For Sale but Sale Agreed?

Just a quick query to see if anyone else has experienced this or if andy EA’s could shed some light.

I almost went sale agreed on house at begining of August but at 11th hour I was outbid by 10k and was phoned at 10pm by EA to say vendor had been approched in person by a buyer who up’d my bid by 10k. Up to that point I’d been the only bidder and was awaiting it to go Sale Agreed.

Now I left it a few day before I phoned back to see what the story was and was told that the other bidder had paid a deposit the morning after that bid was put in. That was on August 9th which was 9 weeks ago today.

However I’ve past the house 3/4 times in the past 9 weeks including yesterday and the house still has a “For Sale” sign outside, it is however marked “Sale Agreed” on EA’s shop window & only went Sale Agreed on Daft on 28th Sept along with 3 other properties which went Sale Agreed by the same EA on the same day.

That is 4 houses went sale agreed by same EA on Fri 28th Sept, the same weekend the property price register came online. The EA is a small business without even a website of their own.

It’s not on the PPR website as being sold, nor the other 3 houses. I’m sure these were withdrawn, but I’m quite intrested in the house. Should I leave a note/letter in the letterbox asking the vendor to contact me directly or has anyone else experienced the same? What should I do?

Depending on the EA it can take a while for the house to go sale agreed. on My Home, Daft etc. It’s not unusual for an EA to mark several as sale agreed at the same day. Quite often you hear of people paying a booking deposit and the property not marked as sale agreed for a considerable time after payment. I’m not sure way this as I doubt the offers were all put in on the same day and that they all at the same stage of the conveyancing process.

I might be cynical but I think it could be a marketing ploy to make it seem to potential purchasers or vendor that they are doing a lot of business and thus are the EA to go with i.e. the properties would be listed in a row on My Home, Daft. And to generate a bit of panic in the market among purchasers I have noticed quite few properties going sale agreed in Wicklow and South Dublin in the last few months that are back on the market in no time after been marked sale agreed. Would love to know if they were ever really sale agreed.

There seems to be completely different policies among EAs

No harm in contacting the vendor in order to clarify the situation.

in my case I paid my deposit and only got the keys 6 months later after all the to-and-fro’ing with the solicitors etc … the Forsale / sale agreed sign only came down when I chopped it down myself a week after moving in

I have a friend who sold a few months ago…the asked the EA to leave the ‘For Sale’ sign unchanged outside her house (rather than put sale-agreed on it)…She felt that would stop people asking her how much it had sold for…

We paid a booking deposit on a house in July, & then the balance of the 10% in August. There is still to this day a for sale sign outside.

What should you do? It sounds like you were outbid. If the property comes on the market again the sign will prbably revert to “For Sale” without “sale agreed”. The vendor will insist on that if it is for sale.

The sign is only an ad and there is no obligation on anyone to change it afaik. The general sequence is as follows:

  1. House for sale, no bid accepted - sign says "For Sale "
  2. Bid accepted and booking deposit paid - Banner across sign reading “Sale Agreed” (banner can be removed if sale fall through)
  3. Contracts signed - Banner across tign reading “Sold”.
  4. Transaction completed - sign taken down.

When I sold my house I asked the agent to leave the for sale sign up until the contracts were signed. I didn’t want neighbours knowing my business till they had to.


If it were me, I would ask somebody to make an enquiry of the estate agent on my behalf without disclosing my name.

As an agent, I prefer to leave the boards saying “For Sale” until the sale has progressed. Enquiries can provide good back up in case a sale falls through. That said, when contracts are signed, I like to get it marked as “SOLD” asap as it is good advertising.