The vendor first instructed the plaintiffs to sell his residential home. They introduced several people, but no offers were made. The vendor went to another firm of agents. An extended planning consent was obtained, and one of the original enquirers returned and evetually bought the property. The vendor paid the second agent only. The first agent sued, and the defendant now appealed.
Held: The test of whether an estate agent can sue for having introduced a purchaser is whether he has introduced the purchaser to the purchase transaction, not merely to the property. The burden lay first on the agent to show that his introduction had been the effective cause of the purchase. The court might infer that causation from the introduction, but the defendant might show another effective casue of the sale. Here the first introduction had not produced a result, but the second did. The first agent was not the effective cause of the sale and was not to be paid.
Sir Donal Nicholls V-C, Staughton LJ
 1 EGLR 47,  39 EG 123
England and Wales
Considered – Wood (John D) and Co v Dantata; Beauchamp Estates v Dantata CA 1987
The purchaser liked inspecting houses and the vendor had appointed ten firms to act for him as estate agents. Each of the estate agents was approached by this purchaser and each of the estate agents took the would be purchaser over the property of . .
Considered – Chesterfield v Zahid 1989
Cited – Christie Owen and Davies v Lampitt CA 28-Jul-1999
An estate agent sued for his commission. The eventual purchaser had previously shown interest in the property, and approached the defendant, who only then approached the claimants and instructed them.
Held: The defendants case was not . .
Cited – Standard Life Assurance Company (Incorporated Under Laws of Scotland By Act of Parliament) v Egan Lawson Limited CA 21-Nov-2000
The defendant appealed against judgment in favour of his (buyer’s) estate agent for his commission in finding the property for it. A previous offer was rejected by the seller, but a subsequent agent of the buyer obtained the acceptance of a further . .
Cited – Foxtons Ltd v Pelkey Bicknell and Another CA 23-Apr-2008
The defendant appealed against a finding that she was liable to pay her estate agent, appointed as sole agent, on the sale of her property. The eventual purchasers had visited but rejected the property. The agency was later terminated, and the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.182507