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Old 08.09.2009, 08:17
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withdrawing an offer on a house - estate agent fees chargeable?

Hi everyone,

We put an offer in on a house in Basel area which, after a week of thinking about it, we withdrew. The estate agent had been very pushy and said we didn't need a pre-contract and to sign the contract immediately. First big danger sign!

The house needed work and we had made the offer based on making the house habitable quite quickly. We realised that this was not going to be possible, and because the estate agent was so pushy (we felt there must have been something really wrong with the house).

We withdrew by email making sure we had delivery and read receipts. The agent claimed not have received the email and attended the house waiting for us at a prearranged appointment which we had cancelled the same time as withdrawing. He did ring us 15 minutes before the appointment to scream at us. The agent has now billed us for his charges which he says he is entitled to do under Swiss law.

My question to the forum is this - can he do this?

Thanks in advance for help on this!
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Old 08.09.2009, 08:22
Niranjan
 
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Re: withdrawing an offer on a house - estate agent fees chargeable?

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Hi everyone,

We put an offer in on a house in Basel area which, after a week of thinking about it, we withdrew. The estate agent had been very pushy and said we didn't need a pre-contract and to sign the contract immediately. First big danger sign!

The house needed work and we had made the offer based on making the house habitable quite quickly. We realised that this was not going to be possible, and because the estate agent was so pushy (we felt there must have been something really wrong with the house).

We withdrew by email making sure we had delivery and read receipts. The agent claimed not have received the email and attended the house waiting for us at a prearranged appointment which we had cancelled the same time as withdrawing. He did ring us 15 minutes before the appointment to scream at us. The agent has now billed us for his charges which he says he is entitled to do under Swiss law.

My question to the forum is this - can he do this?

Thanks in advance for help on this!
About what?
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  #3  
Old 08.09.2009, 08:35
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Re: withdrawing an offer on a house - estate agent fees chargeable?

You don't mention whether you signed the contract, or anything for that matter.

I think it would be difficult for him to push for anything without you having signed in the first place.

Also, how can he deny the emails you sent if you have read receipts?
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Old 08.09.2009, 08:35
vwild1
 
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Re: withdrawing an offer on a house - estate agent fees chargeable?

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We withdrew by email making sure we had delivery and read receipts. The agent claimed not have received the email and attended the house waiting for us at a prearranged appointment which we had cancelled the same time as withdrawing. He did ring us 15 minutes before the appointment to scream at us. The agent has now billed us for his charges which he says he is entitled to do under Swiss law.
What was the appointment for..? Charges for what..? Had you signed a purchase agreement already..?
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Old 08.09.2009, 19:04
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Re: withdrawing an offer on a house - estate agent fees chargeable?

Hi - thanks everyone - no we had signed no contract and agreed nothing about him charging us - in fact my hubby specifically said "no" when he said he would charge us for his time.
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Old 08.09.2009, 19:40
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Re: withdrawing an offer on a house - estate agent fees chargeable?

Normal e-Mails have no binding legal status because they are not tamper proof. SwissPost have a special registered eMail service. That would be better. Best of all is registered post.

In the described situation, there are apparently no written documents. Hence, the agent would be unable to establish a claim and can be ignored.
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