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Agents owed more than half a million from withdrawn sales last year - claim

Agents lost out on £600,000 worth of owed commission from withdrawn listings last year, industry data suggests.

Withdrawn sales are an occupational hazard for estate agents but new figures suggest a substantial number could actually still result in an owed commission.

Analysis suggests up to 10 per cent of withdrawn listings could end up as an identified sale where an agent is owed money for introducing the buyer.

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The figures were revealed by Richard Jefferies, managing director of Sinclair Taylor, in an exclusive video interview with Estate Agent Today.

Property debt recovery firm Sinclair Taylor regularly tracks withdrawn listings for agents on a no-recovery-no fee basis to assess if they end up selling and Jefferies said 40,000 withdrawn listing files were processed last year.

He said the firm collected £600,000 in unpaid commission last year for clients and even recovered £13,000 in a one-off owed fees for a London agent last month.

Jefferies revealed: “Agents are keeping records of withdrawn properties and sending that data through to us.

“We then do checks to see if we can identify a sale within their terms.”

“If you process a batch, you get 5% to 10% where you identify a sale after the event.

“The figure for high street agents is 6% to 7%.

“Online agents struggle a bit more and it can be around 10 per cent.”

Jefferies adds that even if a sale is detected, that doesn’t always mean a fee is due.

He adds: “We go through our bespoke software to first identify if a sale exists and will then collate information to confirm whether the purchaser was someone introduced by the agent.

“If we get a tick for that we will then check the contractual terms that the agent entered into.

“If all that is in place, that is when we will deem if there is a fee due and we will start the recovery cycle.”

He said the average debt value recovered on a withdrawn listing is around £3,000.

Jefferies added: “There can be huge amounts of money that agents aren’t identifying until they go through this withdrawn process.”

Watch the full video interview below.

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