Terms of Business – House Tree
We want you to fully understand your rights and obligations when you make a purchase from us. Please read the following terms and conditions before you complete you market your property with us. House Tree is a trading name of House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd.
You may scroll down to view all of our terms but are also bookmarked on the right for your convenience;
- General Terms and Conditions governing use of www.housetree.co.uk
- House Tree – Service Terms and Conditions
- Part1: Terms & Conditions applicable to all users of House Tree
- Part2: Terms & Conditions applicable only to sellers (or potential sellers)
- Part3: Terms & Conditions applicable only to buyers (or potential buyers)
The commission or remuneration payable by the seller for the introduction of a buyer provided by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd, trading as House Tree in accordance with Clause 3.
Seller or You
The seller of a property as set out below.
The purchaser of a property.
The freehold or leasehold property whose address is set out above.
Where only one estate agent is instructed to market the property.
Exchange of contracts
The date at which there is an exchange of binding contracts for the sale of the Property between the Seller and a buyer.
The point at which all transactions concerning the sale of the property are concluded and legal transfer of ownership passes to the buyer.
The date of the completion of the sale of the Property between the Seller and the Buyer.
The final agreed selling price of the property.
Should we directly or indirectly inform a prospective purchaser that The Property was on the market for sale, a consequence of which being they gain a personal interest in it. The term ‘indirectly informed’ specifically includes the internet and For Sale notices. Any sale to a buyer introduced via these forms of advertising is a sale originating from us and we are therefore entitled to Commission for the Introduction.
“housetree.co.uk” or “House Tree” or “we” means House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd, a registered company trading at Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham, BR3 1AT. Company registration number 08188910
House Tree provides both estate agency services and an online service under which House Tree will advertise its customers’ properties as well as other Free listings from other third parties.
Prior to listing properties on the House Tree website, House Tree has carried out all the usual steps to ensure that the description of the properties complies with all applicable estate agency regulations.
House Tree acts as agent for the seller of a property listed with House Tree only.
It is a condition of House Tree that all communications relating to an offer to purchase a property advertised for sale by House Tree and any negotiations in relation to the sale of such property are conducted via the House Tree team and not privately between the House Tree seller and any prospective purchaser introduced by House Tree .
These Terms and Conditions govern your relationship with House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd. and are made up of:
- General Terms and Conditions governing use of the House Tree website
- Service Terms and Conditions governing use of the House Tree service
The House Tree site is owned and operated by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd a company registered in England and Wales whose registered office is Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham, BR3 1AT. Company registration number 08188910
If you have any queries please contact us on 020 7060 4674 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday). Company Registration No. 08188910
1. Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
1.1 By using the website “Housetree.co.uk”, the user (“You”) agree to these Terms and Conditions. You will not use the Website for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these Terms and Conditions. By using the Website you are fully accepting the terms, conditions and disclaimers contained in this notice. If you do not accept these Terms and Conditions you must immediately stop using the Website and do not consider using House Tree services to sell your property.
1.2 In accessing the Website you agree that you will access the content solely for your personal, non-commercial use. None of the content may be downloaded, copied, reproduced, transmitted, stored, sold or distributed without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. This excludes the downloading, copying and/or printing of pages of the Website for personal, non-commercial home use only.
1.3 The Website is provided on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy.
1.4 www.housetree.co.uk makes no warranty that the functionality of the Website will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected or that the Website or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or anything else which may be harmful or destructive.
2. Accuracy of Information
2.1 In no event or circumstance shall House Tree be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of this information.
2.2 It is your responsibility to verify any information that you may obtain on House Tree with independent authorities before acting upon it.
2.3 It is your responsibility to use suitable anti-virus software on any material that you may download from the House Tree.
2.4 The contents of the Website do not constitute advice and should not be relied upon in making or refraining from making, any decision.
2.5 House Tree tries to ensure that material included on the House Tree site is correct, reputable and of high quality, it cannot accept responsibility if this is not the case. House Tree will not be responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information or for any technical problems you may experience with the House Tree site. If House Tree is informed of any inaccuracies in the material provided by House Tree on the House Tree site we will attempt to correct the inaccuracies as soon as we reasonably can.
