What do you do if your estate agent goes out of business?

PUBLISHED: 09:46 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:46 07 May 2018

What do you do if you get the 'closed' sign from your estate agent? Pic: www.gettyimages.co.uk

What do you do if you get the 'closed' sign from your estate agent? Pic: www.gettyimages.co.uk


Norfolk estate agents, Aidan Branch from Durrants and Nick Taylor, give their advice on what to do if your agent suddenly goes bust.

Nick Taylor, Hadley Taylor. Pic: www.edp24.co.ukNick Taylor, Hadley Taylor. Pic: www.edp24.co.uk

What do I do if my estate agent goes out of business?

Aidan Branch, Durrants:

‘By going out of business, they have broken their contract with you,’

Aidan Branch, Durrants. Pic: www.edp24.co.ukAidan Branch, Durrants. Pic: www.edp24.co.uk

Ouch! As we all know moving house is one of the three most stressful things that you may do in your life, having the agent who you have carefully selected go out of business adds even more worry when you least need it.

What to do:

1) If you have already exchanged contracts but not completed – no problem, your conveyancer will complete the sale as usual and will ensure that you know where to deliver/collect keys.

2) If you have a sale agreed but have not yet exchanged contracts there should be little difficulty except that you will not have an agent to progress the sale, you will have to become more proactive and make contact with your buyers/sellers agents and of course keep in touch with your buyers/sellers. If you have any concerns ask your conveyancer to check the chain.

3) If you are on the market but have not got a sale agreed – this presents more options. It is likely that the agent who has gone out of business will want to sell on their “live” cases register to another agent. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGED TO ACCEPT THIS. By going out of business they have broken their contract with you, if you are happy with the agent they sell their live cases to, you have nothing to do, the marketing will carry on almost seamlessly. If you are not then unfortunately you have to go through the process of selecting a new agent and starting again, however this will give you the chance to review the marketing and perhaps have a fresh approach.

Hopefully you will never find yourself in this position, if you do at least you know what your options are.

Nick Taylor, chairman of the NDAEA, Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents, and from Hadley Taylor:

‘Some consumers really do believe that they can get the best possible service for the lowest possible price,’

There do seem to have been a spate of Norfolk estate agents going into liquidation in recent months. The reason for this is nearly always because these firms haven’t been charging enough for their services. Some consumers really do believe that they can get the best possible service for the lowest possible price and in the grown up world this is rarely the case.

If you are selling through an agent that goes bust you might find that your property is transferred to another agent who has purchased the good will value of the business. This may be a perfectly workable arrangement as long as you want your business being dealt with by the company in question. If a sale has already been agreed on your property when the firm goes bust then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem either because at this point your transaction is in the hands of your solicitor. You may end up paying your fee to the receiver or to a different firm of estate agents who have purchased the good will of the failed venture but this shouldn’t change whether you have to pay the fee or how much the fee should be.

My best advice is to pick a long established firm in the first place and not a firm that is here today and gone tomorrow.

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