The owners do not have to pay the previous real estate agent who did not sell their house

Many real estate agencies have clauses that state that even without a sale, the commission must be paid

A couple who took commission for two real estate agents after selling their house won an important battle for other owners, experts say.

George and Hilary Wood were taken to the small claims court by the original agent Palmer Snell for not paying £ 7,935 for the commission, although his house was sold by Fortnam Smith & Banwell.

Many companies have a clause in their contract that states that even if they do not make a sale, the owners still pay the commission.

Many real estate agencies have clauses that state that even without a sale, the commission must be paid

Many real estate agencies have clauses that state that even without a sale, the commission must be paid

But Palmer Snell's claim was rejected by a judge last month, who cited the Foxtons v Bicknell & Another case, 2008, where the Court of Appeals ruled that a real estate agent should claim the share, not just the filing. .

The buyer of Woods's house in Dorset had seen him first on Palmer Snell's website, but could not continue.

When the house was re-marketed by Fortnam Smith & Banwell at a lower price, they saw it and then bought it.

Paula Higgins, executive director of the HomeOwners Alliance, says: "This decision is vital because it starts the debate about what is meant by" introduced "and the problems that can and should make the clause void."

What is a double commission?

Most home sellers use real estate agents, and all agents charge commissions for their services. The cheapest and most common way to do this is by opting for a single agent, known as the only agency, that will help sell the house.

If they are the only ones acting on their behalf, the agent will generally charge a fee of around 1.5 percent.

There is another route, known as multiple agency. In this scenario, the seller can instruct more than one agent to sell the house. The logic here is that this can reach more potential buyers, resulting in higher offers and a faster sale.

The agent who finds the buyer in this scenario earns the commission. However, rates are higher when sold in this way, usually around 2.5 percent.

In some exclusive agency contracts, the agent will indicate that the commission is payable if the home buyer is "presented". to the property by said agent.

This introduction could be something as simple as the buyer perceives the "sale" sign of the real estate agent outside the house.

In this way, even if the agent is not involved in the actual sale, they may try to charge a commission. This means that you can change agent and end up paying both, which is known as "double commission".

If you decide to cancel your agent, you will have a notice period, usually around two weeks, in which you can track potential customers. However, even after the end of this period, some contracts may stipulate that the seller must pay a fee if the agent introduced the buyer.

It is essential that sellers always read the fine print of their contract to make sure they do not get ripped off, although after this failure it will be easier to challenge this type of practice.

You can find the This is Money guide on how to find the best real estate agent online here.

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