The Sellers had by their account incurred dual fees from the Agent complained of and their previous agent. They had paid the Agent’s commission fee but complained that the Agent was due only 50% of the fee as they had only completed ‘half a job’ of selling the property.
There was no detailed information provided with respect to the Sellers’ instruction (in terms of the dates or basis of that instruction) or termination of their previous estate agency. The Agent stated that they had not been advised of any potential buyers having been previously introduced and their sole selling rights agreement had been signed by the Sellers and moreover annotated by them in confirmation of there being no such interested parties. As such, they argued that the agreement provided clear contractual entitlement to the fee as paid.
The circumstances as they were presented to me and explained by both parties led me to conclude that the Sellers had not been misled thereby unknowingly creating a dual fee situation and that the Agent had acted in accordance with the agency agreement and the TPO Code of Practice in warning of the danger of a dual fee situation. I did not support the complaint and did not, therefore, direct that the Agent refund half the commission fee as had been requested by the Sellers.
When an agency agreement is terminated and the property remains unsold, the agent must provide the seller with a written explanation detailing the circumstances where there maybe a continuing liability to pay a commission fee.