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27 May 2015

A Warning About Potentially Unfair Agency Terms

We recently had occasion to look at putting a property on the market in York City Centre.  The client advised that he already had the property on the market with another agent, having signed up with them two years ago, but had not received a single enquiry, nor had any contact from the agent in the meantime. 

On checking the agency agreement which was in place it became evident that when the client signed up with the agent they paid a substantial “up front” fee, and locked themselves into an agency agreement with them which they could not get out of unless the client served notice and paid the agents another substantial fee.

The salutary lesson is that those who are contemplating the sale of a property or business should clearly check the agency agreement, and the provisions within it, as we consider that this type of contract borders on being “unfair”.  

Be warned, any agent who asks for any “up front” fees, and also for a withdrawal fee to be paid when the agency is terminated, needs to be treated with some caution. 

We would strongly recommend any person considering the sale or indeed letting of a property or business to use a firm of Chartered Surveyors who are regulated by a well-respected and highly esteemed body which should provide protection against this type of underhand agency activity.

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