Any advice in relation to the following would be greatly appreciated. Scroll down to the bottom if you want to get to the point without the detail.
I can not name the specific property address or the agents involved for legal reasons as will be apparent.
Two weeks ago today (September 22) I attended an open home as a potential buyer of the property.
The following Monday (23rd) I was contacted by the agent (I left contact details at the open) and I agreed to a further inspection of the property the next day.
The next day I inspected the property and decided to make an offer (in writing) below full asking price. The agent suggested that my offer was unlikely to be accepted but agreed that it was a serious offer nonetheless and would take it to the vendor.
The vendor rejected the offer and the agent notified me around 6pm that night.
During my inspection of the property that day the agent made a number of statements, some of which I believe to be untrue.
Specifically they said:
That a nearby property had just sold for full asking price (not true - it is still for sale now).
That another property I was comparing with was not larger than the one I was interested in purchasing (the land area is in fact quoted as being around 20% larger which is confirmed via looking on Whereis / Google Earth).
That the vendor would withdraw the property from the market if not sold very soon and would instead use it as a rental property (they have since listed with an additional two agents - all of them to sell rather than let it).
These statements plus the fact that the agent had readily volunteered information that the vendors would presumably not want made public (eg that they had already bought elsewhere) plus the reality of the property having not sold in the roughly 3 months it had been listed (most others in the area selling far more quickly) lead me to doubt the abilities of the agent.
On the evening of Wednesday 3rd of October I noticed that the same property was now listed with another agent (hereafter "agent 2").
Being aware that the property was empty and that the vendors had already bought elsewhere I assumed this to be an indication that the vendors were now more eager to sell than previously. As I was now in a position to make a moderately higher offer than that made previously I thought that it was worth another attempt at purchasing it.
I contacted agent 2 on Thursday morning and arranged to meet at the property. I inspected the property again and made an offer (in writing). Agent 2 suggested that my offer was at the lower limit of what the vendors might accept but stated that she would take it to them that evening.
Agent 2 also informed me that there was another agent (agent 3) who also had the property listed and they were holding an open home on Saturday. She said the contract period with agent 1 had now expired.
The vendor considered the offer for some time but rejected it that evening.
During the course of Friday agent 2 contacted me and the vendor a number of times during the course of negotiation. By 4pm that day I had an offer in writing which she suggested the vendors would seriously consider.
Today agent 2 contacted me again and a minor change to the offer (same price, different settlement date) was agreed to. Both the vendor and myself now agreed on price and settlement date. Deal done? NO!
This is the problem...
Agent 1 has demanded that they receive commission from the sale and that the vendor must pay two commissions. Following some argument between agents, they have offered to pay 20% of the commission to agent 2.
I have had no dealings with agent 3. They are not involved at this point.
It has rapidly escalated and in a matter of a few hours and the directors of both agents have become personally involved (agent 1 is a large company, agent 2 much smaller) and the dispute seems to have become quite bitter.
The vendor obviously doesn't want to pay two commissions. I want to buy the property and don't want the vendor to walk away thinking it is all to hard and deciding to look for another buyer instead.
What, if anything, can/should I do now?