3. Intellectual property
3.1 All copyright, trade marks and all other intellectual property rights in the Website and its content (including without limitation the Website design, text, graphics, database and all software and source codes connected with the Website) are owned by or licensed to www.housetree.co.uk or otherwise used by www.housetree.co.uk as permitted by law. You may not otherwise reproduce, modify, copy or distribute or use for commercial purposes any of the materials or content on the House Tree site without written permission from House Tree.
4. Excluded Services
4.1 The services provided by the House Tree site do not include the provision of computer or other necessary equipment to access the House Tree site. To use the House Tree site you will require Internet connectivity and appropriate telecommunication links. We shall not be liable for any telephone or other costs that you may incur.
5. International Use
5.1 House Tree makes no promise that materials on the House Tree site are appropriate or available for use in locations outside the United Kingdom, and accessing the House Tree site from territories where its contents are illegal or unlawful is prohibited. If you choose to access this site from locations outside the United Kingdom, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
These Service Terms and Conditions are made up of three parts:
Part 1: terms and conditions applicable to all users of House Tree
Part 2: terms and conditions applicable only to sellers (or potential sellers)
Part 3: terms and conditions applicable only to buyers (or potential buyers)
Part 1: TERMS AND CONDITIONS IN GENERAL
1.1 We may update the Service Terms and Conditions from time to time and any changes will be notified to you via the e-mail address provided by you on registration or via a suitable announcement on the House Tree site. The changes will apply to the use of the House Tree service immediately after we have given notice. If you do not wish to accept the new Service Terms and Conditions you should not continue to use the House Tree service. If you continue to use the House Tree service after the date on which the change comes into effect, your use of the House Tree service indicates your agreement to be bound by the new Service Terms and Conditions.
1.2 If we reasonably believe that you may be in breach of these Service Terms and Conditions we can immediately suspend your use of the House Tree service and withdraw your property from the market without notification.
1.3 You can cancel this agreement at any time by informing us in writing to the registered address above.
1.4 You will compensate us for any claims against us or expenses incurred by us if you breach these Service Terms and Conditions or the General Terms and Conditions.
1.5 The House Tree site allows you to purchase third party goods and services associated with the house selling process. These services will be provided by the stated third party and not House Tree . Other than to put in place the procedures to enable you to purchase that third party goods or service, House Tree has no responsibilities to you in relation to it and the separate terms and conditions of the relevant supplier will apply.
1.6 You may not transfer any of your rights under these Service Terms and Conditions to any other person. We may transfer our rights under these service Terms and Conditions to another business where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
1.7 If you breach these Service Terms and Conditions and we choose to ignore this, we will still be entitled to use our rights and remedies at a later date or in any other situation where you breach these Service Terms and Conditions.
1.8 We shall not be responsible for any breach of these Service Terms and Conditions caused by circumstances beyond our control.
1.10 We will try to solve any disagreements quickly and efficiently. If you are not happy with the way we deal with any disagreement and you want to take court proceedings, you must do so in England or Wales.
1.11 Data usage: We collect personal data to enable us to identify you and to deliver marketing and promotions based upon your demographics and search criteria, and for the purposes of statistical analysis. The information is used for system administration purposes and to form personalised profiles and demographics that we may use to improve the content of our communications to you. In order to collect customer use profiles, we may use “cookies” to store and track information about your use of housetree.co.uk. We will use this personalised information to keep you informed of areas you may have an interest. If you would prefer not to receive communications from us, please tell us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not sell, rent or disclose your personal details to any third parties, except:
- When required to do so by law
- In response to a valid legal request by a law enforcement officer or government agency
- When you have explicitly or implicitly given your consent
1.12 Access to personal data: Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we are entitled to charge an administration fee for answering your request of £10. All requests for copies of personal information should be made in writing accompanied by the administration charge to House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd, Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham BR3 1AT
1.13 Complaints: Should you not be happy with the service you are experiencing or have had with House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd. we will make every effort to resolve any complaints you may have. Should you wish to make a complaint please do so in writing to either email@example.com or Complaints, House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd, Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham BR3 1AT.
