Technically, there is nothing legally wrong with a buyer contacting a seller directly. After all, isn’t it much easier to avoid the middleman and make a deal directly? However, let’s say that your estate agents in Leeds tell you about some houses for sale in Leeds, and you decide to skip the middleman and speak to the seller directly, then there could be an ethical conundrum. Again, there is nothing legally wrong with that either. With that being said, what if you saw a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window and decided to approach the seller? There is nothing ethically wrong with that. So, is it okay for a buyer to contact a seller directly?
Legally speaking, there is no restriction that can stop a buyer from contacting a seller directly. Potential buyers are free to get in touch with sellers and homeowners directly, without using an estate agent or any middleman. Technically, the seller is also within his right to sell his or her property to whoever he or she chooses, without involving any agent or solicitor. Of course, the reason buyers and sellers hire estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and property valuators is that the process of buying and selling is not easy. There is a whole lot of documentation and money involved; so unless you are an expert at creating purchase agreements and contracts of sale, you might want to think about getting some professional help.
But, what happens if the seller has already signed an agreement with a third party to sell his or her home? In that case, whether the buyer has come through the third party or has approached the seller directly, the seller is still legally obligated to pay the agreed-upon fees or the estate agent’s commissions as the seller and the third party already have an agreement. In such a scenario, the seller has signed a contract and is expected to abide by the rules of the contract.
But, what if the buyer has heard about a listing from his or her estate agent and decides to approach the seller directly? Well, that could be considered unethical, but again, there is nothing legally wrong in doing so. Technically, if the seller does not have any third-party agreement, which means if the seller has not hired any estate agent or tied up with an auction house, then the seller is legally able to sell the house to any buyer. However, any estate agent will certainly be displeased!
With that being said, in some cases, sellers might not take a buyer seriously if he or she approaches the homeowner directly. For one, a seller might feel that the buyer is not serious because of which the seller might not take the offer seriously. Also, a seller might feel more comfortable talking to an estate agent as opposed to the buyer; in such a scenario, the buyer could be at a disadvantage. Then, some sellers might be offended that the buyer decided to ditch the middleman, which means they are unlikely to accept such an offer.
While a buyer can speak to a seller directly, there are certain pros and cons to doing so. If you’ve been thinking about skipping the middleman and speaking to potential sellers directly, here are some pros and cons that you should keep in mind!
By removing the estate agent from the middle, a buyer will definitely end up saving some money on the purchase as he or she no longer has to pay any commission or fee.
In many cases, if a buyer and seller speak directly, the negotiating process becomes much quicker which in turn allows for the deal to go through quickly.
If the buyer and seller do not have to pay any agent fees, both parties are likely more willing to meet in the middle. This means quicker negotiations and good deals, which will make the buyer and seller happy.
Without an estate agent, the buyer will have to do all the work by himself or herself. This means making offers, negotiating, creating contracts, hiring property surveyors and so on.
To purchase a house without an estate agent, a buyer needs to have in-depth knowledge about the estate market as well as the current rules and regulations; he or she needs to understand the local market and lastly, the buyer needs to have great negotiation skills.