Sale agreed?

Just went sale agreed on a house and have paid booking deposit. EA reckons they will not change house to sale agreed on their website until contracts are signed. Is this normal? Seems a bit strange to me.


There seems to be a bit of this about. So many people failing to get finance etc and the EA doesn’t want to look foolish if sales fall through etc.

Some EAs are also lazy. Sure this place is still up as For Sale even though it’s sold and appeared on the PPR.

Definitely normal. People pull out all the time. Especially at the moment, when people are getting into crazy bidding wars and having buyers remorse when they actually win the war. EA’s don’t want to give properties any bad press by listing them as sale agreed and then putting them back on the market.

If the property is not sale agreed on marketing, what’s the point in paying a deposit? Seems strange that I show my commitment by paying deposit but seller doesn’t even stop advertising that property is for sale…

In general, they’ll just tell everyone that it is sale agreed. They’d have to be very unprofessional to try and sell it to someone else while it’s sale agreed anyway. For the extra few grand it might generate by selling to someone else, it isn’t worth the risk to them for an extra few euro at most.

Thanks for the replies. It’s not comforting but I suppose there’s no option but to accept it!

I’ve had this happen to me twice and on both occasions I have made it clear that I would have my deposit back as if they continued to market the property - even passively - then I was unprepared to leave a deposit. Perfectly happy to continue proceeding to exchange/completion but not happy to leave a deposit. Clear firm instructions led to both being marked Sale Agreed.

I recently enquired about a house I was interested in and was told by the EA that it was actually sale agreed, but that the owner didn’t want it to be listed as sale agreed yet so it was still showing as for sale. I thought this was strange, but the EA wasn’t marketing the property anymore and made it clear that this house was not for sale anymore. Still, I’d feel a bit uncomfortable if I was the buyer.

We went Sale Agreed on a Friday afternoon and were worried that the under-bidders would have a think over the weekend and up their offer. However, Sherry Fitzgerald’s policy was that they would take it down off MyHome immediately, we had 3 days to pay the booking deposit and if we had not paid it by then they would put it back on the For Sale list. Found them very professional in this regard.

Even greater risk for the vendor though - a booking deposit is tiny and fully refundable so there is no risk for the purchaser. I am involved in selling a family property - booking deposit paid 4 weeks but contracts still not signed (no delay on our side), they are still waiting for their mortgage. If they don’t come through we will have missed this selling season - but at least we won’t have to take down the sale agreed sign.

It was the same with our house buying. Estate agent did not take ad down from internet until contracts are signed by the buyer. They just tell everyone who rings the houses are gone. They said that in the past houses disappearing and reappearing off DAFT were making people think there was something wrong with the house.
Yes it does make one nervous but if you have paid the booking deposit with EA it should be fine.

Then you shouldn’t have accepted the deposit or taken the property off the market without a proof of finance from the bidder. Leaving it as “For Sale” while taking a deposit is an uneven bargain. Either side can always pull out pre signing and a vendor can always accept another offer pre signing (gazumping) but the payment of 2-3% is a sign of faith (plus incuring of expenses). It’s not unreasonable to extend a courtesy in return.

“Proof of finance” was received but isn’t worth the paper its written on until purchaser signs contract - they can pull out at any time. POF usually means “mortgage approved in principle” again meaningless. If the purchaser signs the contract we will be delighted to take the property off the market. (We are not marketing it). He is the one waiting for finance. It is all in his hands - nothing we can do about it. But we will be seriously upset if it doesn’t happen.