BY TIM O’DWYER
Clients of mine had listed their home with a local agent who was a member of the Real Estate Institute (REI). Their listing agreement with the agent, unusually, didn’t provide for a sole or exclusive agency. Rather, it was an open listing which meant my clients had the contractual right to try to sell their home themselves. So, while their agent showed mainly foreign buyers through the property, my clients placed their own adverts on the internet and dealt with a number of consequential private enquiries.
When one of these internet buyers – not a foreigner – offered to buy at the right price, a private sale was negotiated subject to the parties’ solicitors finalising formal and binding contracts.
While I was taking instructions on the proposed sale contract, I asked my clients if their property had been listed with an agent. I wanted to ensure that there would be no risk of any agent’s commission claim down the track. The clients told me what they had done and handed me a copy of their open listing agreement.