Must I consult a property lawyer before instructing an estate agent?
- Most definitely, Yes, especially as you are selling a property.
- So that you, the customer, can be recommended to one or more agents who are well-known to us .
- We can review the selling agent’s terms of business ( Their agreement with you)and advise you on its terms and your liabilities.
- You can consider the basis on which the agent is to be instructed, i.e. sole agency, sole selling rights, or multiple agency.
- So that you can avoid being forcedor co-erced into using a Lawyer not of your choice who may be considerably more expensive or provide an inferior service to those who are recommended to you by family or friends who have expeienced the service provided
What is the basis of the agent’s instruction?
- SOLE AGENCY: The property can only be sold through that one agency. The agent is entitled to charge commission and VAT even if you sell the property privately, while the sole agency agreement remains in force. It is sensible to limit the sole agency period to, say, four weeks from the first date of marketing, before going on to a multiple agency basis.
- SOLE SELLING RIGHTS: Similar to “Sole Agency” but allows the agent to instruct a “sub-agent” to widen the potential catchment area for the property. The sub-agent’s fees are paid out of the commission paid to the agent. Generally, sole agency/sole selling rights rate of commission will be somewhat lower than on a multiple agency basis.
- MULTIPLE AGENCY: This is where two or more agents are instructed to sell a property. Generally, the rate of commission will be higher than on a “sole agency” or “sole selling rights” basis.
I recommend that you discuss this in detail with your lawyer before appointing any agent particularly as an attempt by the agent to persuade you to use a Lawyer not of your choice is against the Law