Property seller bound by email contract

Barry Riley

Nicholas Prestige Homes -v- Neal

In this case, a firm of estate agents, although not entitled to commission on a sale arranged by another agent, won its battle and claim to an equivalent amount in damages for the breach of its sole agency clause.

The estate agents claimed for damages after a property seller entered into a sole agency agreement with them by e-mail and then sold the property through a different estate agent. The seller argued that there was no contract, but it was ruled that one did exist, and had been entered into by an exchange of e-mails. By continuing to instruct the other estate agents, the property seller had breached the contract.

It was an expensive mistake for the property seller, who had clearly not thought about the implications of what they were saying in the e-mail.

The defence put forward by the property seller was rejected by the Court on the basis that you shouldn’t agree to something which you either don’t understand, or haven’t been bothered to read carefully.

The moral of the story – check the contents of all e-mails thoroughly and with great care before pressing the send button!

Barry Riley
briley@metcalfes.co.uk
DDI – 0117 9453 042

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