I'm about to instruct an Estate Agent for the sale of my house.

I asked for a draft of the contract and found that it included a "Ready, willing and able" clause.

Full text:

  1. You will be liable to pay remuneration to us in addition to any costs or charges agreed if at any time contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged with a purchaser introduced by us or another agent during the sole agency period; or with a purchaser who became aware of the property through our marketing during that period; or where we have introduced a ready, willing and able buyer (see 6).
  1. READY WILLING AND ABLE: A buyer is ready willing and able if they are prepared and are able to exchange unconditional contracts for the purchase of your property. If such a buyer is introduced by us in accordance with your instructions our fee will become due even if you subsequently withdraw from the sale and unconditional contracts for sale are not exchanged.

I find this an unreasonable clause, and various online sources agree with me.

I'm expecting to simply tell the estate agent that I'm not willing to sign such a contract and that they need to strike that particular clause from the contract.

A variety of questions around this:

  1. Are such clauses still normal, or is this a relic from the past (as implied by the resources I've see online)
  2. Should I expect them to put up a fight, or is this something that they're trying on and will probably cave as soon as I push.
  3. Is there anything more concrete I can say about the clause. The linked resources seem to conclude that such clauses ARE legal ... just distasteful.
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about real estate practices and not about real estate or contract law.
    – user6726
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 17:57
  • Yes, this is a common practice on the part of estate agents - I know someone who was caught by it, in circumstances where they had in the meantime received a better offer from another party. They were still obligated to pay the original agent's fee. You can by all means try and exclude it - they certainly can't force you to accept it. Whether they do so may depend on how badly they want your business.
    – WS2
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:33
  • I agree with @user6726, if you already know that it is legal then there is no legal question here.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 19:31
  • @WS2 your comment looks like an answer - please make it one.
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 22:38
  • That's why I didn't put it in Legal; I put it in money, where there have been negotiation-approach questions in the past (I think even negotiation-with-EAs questions). I wouldn't have migrated it here, personally. Can that be undone?
    – Brondahl
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 6:18

1 Answer 1


Since this seems to have been viewed a lot, an update/answer.

I can't comment on the normalcy of such clauses since this has been my only experience.

But the Estate Agent immediately struck the clause without any fight, so it seems like it was just there "in case I let it slide".

It turned out to be a great decision, since I ended up finding my own buyer in the same week that the agent acquired a suitable offer, which I would then have been liable to pay the fees for.

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