March 14, 2006 at 10:10 am #51645
We currently have our house on the market in spain with a large very well known agency. I have found an acquaintance in england who wishes to buy my property, but the agency are saying that they want 10,000 euros because i am locked into a sole agency. This was not explained to us at the time of signing, but in fairness, we did realise afterwards.
They have not been very good in my opinion at promoting the house, we have had absolutely no feedback and we are generally not very happy.
Do we have to pay them this 10,000 euros commission, and what are the ramifications of refusing to do so please.
any input would be appreciated
March 14, 2006 at 10:46 am #61324
I can only comment when selling our house in the U.K.
Our estate yes, had ‘sole agency’, but they did not have the ‘sole right to sell’ – in the situation of if we sold it privately, via the internet etc.
Check the agreement – if it is only ‘sole agency’ without the ‘sole right to sell’ clause in there as well, I would just knock them on the head.
If you have a buyer you have found yourself, just leave the agent out of the loop.
Let him try and sue you!! As a purchaser owed 100,000 pounds for a building not built in Spain, and unable to get my money back from the developer without a huge lengthy process via court, don’t think this estate agent would worry me.
Out of interest a) how long have you been with them and b)have they actually shown anyone round yet??
March 14, 2006 at 11:00 am #61327
Could you not withdraw it from the Market , leave it a month then sell to your friend?
In the UK, they are tightening up on the commission thing. Estate Agents have lost money because vendors have been selling on the internet whilst having their property with an agent. The agent, as it stands now, gets no commission. 😥 The law will be changed to say that the agent will be entitled to claim commission even if the property is sold via the internet. 🙄
March 14, 2006 at 11:12 am #61329
I can only comment re. when selling our house in the U.K.
Our estate agent yes, had ‘sole agency’, but they did not have the ‘sole right to sell’ clause as well – in the situation of if we sold it privately, e.g. via the internet etc.
If your agent doesn’t have sole agent and sole right to sell in your contract, tell them to go whistle.
If this is the case and you have a buyer you have found yourself, just leave the agent out of the loop.
Let him try and sue you!!
As a purchaser owed 100,000 pounds which was paid to a developer for a building they didn’t build (in Spain), and unable to get my money back without a huge lengthy process via court, I don’t think this estate agent would worry me.
Out of interest a) how long have you been with the estate agent? and b)have they actually shown anyone round yet??
There are certain agents in the south of spain who deserve more than ‘little smacking’ for cheating practices.
To have the shoe on the other foot would certainly make a change!! 😉
Especially in this case where they havn’t even found the buyer. Why should they get nearly £7000?????
Of course, if they do have both clauses (sole agency/sole right to sell), you could always say you have decided to withdraw it from the market, let a little time pass by, then just do your private deal with your acquaitance. 😉
March 16, 2006 at 10:18 am #61342
If the agent is a Spanish company and you’re not going to be in Spain then how can they get the money out of you? You’re unlikely to find yourself the subject of an extradition order for 10 grand!
March 31, 2006 at 7:12 pm #61567
My opinion is that the referred exclusivity in the contract you signed with the Spanish agent is only enforcebale in Spain.
April 6, 2006 at 5:26 pm #61639
I have a sneaking feeling that “sole agency” contracts are not legal in Spain. I believe that Tecnocasa get people to sign up for 3 months but I’d check with your lawyer. As we all know, the vast majority of intermediaries in the Spanish property market are complete robbers who act solely in their own interests.My advice is not to pay them a single euro. Good luck.
May 30, 2006 at 9:15 am #62481
Thanks for all your help everyone – just an update. We sacked the agent as we were not happy anyway – waited six weeks and then sold the property to our friends.
We have now received a letter from an english law company saying that they are suing us for the full commission ie 5% plus IVA of the ANTICIPATED sale price, plus interst and costs if we do not send cleared funds by this Friday.
Not a happy experience all round.
May 30, 2006 at 12:49 pm #62489
i’m not exactly sure about the any agreements regarding extradition, etc.. between spain and the UK.
But it sounds like that legal firm is using a scare tactic. I would recommend that you speak with your lawyer in the UK to see their position. I would alos forward a copy of sales contract to your spanish lawyer to see how valid it is.
I’m familiar with several time-share companies attempting the same trick. Remember a few of the large real estate companies on the coast either started as time-share or the bosses came from that lovely industry.
If you cancelled your agreement with them prior to any money being taken or before an offer & deposit contract was signed I think you should not have any problems. BUT talk to a lawyer.
May 30, 2006 at 12:55 pm #62490
Someone from VIVA told me that they do not do sole agency now as it is impossible to enforce.
June 14, 2006 at 9:13 am #62803
The estate agents have now agreed to accept !!!! 12,000 Euros, which includes 2,000 legal fees (this constituted 2 letters). I have found out that unless I pay this money they will just get a court order and take the full 5% tax retention currently being held in Spain. Apparently they every right to do this.
I am now between a rock and a hard place, and apparently have no option but to pay them, what I consider, to be no more than pure and simple theft. Approximately £8,500 for advertising on their website and taking some people round to look at the property, and not even selling it.