In return, we will respond to your complaint within five working days explaining what will do to try and resolve the situation and also give an estimated time it will take to resolve the matter, should this be applicable. If, after following our formal complaints procedure (above) in relation to any services we supply, you are dissatisfied with the responses from us you can direct any complaint to The Property Ombudsman.
House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd are member agents of the Property Ombusdman scheme for dispute resolution and we are bound by decisions, and fully insured to provide any compensation due as an outcome of the Ombudsman’s decisions. The Ombudsman can be contacted directly at the following address;
4 Bridge Street
Wiltshire SP1 2LX
1.14 Personal Interest: An estate agent must disclose any personal interest in selling or buying a property. This rule protects both buyers and sellers, and ensures no underhand dealings can take place. Each House Tree employee is personally responsible for declaring, in writing, if they are related by family or business association to the buyer or seller of a property. That person must then have no further involvement in the property negotiations. We provide training to all our staff to remind them about their obligations.
1.15 Discrimination: We will not discriminate against any person under the definitions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 or the Race Relations Act 1976. We will not discriminate, or threaten to discriminate against any prospective Buyer of your property because that person refuses to agree that we will (directly or indirectly) provide services to them.
1.16 GOVERNING LAW: These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and you hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. THE TERMS & CONDITIONS DO NOT AFFECT YOUR STATUTORY RIGHTS.
2.1 House Tree valuations are based on an analysis of recent transactions registered with the Land Registry and similar properties within the property area, additional factors such as décor and appearance are also taken into account. Valuations are only a recommendation to the vendor and the actual marketing figure is ultimately with the vendor.
2.2 For technical reasons, once we have finalised the listing details for your property it may take up to 24 hours for your advert to appear on external portals and 48 hours to appear on the House Tree site.
2.3 If require a For Sale board to display outside the property we will pass your name to a third party contractor who will supply the For Sale board to you directly. 2.4 If you erect or move the For Sale board, you must place the For Sale board in a safe place and in accordance with all local rules and regulations (for example, if you live in a conservation area you may need permission from your local planning authority to display a For Sale board).
2.5 To protect the environment, the third party contractor will re-use House Tree branded signs. So, please take care of the For Sale board. If the sign needs to be replaced because you have not taken care of it, you may incur a charge.
2.6 Any communications regarding arranging a viewing of your property should be done with the House Tree team at all times. The contact details which you provide to House Tree must be correct and kept up to date at all times.
2.7 Buyers can not enter into negotiations with you direct. All such negotiations must be conducted via the House Tree team.
2.8 A property transaction is an important event for both buyers and sellers, so you must behave with good faith towards the buyer. You must not engage in any kind of behaviour which may make a potential buyer feel uncomfortable or seeks to impact the normal course of any negotiation or transaction (for example, communicating with a potential buyer on an excessive basis or making false offers designed to drive up the price, either yourself or via a third party).
2.9 If you have more than one prospective buyer House Tree will assist you in deciding whether to proceed with the sale of the property. If you choose to go ahead, you must choose with whom to transact. You have total discretion and you do not, for example, have to choose the highest offer price.
2.10 All offers will be dealt with by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd.
2.11 In order to facilitate the sale, House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd will offer prospective purchasers our full range of estate agency services which may include the valuation or sale of their present property, property management, mortgage and conveyance services of companies not directly attached to House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd.
2.12.1 Vat is applicable on all our fees at the prevailing UK rate
2.12.2 www.housetree.co.uk has the following fee and agency structure, prices current as at 28/06/2017
2.12.2 (a) Pay Upfront £996 (no sole agency period) no completion fee. See also point 2.18
2.12.2 (b) Pay Later: £95 upfront fee (minimum 26 weeks sole agency from day the property is uploaded to website) 1% completion fee, Minimum £996.
