Q. I have just agreed an offer on my house privately with a neighbour, I have notified my agent, but they are telling me that I still owe them a fee regardless as I signed a ‘sole selling rights’ contract with them, surely this cant be right as they did not introduce the buyer?

A. Check your contract, the usual terms are either ‘sole’  or ‘multi’ agency, if you have however signed a ‘sole selling rights’ contract, then I’m afraid they are right! In brief this type of contract means that the seller will have to pay the appointed Estate Agent the agreed fee, whoever introduces a buyer within the agency period, as long as the buyer concerned exchanges contracts, even if the exchange of contracts occurs outside the agency period. The buyer could be introduced by another agent, a friend of the seller or indeed the seller themselves. It does not matter – the agreed fee still has to be paid. I’m pleased to report that this type of agreement is not in frequent use.