I own a lifestyle block and recently I was approached (I have not initiated any action to sell this land) by an agent

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Customer: Hi, I own a lifestyle block and recently I was approached (I have not initiated any action to sell this land) by an agent asking if I was interested in selling. I said yes -at the right price. The agent has come back with a price, and I counteroffered with a slightly higher price. In the weekend my husband was doing some work at this property, when some people approached him, saying they were interested in buying the property. He showed them around and discussed in general how much we would want if we were to sell it. We have now discovered that these were the people that the agent was dealing with. At this stage I have not a) settled on a definite amount, b) signed any documentation, or given verbal authority to sell, or sighted any contracts - I only have spoken to the agent 3 times on the telephone. If I was to sell privately to these people, are we liable for the agents fees as he has been dealing with them - although he has not introduced them or their offer to me as yet.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No - nothing.
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: Just out of Invercargill
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Thats all - if we are liable to pay the fees and we sell that land at a price that does not include the land agents fees, then the buyers have got a good deal, - and we will be the ones out of pocket.
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 4 mins 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The test for liability for the agency fees is whether the agent introduced the purchaser to you. This means that even if you have not signed an agency agreement, then he can claim commission. I realise you didnt know these purchasers were the same as the agent's purchasers, but he did approach you first on their behalf. But you could negotiate a sale price which reflects the agency commission, so you still get what you want for the sale.

Customer
Thanks for that Chris. It sounds like six of one, half a dozen of the other. The purchasers are obviously looking to pay less by dealing with us direct, although we would not be making any more, and as we are the sellers we are still liable for agents fees. Will negotiate.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Real estate agents are often quick to sue if they think there is an attempt to avoid commission so some care is needed

Customer
Will go thru agent & will sell at our price plus selling costs (agents fees & solicitor). Demand high, supply low think we be fine. thanks
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I agree-glad to help

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