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A serious question on house selling

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


UzziInSunshine Report 11 Apr 2013 18:46

A couple of days ago my Aunt and Uncle were in my Mum´s house doing the final pack up, when the buyers turned up to measure up, with the keys from the estate agent.
Now nobody knew that my aunt and Uncle was going to be there. They all knew mother and I live in Spain.

I wonder why when I still had contents in the house did the estate agent hand the keys over to the buyer and allow them unlimited access ?
Am I wrong to question this ? Even if the house was empty (which the estate agent knew it wasn´t) is giving the keys to the buyer, before contract without contacting the the seller right?
They would have got away with it if nobody was in the house as it is the buyers were so surprised to find that somebody was staying in the house for a few days.

I am quite perturbed that an estate agent could hand the keys over so easy.

Views ??


terryj Report 11 Apr 2013 18:49

don't think that is right
what if they didn't buy after all just decided to squat instead
what if property went missing or was damaged
legal minefield all round

♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 11 Apr 2013 18:52

I do hope you rang the Estate Agents & asked about this. They did not know just what you still had in the house, its value, or if the new owners were trustworthy.


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 11 Apr 2013 18:53

No I don't think your wrong to question why.

I would be more than perturbed and the agent would get an ear bashing.


InspectorGreenPen Report 11 Apr 2013 18:54

Certainly as a general principle, the estate agent might have authority to enter in order to show prospective purchasers around, but not to hand over the keys

Without knowing more about how the agent was instructed nor at what stage the sale was at, it is only possible to speculate.

Why don't you ask them?


Island Report 11 Apr 2013 18:54

In my recent experience Uzzi the estate agent escorted us at the house we were buying and only allowed us to be at the house alone with the permission of the seller. We were not handed the keys until we had completed.


UzziInSunshine Report 11 Apr 2013 18:54

terryj that has also been my thoughts, but I am not sure as yet where I stand but I do think it was unethical of the estate agent, I wonder if if it is illegal?

As you said a legal minefield


UzziInSunshine Report 11 Apr 2013 18:58

Carol I haven´t yet phoned the estate agent as I have only just found out.
I do wonder about the fact the estate agent phoned me after the buyers had been and did not tell me they had been there. Checking to see if I had been told maybe ?

♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 11 Apr 2013 19:03

If the buyers had told the Estate Agents that there were people in the house, why did they not ring you to check that they were supposed to be there?


UzziInSunshine Report 11 Apr 2013 19:03

IGP the estate agents do NOT have permission to allow anybody access without them being there

Lesley I am perturbed because after Friday the house is empty until sold. My Aunt and Uncle didn´t actually like the buyers and think they are buying to sell. Not that, that makes a difference to me selling. BUT I am not allowing access to the garage for storage until the house is sold.

Is anything easy ?


JoyBoroAngel Report 11 Apr 2013 19:07

my son has 10 houses
and we dont get the keys
till the transaction is finalised


UzziInSunshine Report 11 Apr 2013 19:16

Joy I didn´t think they would, but I am wondering what the heck my estate agent was thinking about to give the keys out before contract, knowing that I had all my Mums life in there, not just furniture.

I am still too angry to contact him, but I will. I am also annoyed that he phoned me the day the buyers had been in, and told me he knew I had people there (which I explained) but still didn´t tell me that the buyers had been there with keys !! .

Anybody know of an estate agent pact thingy maybe I ought to sue him lol


Island Report 11 Apr 2013 19:51


You should be able to check if they are members of The National Association of Estate Agents on their website/advertising

If so, here is the code of conduct – see item 6. Access


InspectorGreenPen Report 11 Apr 2013 19:59

As I said, without knowing all the facts you can only speculate.

Whoever instructed the agent should have a contract setting out the responsibilities for each of the parties, which should include arrangements for allowing access to potential purchasers.


Mayfield Report 11 Apr 2013 20:00

Doesn’t sound right, agents do give keys out to surveyors and some trades people under certain circumstances but not purchasers. Sounds like they were just being lazy maybe a call to give them a chance to explain, if you are still not happy contact whatever trade association they belong to.



Island Report 11 Apr 2013 20:03

As I said........


JoyBoroAngel Report 11 Apr 2013 20:06

i would phone the estate agent
and say your not happy

as for them knowing people where there
then why did the buyer have the keys

the buyer should not have keys till the compleation
what if they were sqatters :-(


VIVinHERTS Report 11 Apr 2013 20:56

We had the same problem when selling my f-i-l's house some years ago. The sale had been agreed and everything was progressing well. I popped in weekly to check the house etc.... I called one afternoon and was gobsmacked to find that kitchen cupboards had been removed, carpets taken up and paper had been stripped.

I contacted my then husband and his brother (the sellers) and told them what was going on. My b-i-l left work and came straight round and because the estate agents were closed took photos as evidence..

Not long after the buyer turned up and was shocked to find us there. My b-i-l demanded he hand over the keys and told him he would be contacting his solicitor and estate agent first thing in the morning.

He had been granted access to the house with a builder (with our permission) to measure up, get quotes etc but the estate agent had let them go on their own. It seems the buyer had had the keys copied before they were returned to the estate agent.

The upshot was the solicitor said if he wanted access before the completion and wanted to do any works he would have to stump up a hefty non-returnable deposit .

All work and access was halted, he was charged extra for the things he had done and the sale was completed on time.

Give the estate agents a right good telling off and tell them that no one goes into the house without one of their representatives present.


UzziInSunshine Report 11 Apr 2013 21:08

okay as angry as I am, I will contact the estate agents and see what they have to say.
I will ask why when they phoned me after the sellers had been to the house they had not told me that they had given the keys out , I am so angry but I will be sensible when I phone them.


Annx Report 11 Apr 2013 21:11

That's just what I was going to say VIV, what if they had the keys copied! If the estate agent haven't been given authority for unaccompanied visits, I would want the locks changing at their expense. If contracts haven't been exchanged yet, what would happen if the buyers forgot to lock up and the place got burgled, who would they expect to foot the bill? I would put these questions to the estate agent. Nothing runs smoothly does it. :-S