I put my house on the market with a local agent six months ago. A few people have been to view the property, one of whom is interested but a friend of mine has now expressed an interest directly without approaching the selling agent and has offered the full asking price. Will I have to pay the agent’s fees if I decide to sell independently to my friend?
Your selling agent will be entitled to their full commission if they can establish that the ultimate purchaser was introduced through their agency.
Be aware that this does not necessarily represent a direct approach and can simply mean that the purchaser initially became aware that the property was available for sale having seen the “For Sale” board at the property.
An agent’s “For Sale” board is of course their major marketing tool. You would not necessarily know that a property was for sale unless you saw the board advertising it.
These situations often lead to dispute between seller and agent as, of course, the agent will argue that it was through their marketing of the property that the buyer ultimately identified that it was for sale.
It is for this reason that should any relatives or friends express an interest in your property before you place it in the hands of an agent you must make this clear to them just in case that friend or relative is able to proceed and ultimately purchases the property.
So, unless you can show that once the property is in the hands of an agent, the buyer only became aware of its availability for sale directly from you, then the agent will be entitled to their commission.