If you want to pull out of your house sale or simply don’t feel that your estate agent is getting the job done, what you can do will depend on your original contract.
I want to pull out of my house sale
If you want to pull out of your house sale, you usually won't have to pay if no buyer is found, despite the agent’s efforts. This is unless your agreement states that you must pay a certain amount.
For example, a charge might be incurred if a would-be buyer, who was introduced to you by your estate agent, later decides to buy your property within a certain time of you ending the relationship with your agent.
Another example would be if you had agreed you will pay marketing costs, such as advertising.
I want to change estate agents
If you're not happy with your agent, always speak to them first, explaining why you're dissatisfied.
However, if you do wish to change to another agency, you should check the terms of your agreement to see if this is possible.
If it is possible, you may still have to pay some charges to the estate agent to cover costs, such as advertising, that the agent may have incurred.
If you want to complain about your estate agent, use our step-by-step guide to making a complaint.
- What you must pay your estate agent depends on what's in your contract agreement
- Check the terms of your contract to see if you can change to another estate agent
- Even if it's possible to change, you may still need to pay some charges to your agent
I found a buyer myself
If you don't feel your estate agent has done their job properly, and you've found a buyer yourself, you probably still have to pay for commission.
Many agents’ contracts say that you'll have to pay the fee in the event of ‘our introducing a purchaser who is ready, willing and able to complete the transaction’.
Under this arrangement, you could end up paying a fee if the agent claims to have found someone who was able to buy the property but didn’t go ahead because you took it off the market, or if you simply found the eventual buyer yourself.
Normally you can pull out and will owe the agents nothing except any agreed costs, such as those incurred for advertising in local press or on the internet, provided you don't go on to sell to a buyer who was introduced to you as a result of their efforts.
If another agent has sold your property but the original agent is demanding commission, use our template letter to reject the estate agent's claim.
What must I pay the agent?
Ultimately, what you have to pay will depend on the contract. Always check if the contract is an open-ended agreement.
Some agents insist that you'll still have to pay them if they introduced someone to you who buys your house within six months of your contract ending.
Some say that you'll have to pay no matter how long it is after termination of your contract, although such a term could be challenged under the Unfair Terms of Contract Regulations 1999.
These regulations will enable you to challenge any standard term, contained within the estate agent's contract which has not been individually negotiated, which is deemed to be unfair.