by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B
Sellers learn a costly lesson after making a private sale where the buyer was originally introduced by their estate agent.
“All buyers are liars!” An exaggeration, certainly. But experienced sales-people know you should always take with a grain of salt anything prospective buyers tell you. Justin and Jane Johnson did not doubt what their buyer said when they sold their home privately. They believed him and relied (ultimately to their detriment) on what he told them because they knew he was a licensed estate agent, a Real Estate Institute member and because his agency was part of a well-known national franchise.
Justin and Jane made their sale after having earlier given a 60 day exclusive listing to Sellfast Realty. Sellfast showed several buyers through the home, some made written offers but no sale took place. Justin and Jane would not budge on their sale price.
After Sellfast’s appointment had run its time, and before Justin and Jane got around to listing with another agency, they were approached by Sam Slipper. They recognised him as one of the buyers Sellfast had brought to their home. Slipper had made one of the unsuccessful offers to buy. He would now buy their property if Justin and Jane reduced their price by $20750 – which would have been Sellfast’s commission had that agency secured a sale.
“Won’t we still have to pay Sellfast?” Justin and Jane cautiously asked.
“No worries,” Slipper smoothly replied, “you don’t have to pay commission because your exclusive listing has run out.” “Just give Sellfast a termination notice now,” he helpfully added.
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