A Sole or Multiple agency agreement does not prevent you from selling your property privately.
You can advertise your property with a newspaper, magazine or internet
site, and providing the advertiser conducts no agency services on your
behalf, you will not be in conflict with a Sole or Multiple agency agreement.
The service Click2move provide is not classified as agency work based on the
Office of Fair Trading guidelines issued in December 2005. This means
you will not be liable to pay an estate agent commission if you sell privately
using the Click2move service, even if you have a Sole or Multiple agency
agreement with them.
However, read on to ensure you don't get caught out by some sharp practices!
Estate Agent Contracts
It is vital you understand the type of contract you have with your estate
agent as this dictates the basis on when commission becomes payable.
The following bullet points describe contract types and legal terms. This
information was taken from the Office of Fair Trading website, where
specific consumer information has been provided for 'Buying and selling
your own home'. To read the full text click here.
Informing your estate agent
- Sole agency contract
The estate agent is the only agent with the right to sell your property.
If you find a buyer yourself, you don't have to pay the estate agent's
commission although you may still have to pay for advertising or a
'For Sale' board.
- Multiple agency contract
You can ask several estate agents to act for you on a multiple-agency
basis. Only the estate agent who sells the property will be entitled to
A few estate agents offer a 'joint sole agency' contract where two agents
agree to share one commission, although the total fee may be higher.
Again, if you find a buyer yourself, you don't have to pay the estate
agent's commission although you may still have to pay for advertising
or a 'For Sale' board.
- Sole selling rights
The estate agent is the only person with the right to sell your property.
It is different from sole agency: if you find a buyer yourself, you still
have to pay the estate agent.
- Ready, willing and able purchaser
You have to pay if the estate agent finds a buyer who is prepared and
able to buy your property and exchange unconditional contracts. You
still have to pay even if you withdraw from the sale and unconditional
contracts are not exchanged.
This is not a type of contract, but the term can appear anywhere in an
estate agents contract. The Consumer Association Which? recommends
you do not sign a contract containing this term. To read more
information on the Which? website click here.
If you make the decision to sell privately, we believe that being up front
with your estate agent is the best policy. They should not have an issue
with you selling privately and if anything it will spur them on to find a buyer.
If the eventual buyer was at some stage introduced to you by the estate
agent we would strongly recommend the estate agents commission is
honoured. To do otherwise would be unfair on the estate agent and would
probably contravene your contractual agreement with the estate agent.
Legal responsibilities of property websites
Click2move are very conscious of the legal requirements for providing
a property advertising service only and not acting as an estate agent,
Click2move fully comply with those requirements.
The Office of Fair Trading guidelines are clear on the types of service that
can be deemed as estate agency. You need to aware that if a website for
selling property privately offers these services, often unwittingly, then in
law they are actually an estate agent and you the seller could be liable
for commission despite claims on the property website to the contrary.
To read the Office of Fair trading guidelines click here.