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    How to Get Out of An Estate Agent's Contract?

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 21st May, 2024

    Estate agents contracts can be confusing and lengthy. Before you sign any agreements, it is vital that you understand what you are agreeing to. Consider your rights, length of the contract and the procedure and implications of cancelling the contract.

    How to Get Out of An Estate Agent's Contract?

    What are the different types of estate agent contracts?

    There are four main types of estate agency agreements as detailed below.

    Sole selling rights

    This is becoming a less popular type of contract. In a sole selling rights contract, you will be bound to agency fees even if you find a buyer yourself. You will also not be able to instruct another estate agency to act on your behalf.

    Sole agency

    When you sign up to a sole agency contract you will be unable to instruct other estate agents during the agreement period. However, you will still be free to sell privately without paying any commission to the agent.

    Joint agency

    A joint agency contract is where you sign up to two agents. Both agencies must agree to enter this arrangement and may decide to share commission, regardless of which agency actually sells the property.

    Multiple agency

    As the name suggest, the vendor is free to use multiple agencies to advertise their property. The agency who sells the property earns the commission. This type of agreement usually has a very high fee.

    If you do need to find a new estate agent, you can compare on Netanagent

    What if I want to leave my estate agent contract before it ends?

    There are several reasons why you might want to leave your estate agent contract before it ends, but it’s important to be aware of how to do this and any fees you might still need to pay.

    The 14 day cooling off period

    If you feel that you have been pressured into signing an estate agent’s contract, it is important to be aware of a 14 day cooling off period.

    All estate agents are now obliged to offer this cooling off period and if this is not offered, you may be able to withhold the fee for selling the property.

    During the first 14 days after you have entered the contract you have the right to leave the contract without incurring a penalty.

    I have decided not sell, what do I do now?

    If a buyer has not yet been found for your property, normally there will be no fee charged. However, in some cases charges may be incurred for advertising and marketing. Double check your contract to make sure.

    I don’t have faith in my chosen estate agents

    The first step is to speak with your estate agent. Explain your concerns and see if they resolve the issues for you.
    If you still want to change estate agents, it is worth following the two steps below first.

    1. Check your contract agreements for any fees incurred by cancelling.

    2. Check the terms in the contract. Can you change to another estate agent? There may be an exclusivity clause in the contract that runs for a set number of weeks or months.

    I have already found a buyer myself

    Depending upon the type of sales contract you have signed, you may still need to pay agency fees.
    In some cases, you can pull out without owing any money, as long as you can prove the buyer was not introduced to you by the estate agency.

    Other agencies may still insist upon a fee if this is stated in the original agreement.

    How much will I have to pay the estate agent?

    Unfortunately, this is again dependent upon the type of contract you have signed. That is why it is vital to understand your agreement in the first instance.

    Take a look at our article How Much Are Estate Agent Fees for our guide to help you better understand how much estate agents charge.

    To calculate the estate agents’ fees, you can also use our Moving Cost Calculator.

    I want to complain about my estate agent, what do I do?

    If you have a complaint about your estate agent there are a few steps you can take.

    It’s always advised to complain directly to the agency using their internal complaints procedure, providing evidence to support your complaint.

    If the issue is not resolved, you can then take it further and complain to the Ombudsman.

    Read our article to find out more about how to make a complaint about your estate agent.

    How to get out of an estate agent contract FAQs

    Is there a penalty for changing estate agents?

    This will depend on the type of contract you have with your estate agent and what point of the selling process you have got to. If you haven’t found a buyer yet, you may not have to pay any fees.

    How long are most estate agent contracts?

    The length of contract will vary depending on location and estate agent. Typical contracts are usually from 4-12 weeks.

    How much notice do I have to give my estate agent?

    Usually, you will have to give your estate agent 28 days’ notice, but it could be more or less depending on your contract with your estate agent.

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