If i try to fight it, I could potentially be charged astronomical fees, and also end up paying the agents costs and interest.
June 14, 2006 at 9:32 am #62805
Pam, I thought the 5% tax retention was a payment to account for your Spanish CGT liability. I cannot see what claim an estate agent could possibly have on this! I hate these people more than ever!
Un gran abrazo,
June 14, 2006 at 10:33 am #62808
Yes it is held on account of spanish tax, but because i had to sell for less than I bought it for (my husband was very ill) there would be no tax to pay, so they could take the lot!!
I cannot begin to tell you how I feel about this!!!
June 14, 2006 at 2:11 pm #62814
I would suggest that if you sacked the agent, in writing, setting out genuine reasons why you weren’t happy with them and detailing how they weren’t fulfilling their duties and then subsequently sold to people whom the agents cannot possibly have introduced to you then they don’t have a leg to stand on.
If you just decided to terminate the selling agreement because you found your own buyer then the agent has a valid case – same as in the UK.
Take legal advice in the UK and if the very worst comes to the very worst and you are found to be in the wrong then you can always make them an offer.
June 14, 2006 at 2:49 pm #62815
Hola Pam (Again),
I do not understand. The 5% retention is surely paid to the Spanish Revenue. How can a lawyer/agent possibly have any control over these funds. Is the tax retention not passed by the notario to Hacienda!
June 14, 2006 at 3:38 pm #62816
the lawyer has to hold the 5% for a year i believe.
June 14, 2006 at 4:51 pm #62817
The 5% retention has to be paid to the Spanish tax authorities. The buyer has to make the payment, as the notary will have made sure the buyer withheld 5% at the time of signing the deeds. The buyer has 30 days to make this payment, and can’t inscribe the property in the land register until they do – so they have a big incentive to do it. So Pam, given that the tax authorities have the money, and will only pay it out to you (or to someone you have given a specific POA to accept payment on your behalf) I don’t understand how the agent can threaten to take a commission from that money…..can you explain?
June 14, 2006 at 6:38 pm #62820
Thank goodness for your site. Having worked all my life in property,22 of them as a Chartered Surveyor, I am increasingly appalled at the activities of far too many so called estate agents in Spain (and other overseas markets). I am equally amazed at the naivety of too many buyers who never ask agents how much of the price is being swallowed up by commission. Please continue exposing the foul behaviour so prevalent in the Spanish market. An agent tried to convince me the other day that because there are too many intermediaries and too few sales she HAS to charge5% plus IVA(if declared!). Of course this is economically illiterate. The outrageous profit margins of agents/intermediaries are only sustained by the inaction/naivety of buyers. I have a hunch though that the wind is changing as more and more consumers realise that an intermediary(in whatever field) can only justify a fee/commission where they actually “add value” to the transaction. The only thing many agents in Spain add to the transaction is outrageous commissions! Saludos, James
June 14, 2006 at 7:32 pm #62822
Just looked in the dictionary.
Estate Agent: An obstacle between the Buyer and Seller of a property.
June 20, 2006 at 9:55 am #62934
The story is:- Because they think I owe them this 31,000 Euros, they are prepared to accept 12,000 to save them having to go to Court for it. Because I told them, genuinely, that I do not have the money, the agent is saying that the company don’t really care, because unless I can find the 12,000 Euros to pay them off they will get a Court order and will take any balance of the monies left over after the tax man has taken what is due (in this case, this is nothing, as I sold for less than I paid for it – husband very ill and had to get rid of it as I couldn’t afford to pay mortgage on my own) so either way the Agent will win, because they will either have the 12,000 from me, or the 5% retention through a court order
June 20, 2006 at 10:59 am #62937
Have you established if the agent has any rights under law to claim a commission from you and your husband. Sounds to me like they are employing scare tactics.
June 20, 2006 at 11:38 am #62938
I have e mailed Maria, but I believe she is currently on holiday, so I am waiting until she returns, hopefully soon, so that I can get some advice.
June 20, 2006 at 1:55 pm #62941
June 20, 2006 at 2:56 pm #62942
Sounds like a bluff to me.
June 20, 2006 at 4:52 pm #62944
Lo siento. For some reason I addressed my earlier reply to Anne!
July 6, 2006 at 4:38 pm #63386
I have been told that they will get a Court Order, and the court will hold these funds until the matter is settled, and then presumably either pay to the Agent or the balance to me.
An interesting update now though, the agent has agreed to accept 6,000 Euros in cash, with no receipt, beyond a ‘note’ saying that I do not owe the company anything.!!!!!!!
It gets more interesting by the day.
July 6, 2006 at 9:24 pm #63398
The agreement is if they INTRODUCE a buyer to the property. They can not enforce any commission charge if they did not facilitate the sale by introduction.
You fail to mention if you have taken any legal advice on this! What did your lawyer or abagado say at the time you sold your property.
My advice is never trust the heresay on forums and go to a legal person who practices spanish conveyancing law!
I would tell them that you are seeking legal advice and your lawyer will reply to theirs!
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