Agent Taint

Agent Taint occurs where a vendor cannot accept an offer from a purchaser without having to pay a commission to the commission estate agent, even though the Exclusive Sale Authority has been ended.

Every person who has in any way become aware that a property is for sale, during the period of the Exclusive Sale Authority, is tainted, because of the likelihood that the commission estate agent
will claim commission if the property is sold to them.

Ray and Maureen listed their property with H.A. Harlett Real Estate. Disappointed with the performance of the agent, Ron and Maureen ended the Exclusive Sale Authority, and decided to proceed by way of private sale. Steve and Amy had seen the property while it was listed with Harlett’s, but were not interested in the property at that stage. Now, however, their situation had changed, and they were keen to purchase the property.

Ray and Maureen had determined an acceptable price, and Steve and Amy were prepared to pay this price. It was then discovered that that Harlett’s would not allow the sale to proceed unless Ray and Maureen were prepared to pay $12,000 in commission. It was pointed out to Harlett’s that they had been notified in writing that the Exclusive Sale Authority had expired, and that it was not renewed. Harlett’s acknowledged this, but pointed out that the Exclusive Sale Authority
provided that if the property eventually sold to any person who had been made aware that the property was for sale while it had been listed with Harlett’s, then a commission was payable. It was also pointed out that this condition did not end, and continued indefinitely.

Ray and Maureen had to explain to Steve and Amy that they had been “tainted” by their contact with the commission estate agent. Every person who had become aware that the property was on the market, while it was in the hands of the agent, was similarly tainted by the $12,000 price tag attached to them by the agent.

It was made clear to the agent that neither couple had any respect for the agent, and that the sale would not proceed if the agent continued to demand $12,000. The agent was content to play a “spoiling role”, and would not budge on the matter.

The agent’s approach to the matter in this example was driven by commission rage, and is quite common. The only way to avoid “agent taint” is to avoid signing an Exclusive Sale Authority, or to delete the conditions that give rise to agent taint. Contact us for further information and advice.

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