Assured Advice 8: Joint agency boards

Two agents are instructed on a joint agency agreement to sell a property. When one agent secures an offer what should the other agent do to comply with Consumer Protection Regulations?

Black for sale board.jpg

This Primary Authority Advice has been produced by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service, in partnership with The Property Ombudsman and Propertymark, for use by member businesses as an aid to complying with the law. If you follow this advice correctly, your local Trading Standards Service should respect this and not ask you to comply with the law in a different way. If you are contacted by a local authority enforcement body, please inform them that you are a member of the scheme.

Two agents (A & B) are instructed on a joint agency agreement to sell a property. The ‘For Sale’ board outside the property has Agent A’s details on one side and Agent B’s details on the other. Both agents market the property on their websites, in local newspapers and in the window of their premises.

Agent A secures an offer on the property that is accepted by the vendor (however the vendor wants both agents to continue to market the property).

Assured advice issued:

1. ‘A’ places a ‘SOLD subject to contract’ sign on his side of the ‘For Sale’ board. What should Agent B do to comply with the CPRs, in regard to the ‘For Sale’ board?

It is important to consider the instructions from the vendor at this point. If the vendor informs both agents that the property is to be removed from the market, then Agent B should take down their ‘For Sale’ board and cease marketing.

If the vendor decides that marketing of the property should continue after accepting an offer subject to contract, then Agent B should also make it clear on his ‘For Sale’ board and marketing materials that the property is sold, subject to contract.

Agent B should not use any terms that would be misleading, for example ‘another property sold by us’ as this is incorrect and misleading. If Agent B is asked if they have sold the property, then they should clearly state no.

Only Agent A who has secured the sale can use additional advertising in his marketing material, such as ‘Another property sold subject to contract by Agent A’ as this is factually correct.

Any information relating to sale that is placed onto a ‘For Sale’ board should comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 3 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.

2. What other action should Agent B take regarding the marketing material in newspapers / his website and in the window display at his premises?

As above if the vendor requests for marketing to continue, then Agent B should update all his marketing material to make it clear to prospective buyers that the property is sold subject to contract, thus enabling those buyers to make an informed decision to enquire / view the property.

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