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Estate agent has not listed property correctly

Discussion in 'Building' started by jaba, 24 Oct 2016.

  1. jaba

    jaba

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    Would appreciate some advice on how to deal with an estate agent!

    My mum is selling her property but the agent has made a few errors, more than a few but not listed them all.
    The listing heading is lacking some detail and also not correct.
    The main text seems to be in order. I should note that at least on their own website the main body text is not searched so having the correct details there doesn't find the property when conducting a specific property type search!

    Their own website keeps crashing, sometimes straight away, or after running a few searches.
    So even searches that work one minute can fail the next minute.
    They have done a worse job on their website with the listing because you can't easily find the property.
    They have also got my mother to sign a 16 week contract which I think is way too long.

    • As it's still within 14 days of signing can you back-out because you're not happy with the various errors they have made?
    • Either for cooling off period or breach of contract?

    Note. They have been told about the errors but said the property was listed correctly, which is 100% wrong.

    Can someone also tell me the difference between sole agent and sole selling rights?
    I assume sole agent means you can sell the property yourself without the agent and they can't try and grab the fee?

    I was willing to give the agent a 2nd chance to fix things, but as there have been no viewings I think part of this is down to the lack of care in the listing, also no plan included in the listing and one handed to my mother from the agent also has important mistakes so you couldn't use it anyway!

    I have spoken to the ombudsmen, but you have to formally complain to the agent first, but they did say they would look into a case like this if it came there way!!

    Thanx for any advice before I get in touch with the estate agent to try and resolve.
     
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  3. stuart45

    stuart45

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    Sole agent you can find you own buyer and not pay then commission
     
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  4. jaba

    jaba

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    Thanx for the reply stuart45
    Yeah I thought that's what I read but good to hear someone else say it so to speak!
    Plus I couldn't find info on that which I found last week. Just found it again if someone else would like a read.

    3rd set of bullet points down the page;
    And also some useful info worth a read before selecting an agent.
    http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for...ng/estate-agents-contracts-what-to-watch-for/

    Still would like some advice on how to handle the agent if anyone can offer any.
    Many thanx.
     
  5. vinn

    vinn

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    As a builder, all my dealings with Estate Agents have been bad news - they lie for a living and cheat everybody, especially the vulnerable, just to make a few extra pennies.
    Believe nothing that they tell you - more important is what they dont tell you.
    They are sales people who sell brushes or used cars one week and timeshares the next. They are semi-literates with a bare numeracy, & have no particular skills beyond deception & fraud.

    Read up or youtube Foxtons EA's - a large London chain of EA's. Read the investigations into their tactics and what whistle blowers say about them.

    My last encounter working for EA's was when 4 of them refused to pay me when i went to collect my (cash only) money at their office.
    One said the manager was on holiday, another said the firm had gone broke, & the third said he felt intimidated when I (allegedly) threw a computer at him. The fourth legged it & called the cops - bad move.
    The cops arrived, told them they might be lifted for practicing fraud, & made the scum pay up.

    Precious memory.
     
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  6. jaba

    jaba

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    Thanx vinn
    Good story as shows what kind of rubbish can setup a business and call themselves estate agents.
    I'm sure there are some good ones out there somewhere but I bet they're few and far between.

    The agent with my mothers place listed still haven't corrected their mistakes almost 2 weeks on.
    It's a listing but when I compare with other agents it's lacking a professional look, and lets face it they're doing very little for the money so you would think they would at least strive to get the details in the listing correct.
    Now I've found a spelling mistake which proves they didn't do basic checks on the listing, very little time spent for the huge bill at the end.

    They have also omitted some details and not really tried to highlight the good points of the property, just basic details, quick job, little effort.
    I've also found mistakes in the energy certificate which they arranged and I'm sure took a cut of the cost of that. Seen them for less than half the price my mother was charged.
    He didn't even check all the bulbs but they got 5 stars, but marked the brand new boiler of about 10 months old at 4 stars for heating and hot water. What a ripoff.
     
  7. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    I think vinn wrote a very good description (possibly even a job description) of a typical agent, however, the fact they are rubbish isn't sufficient to terminate the contract due to breach. Since its a services contract and the service has commenced, costs incurred etc. there would be no cool off remedy. You are better putting them on notice of breach due to the errors and giving them a reasonable amount of time to correct. If they fail to correct then you would send them notice of termination due to their failings. This is safer. Fortunately the whole concept of paying an agent a huge fee to do something very simple, is dying out as more and more people use modern direct selling routes.

    With regards to dodging the commission - a dodgy agent would argue your buyer was on the books as an interested party and they would probably make a claim. If there are unilateral terms you might have an angle on unfair terms legislation, but it would only nullify the term not the contract. Read the contract and any marketing blurb carefully, list out the deficiencies between what they promise and what they are doing. Serve them notice of breach, threaten termination etc and see where it goes.
     
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  8. jaba

    jaba

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    Many thanx motorbiking
    I've seen a few court cases that have made contracts null and void as the judge made very clear any contract that is unreasonable or hasn't lived up to what it states can not be enforced. Of course that maybe difficult to prove once you comb through the small print.

    Well it is sole agent but yes I agree they would most probably come after you if you ditch them.
    At least it's not sole selling rights, so there is a chance!
    It would be hard most likely to prove they didn't do their job, as they are doing it, but just in an unprofessional manner IMO.
    This maybe a poor analogy, but anyone can hit a nail, but not all can hit a nail in straight!

    The trouble is they know older people will maybe just put up with things and not complain too much, and they take advantage of that.
    They've been given verbal notice of their mistakes but that needs to be in writing.

