Upon being presented with the Agent’s invoice after successfully proceeding to exchange of
contracts on the Property, the Sellers raised a number of complaints in which they stated that the original Agency Agreement was incorrect and that, as they had not signed the document, there was no agreement in place which meant that the Agent was not entitled to charge them a fee. The Agent maintained that, as they had introduced a buyer who had gone on to purchase the Property, they were entitled to a commission fee.
My examination of the documentation provided by the Agent found that one of the Sellers had negotiated a decrease in the Agent’s commission fee and had promised to return the signed paperwork. Furthermore, I was unable to find any evidence that the Sellers had requested the Agent to remove the Property from the market (which may have supported their claim for no fee), observing instead that the majority of the issues raised concerned the actual selling of the Property after the offer had been accepted.
In the absence of any information to the contrary I presumed that there was a contract in place in line with the unsigned Agency Agreement that had been provided by the Agent, with the exception that the commission fee agreed should be the reduced amount. As the Agent had subsequently honoured the agreement that they made with the Sellers in respect of the reduced fee, I did not support the Complaint.
In accordance with Paragraph 5a of the Code of Practice, Agents should always ensure that they possess a formal instruction before undertaking the marketing of a Property to enable any future fee disputes to be resolved quickly.