Estate agencies and other agencies fees: the interpretation of an ‘Introduction’

7th August 2018

3PB’s Alexander Whatley has successfully defended against a claim for an agency fee which turned on the interpretation of an ‘Introduction’. This is a widely contested issue in both the estate agency and recruitment agency sectors in the UK. The claim was defeated half-way through the trial by way of a successful submission, by 3PB commercial barrister Alexander Whatley, of no case to answer relying on Foxtons Ltd v Pelkey Bicknell [2008] EWCA Civ 419.

The Daily Mail and Property Industry Eye state this landmark ruling sends a clear message to agencies seeking to rely on an introduction to the property: there must be an introduction to the purchase. Homeowners do not have to pay commission to two estate agents after selling their home. Many agencies have a clause in their contract that states even if they do not make a sale, homeowners still pay commission. In this case the judge said the agency had to be involved in the sale, not just the introduction. The Dorset house was remarketing and sale by a second agency – at a lower price – to buyers who saw it originally on the first agency’s website but could not proceed at that time.

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