Published by: Tom BloomfieldA Sole Selling Rights Agreement normally describes a clause where an estate agent would be owed a fee even if they were not involved in introducing the buyer. In extreme terms this could mean they would charge a full fee if a sale is agreed to a friend or family member of the owner, or if another agent introduces a buyer. This only applies during the term of the contract.
Estate agents who use these clauses do so for a variety of reasons including to protect themselves in scenarios where vendors negotiate with buyers directly to try to avoid paying a fee.
Regardless of whether these agreements are reasonable or not paragraph 5g of the The Property Ombudsman’s code of practice requires agents to take particular care in defining and distinguishing between sole agency and sole selling rights agreements and they have published this case study to highlight a scenario where an estate agent failed to do just that: Annual Report Case Summary: Sole Selling Rights.
If you are about to agree to a sole selling rights agreement we would suggest offering the names of any potential private buyers to your estate agent as exceptions, in exchange for removal of the clause.
At Bloomfield Grey we choose to work without a sole selling rights clause in our terms and conditions.