not a chain and it is the owner of the agency that is being so threatening. He's even told me what action he took against someone who did the same thing to him earlier this year (which was not very pleasant!)

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If it's their sign, they won't mind if you deliver it back to them as soon as their office opens first thing Monday morning then, will they? And if it happens to be gently smouldering when they find it tossed onto their doorstep, well, the person that delivered it would have been standing on the pavement, not on their property, and could therefore do whatever they liked... :D

 

MODS: just wishful thinking caused by an extension of the agents' own logic, not suggesting it... :)

 

Edit: if they come into your garden again, call the police. At worst you'll get a crime ref. number for being harrassed/threatened...

-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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If at any point they step foot onto your property then they are trespassing and you can take action over this. You could possibly say that by failing to advertise/market your property they are in breech of contract (best to get checked with your solicitor) and as such any property they leave on your land isn't contractually covered and is litter? or flytipping?

 

If there is nothing in your contract with the 1st agents about signs needing to be placed etc then you can remove them and return them to the agents (so as not to be done for theft).

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Just take there sign down and put on the pavement or in you back garden. If they have placed it in your garden, they are giving you the sign. As long as you dont damage it or stop them from getting it back, its not theft.

It may be their sign, BUT its your property.

Also it wont be the Estate agent who is putting the sign up, it will be a local sign company doing it on their behalf, so it might be an idea to get the number of the company putting the sign up and contact them directly.

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  • 6 months later...

Just to update you all :

 

This cowboy did eventually contact me and within 3 days the purchaser they introduced had exchanged and completed on 21/12/06

 

Thought that was the end of it. Until, letter received from these estate agents stating that the 'original' invoice which I paid in full via my solcs on the completion of the property, was incorrect. They decided they had made a mistake and would now like to charge me an extra £1,167 based on a dual agency fee. We are now off to county court, I have the expense of a solicitor in this and my solicitor is advising me that even if I win, I may not be able to claim these costs back

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