    Trouble is when a property has been on for 2 weeks it gets shunted down the list and harder to find.
    That will give them leverage to say reduce the price, of course they lose a tiny amount and the sell loses thousands, but in the end the agent gets their commission and that's the important thing!!
     
  9. tony1851

    tony1851

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    I take it you don't like estate agents?
     
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  11. vinn

    vinn

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    OP,
    the EA's take a cash cut from most everybody they recommend to the seller or buyer.
    They are double dippers in all their dealings - they often dishonestly tell clients (mugs in their terminology) that certain surveys such as Damp & Timber are legally required, & then get a backhander from the D&T surveyors/fraudsters etc. But D&T is another story.

    Its common for EA's to act as property managers & letting agencies - a licence to rob wholesale.

    EA's also use "joey's" as fronts for signing documents or buying property at Auction splits (ie. when the real auction takes place with other EA's and the Auctioneer (often an EA), out of public sight).
     
  12. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    Does the contract allow you to revise the price? This could be a way out of the the deal. You could always try http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1991/29/section/1 to correct the misdescription.

    EDIT: I totally agree with Vinn: Fraudsters and Criminals at best, a few years back I was trying to buy a holiday buy to let. I made an offer, I was told the client was happy, but I heard nothing more for weeks, I chased the agent regularly and was told that the vendor had some delays his side, I was in no hurry, 3 months later it was sold, not to me, but to someone who'd matched my offer. Vendor knew nothing of my cash offer, other buyer needed all the usual extras so the agent sat on my offer until he found one he could make more money on.

    So I traced the vendor, told him my offer was not my final offer, he wasn't aware of it, so I connected him to a good friend of mine to go after the agent for damages. Hopefully that agent at least learned an expensive lesson
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2016
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  13. kazuya

    kazuya

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    i was selling my mums house after she died and the estate agent was terrible, so i just told him to get lost and found another
    also i dont do any work for letting agents or estate agents anymore, all they seem to do is **** you about

    as an example i was once asked to go to a property and change the locks, when i got there tenant knew nothing about it but said they were in dispute over rent.
    so in actual fact they were asking me to evict someone, couldnt believe it
     
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  14. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    That is shocking not to mention illegal.
     
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  15. jaba

    jaba

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    Thanx all for your comments.

    I'm not a big fan of estate agents.
    maybe 20 years ago they had to do a lot more work for the very large amount of cash they grab, but now days estate agents don't find property for you, you find it your self, an automatic search sends you an email right down to a list of requirements if you wish.
    When it comes to selling something I don't think many of them know how to do that after seeing first hand recently what they do, or should I say what they don't do!!
    Many mistakes, not turning up for viewings, the list goes on and on.

    My mums place still not sold with estate agent.
    Just as an example of a couple of things. Feedback from viewings not passed on to her, only found out when she contacted them and asked. And worst still, offer made and not passed on to her, person that viewed and made offer when came back for 2nd viewing told my mum she had made an offer!
    These just add to the long list of mistakes over months.

    I have an important question.
    The contract was cancelled in writing as per the agents contract insisted.
    The contract came to an end, but the agent didn't remove the property from their website as instructed nor from one of the bigger property sites!
    No new contract has been signed.
    New viewings have been happening after the contract finished.

    Where do you stand in this situation!
    Do you owe the agent any money?
    Because there is no contract how much would you pay them?

    I'm not saying they shouldn't be paid, but I know if the boot was on the other foot and you break a small rule in the contract they wouldn't think twice about coming after you for double the payment!
     
  16. SFK

    SFK

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    My (limited) understanding of this type of contract:
    1) You do not now owe them any money as your contract likely says that "you only owe them a % of the sell price if they had sold it on your behalf" (of course you may have a different contract).
    2) However, if you are still accepting "New viewings have been happening after the contract finished" then I would expect that they can demand % of the sell price if you sell to one of these viewings. You need to formally tell them not to send viewing and any people they find after end of your agreemnt are not liable under my point 3.
    3) If you organize a new Estate Agent to try and sell it, and the New Estate Agent sells it to someone that the First Estate Agent had previously shown around the house, then the First Estate Agent might be owed money, BUT (for me) they said that this commission to the old estate agent would be paid by the (new) second Estate Agent as they saw it as an issue between them. Note that I fully informed the New Estate Agent that I had used a previous estate agent and they contacted each other in advance.

    Also, whenever I sign up an estate agent I always read their T&C's, make any changes that I see fit directly on the agreement they give me, and only then sign it. For example I have previously changed the 12weeks exclusivity to 8 weeks. And if you feel worried this time you could add a line that says, "If they do not list your property to your satisfaction withing 1 week you are allowed to terminate at 2 weeks".

    Regarding removing the details of the house from their listing, sorry but I do not know. You could formally write to them and say "Please remove or you will taek further action (no idea what), and to reminde them that your agreement period has lapsed so and buyer that approaches them will not be covered by your previous Exclusivity Agreement.
    sfk
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2017
  17. vinn

    vinn

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    A woman told me about her experience with an EA.
    While renting a far too small house her friendly old neighbour told her to buy his house when he was gone. He died and she began the buying process from his estate.

    Out of the blue an EA appeared (probably forwarned by a solicitor) and convinced her that his services were necessary for a first time buyer such as her. She agreed because she knew no better.

    Short story: the EA managed to get the old man's estate to sell the property to a joey, a gofer who did errands and cleaning etc for the EA's office - apparently its a common EA/Solicitor trick where good deals can be sensed & preempted by scum.
    The gofer later "sold" the property to the EA's wife.

    The single mum and kids were left paying rent.
     
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