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How to get out of an estate agent contract?

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 contract?

If you feel that you have been pressured into signing an estate agents contract, it is important to be aware of a 7 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.

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.  Again, check your contract!

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 calculate the estate agents fees, you can also try our Moving Cost Calculator.

What are the different types of contract?

There are four main types of 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 into 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

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