Being the effective cause of a sale when another agent becomes the selling agent

Being the effective cause of a sale when another agent becomes the selling agent

moneyFor an agent to be able to claim commission when a property has been shifted from them and listed by another agent, they must be able to show that there is a connection between their actions and the sale of the property.

Therefore, the agent should examine certain factors to ascertain if they have been the effective cause of the sale, as if these factors are not met, an agent will not succeed in a claim for commission.

To establish whether an agent has been the effective cause of the sale will always come down to a question of fact.

For an agent to be entitled to commission, some the factors to be considered are:

  • did the agent introduce the ultimate purchaser?
  • was there a valid Agency Agreement between the agent and the vendor?
  • did the vendor enter into an enforceable contract for the sale of land with the purchaser?
  • was there a sale?
  • was there a causal link between the actions of the agent claiming commission and the ultimate sale?

Other circumstances, which may occur after the involvement of a secondary agent (and of which the first agent may be unaware), that may be relevant when adjudicating a claim for commission are:

  • did the second agent make any recommendations to change or improve the property?
  • has the vendor, at the request of the second agent, altered any conditions of the sale, for example, an increase or decrease in the advertised price, an extension or reduction to the settlement period, 5% deposit etc?
  • has the second agent been able to assist the purchaser in obtaining finance, development consent or anything else?
  • how much time has elapsed between your involvement and the sale of the property?
  • did the second agent convince the purchaser to abandon their interest in a competing property, to then buy the property in question?
  • have the circumstances of the purchaser and/or vendor changed since either or both of them dealt with your agency?

If you can ensure you have looked at all of these questions before commencing action to recover a commission, it should mean that you are at least well informed of the prospects of your claim for commission.

For further information, please contact our Conveyancing Team.

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