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Estate Agent's Contract

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  • Estate Agent's Contract

    Hi All,
    I have a bit of a strange question here..............
    Just before I signed the contract with my estate agent to sell my flat, I found out that, unlike all the other agents in my town, he closed on Saturday afternoons. I was a bit bothered by this, but I thought, "Oh well, at least he is open on Sat. mornings". So, I went ahead and signed the contract.
    I have been with him a month now, and had no viewings, so I thought I would go and have a word with him, find out the state of the market etc.
    I knowthe market is dire, but I thought that it would be a chance to have a natter with him, anyway.
    I was very dismayed to find that he now closes his office all day on Saturday. When I protested at this, he said that "If anyone is interested in your property, they will ring on Monday".
    The contract has another 3 months to run. I would like to know if it is possible to break this contract? Am I right in saying that as he has now decided to close on Saturdays, he has shifted the goalposts? If I knew he was going to do this, I would never have signed. What is to stop him deciding to close on Fridays as well!!
    I am in a situation, like thousands of others, I expect, where I need to sell as quickly as possible, and I feel that having an estate agent who is closed all day on Saturday, really doesn't help matters whatsoever.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    If the opening hours are explicitly stated in the contract, then there may be a case for breaking the contract on the basis they've changed, but otherwise, probably not.

    Have you tried phoning your agent on Saturday, to see if his or her phone gets diverted to a mobile or answering service, or if it merely takes a voicemail from you to be listened to on Monday. Are most of your agent's leads liable to come from walk-in traffic to an open office on one day of the week, or from other sources? Internet, Sale Board, Press publications, for instance.

    What does the contract actually SAY about the circumstances in which you or the agent can release each other from it? You may be able to answer your own question (as long as he left you with a copy!)


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply googler,
      The opening hours are not stated in the contract.
      He doesn't advertise in the local paper, but he does put property on the Rightmove website. That is all he does in t he way of advertising.
      I guess I've picked the wrong agent, and will have to live with it.(Don't seem to be doing anything right, lately!!)


      • #4
        Originally posted by lulubelle View Post
        Thanks for your reply googler,
        The opening hours are not stated in the contract.
        He doesn't advertise in the local paper, but he does put property on the Rightmove website. That is all he does in t he way of advertising.
        I guess I've picked the wrong agent, and will have to live with it.(Don't seem to be doing anything right, lately!!)
        If you are serous about this go to your lawyer - not all contracts are watertight and this sounds like you need a legal person to help you, not just us plebs. A bit of free advice though when dealing with anyone take your time and look through the contract and negotiations are all part of that, if they wont negotiate find someone who will and wants the business, look for someone no matter how small or large with a traceable reputation.

        Someone like Base Property Services in London EC3 are very careful with the integrity and honesty of their staff and they try very hard. However that said you are probably better off (and this is not a professional opinion so please don't hold me to this) awaiting this out then renting your property out as rents have gone above the £1000 mark in some areas for the very first time according to the leading mortgage lender in that field.

        After all, and I quote according to Chase Devonshire, properties are actually still 4 - 6% higher in value than they were year on year in 2006-2007 [got that from the blog] and exclusive properties are still a great vehicle for maintaining your portfolio , just over a longer 5 year term.

        Basically property has gone back to being a steady slow form of investment, not the boom and bust of the recent years which was insane! In My Humble Opinion that is.

        Best of luck with your soon to be ex agent though!
        Webslave - Internet Marketing Research
        for Users, clients and future tracking - predictive web solutions.


        • #5
          why did you chose this agent?? was because his fee was less than the other larger agents in the area, who do full advertising and open all day on sat??? in this market chosing the right agent is very important and you get what you pay for!!!


          • #6
            Hi Lulu,

            It could be woth requesting another meeting with this agent. Saturday is the by far and away the busiest day of the week for most estate agents when it comes to viewers wanting to have a look at property. Why would comebody wait until Monday if they found a similar property to yours at the weekend and were able to offer on it there and then?

            When you do manage to sit down with your agent, tell him that you are very unhappy that he closes on a Saturday and you don't feel that he is offering the same service as he did when you signed the contract.

            He may feel that it is sensible to release you from the contract. (Estate agents do not like unhappy clients as they know word of mouth can be the best or the worst form of advertising.)

            Good luck.



            • #7
              Pester your estate agent and i mean PESTER. Call them 20 times a day if you have to. Trust me, in the current market we don't need vendors like that, so if you piss them off enough they may disinstruct themselves and then you can go elsewhere!

              Saturdays and Sundays are by far our busiest viewing days so you could be losing out massively by being on with an agent open monday to friday.


              • #8
                We currently open on Saturdays from 10 - 2 but there is very little footfall. Nowadays most people browse on the web. However, we have mobile numbers on the details and websites so we get calls and emails at any time for viewings, etc. At weekends I get more calls direct to the mobile. Having someone to contact any time is more important than having the office manned at a weekend, although it would have been courtesy if nothing else for your agent to let you know about the changes and the reason for them.