What’s happening now: –
Another agent advised me to be careful as the buyer had come through Golds and THEN via Hounds.
I asked our guy at Hounds if it mattered that Mr. N had come through Golds first. He said no, it only mattered if they got him to a specific stage in the process and they hadn’t. He went on about how they’re the better agent and have got him to the survey stage etc. It was unnecessary and unimpressive. 😐
It still didn’t feel right. I rang and asked my solicitor. She said because my contract with Golds had ended I would not have to pay them. I’d only have to pay fees to Hounds.
For some reason, I still wasn’t at ease so I rang an independent solicitor who specialises in contract.
I read out the Terms and Conditions from both agents and he said what I feared! If we go ahead we’d have to pay fees to both agents unless they can come to an agreement.
Action taken: –
I spoke to Hounds
My guy told me NOT to tell Golds
He said they can indemnify me so that Golds has to claim their fee from Hounds and I’d only have to pay Hounds.
I called Golds anyway as it felt morally wrong to leave them in the dark and would probably cause more trouble later! 🙁
I was so right!
Golds said Hounds were not entitled to ANY fee.
Golds introduced Mr. N and they liaised with him for over 2 months. Thus they’d be entitled to a fee.
Now this bit got me!
Golds said Hounds had a duty of care towards me! Their client.
When Mr. N told them he had come via Golds, they should have told me that I may be liable for dual fees and they should have called Golds in order to reach some agreement re the fees early on.
I called Hounds today and told my guy that I wanted to terminate my contract with them.
He tried to blame me!
He said he’s been trying to speak to me to find out if we had sole or multi agency with Golds as this would determine whether they could indemnify me or not.
I told him what Golds had said and I mentioned that my solicitor had spoken to their litigation expert today. They advised me to pull out and terminate my contract with Hounds.
He wanted to know why I wanted to end my contract with them. Doh!
I explained that I didn’t trust him because when I called last week and asked him straight out, if Golds could ask for a fee for introducing Mr. N; my guy said “No”
I told him he didn’t ask me to show him my Terms and Conditions with Golds or read them to him. He was arrogant and big headed and went on about how they got the buyer to this stage and Golds hadn’t managed to.
I told him he didn’t care about the likelihood that if we’d have sold through Hounds, payed their fee and then got a letter from Gold asking for their fee; we’d HAVE to pay TWO lots of fees!
Gold’s contract is with me. NOT Hounds. Thus I would have been liable.
I said I know Hounds wouldn’t have paid Golds their fee if I had received a letter after the sale had gone through and he did NOT deny it.
When Mr. N came forward if Hounds had called Golds, it wouldn’t have got to this stage and been such a big deal.
The sale could have gone ahead and we wouldn’t have this grief now.
Hounds were looking after themselves. Their fee. NOT their client.
I do not trust them at all.
If I had believed what he had said and not researched further we would have been short of thousands in fees!
How I would describe the behaviour and code of Hounds: –
Examples of contracts which could result in the seller paying dual fees!: –