2.12.2 (c) Pay No Fees – Additional terms which apply when our interest-free deferred loan is selected. If you use our partner Conveyancing company and mortgage brokers to sell your property, and then to buy your onward property, then any fees or commissions that we receive will be offset up to 100% of our ‘Pay Later’ charge in 2.12.2 (b) to reduce the fees to Zero. Any fees we receive in excess of 100% of the minimum upfront charge in 2.12 (b) will be retained by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd. For this service you agree to enter into a 10 month interest-free deferred loan agreement for £996 with our third party finance providers, Divido. The loan is due to be repaid by you within 10 months of the start date of the agreement. House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd agrees to repay you up to 100% of the £996 loan from commissions received from the Conveyancing Company and Mortgage Brokers that you agree to use as part of our service. This will usually be between 1 and 3 months after your property sale and/ or purchase has completed. The legal fee of £850 does not include disbursements. These will be charged extra by our legal partners who will request an initial £100 deposit to cover or part-cover such fees.
2.12.2 (d) Pay No Fees – Additional terms which apply when our interest-free deferred loan is not selected and you choose to pay with a credit or debit card. If you use our partner Conveyancing company and mortgage brokers to sell your property, and then to buy your onward property, then any fees or commissions that we receive will be offset up to 100% of our’Pay Later’ charge in 2.12.2 (b) to reduce the fees to Zero. Any fees we receive in excess of 100% of the minimum upfront charge in 2.12 (b) will be retained by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd. House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd agrees to repay you up to 100% of the £996 from commissions received from the Conveyancing Company and Mortgage Brokers that you agree to use as part of our service. This will usually be between 1 and 3 months after your property sale and/ or purchase has completed. The legal fee of £850 does not include disbursements. These will be charged extra by our legal partners who will request an initial £100 deposit to cover or part-cover such fees.
2.12.3 Where a percentage is stated this is calculated as a percentage of the final selling price.
2.12.4 The fees for upfront payment options are non-refundable in the event of a property remaining unsold, being withdrawn from the market or being sold by another agent, yourself or by any other means. See also point 2.18 & 2.19
2.12.5 If for any reason, you decide to terminate this contract, any upfront fees paid by you to us, are non-refundable.
2.12.6 The Commission is to be paid within 10 days of the completion date. In the event that the Commission is not paid within 10 days of the Completion Date Commission at a rate of twice the agreed completion fee will be payable to House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd.
2.12.7 Should all or any part of House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd Commission remain unpaid for more than 10 days after the Completion date, that sum shall bear interest from the due date until payment is settled in full at 4% per annum above the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc base rate and be charged to the Seller and be due and payable to House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd.
2.13 If you are currently marketing with an existing estate agent the terms & conditions of their contract must be adhered to.
2.14 House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd endeavours that your house is advertised on the website that is housetree.co.uk, Third party website portals are subject to change, as they may not be controlled by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd and we do not guarantee a continued presence on these websites. However, it is the policy of House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd to advertise on the most widely used property portals wherever possible.
2.15 In the event of a buyer being introduced to the property by House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd and subsequently entering into a binding contract to purchase The Property, House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd will be liable to a final commission as agreed in 2.12.2
2.16 If you wish to terminate the agreement after the sole agency period has expired please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd, Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham BR3 1AT.
2.17 Money Laundering Compliance. As required by law, we have in place procedures which are designed to prevent Money Laundering. These procedures include obtaining and updating satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients. This must be produced before we are able to process any work on their behalf. Sometimes we can speed this process up by the use of electronic verification of a client’s details. Please note that by accepting our terms of business you are consenting to such a check being carried out if necessary. Although this is not a credit check, information may be shared with a credit reference agency who may retain it on their file.
2.18 Refunds. None of our fees are refundable should your property not sell or you withdraw your property from the market. We do however offer a refund for our upfront payment option clients. The refund will not include the cost of the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), for sale board, photographs, Rightmove, Zoopla, nor solicitors fees. An administration fee of £395 is also charged for cancellations. Money will be refunded to the same credit or debit card that the original payment was made. Fees paid by any other method will be refunded by BACS. The refund is only for properties signed with House Tree after 3rd October 2016. The refund only covers properties who have been marketed exclusively with us for at least six months and your property has sold three months after the termination date with House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd.
2.19 Upfront payment option clients. Unused property lawyer fees. Although we do not offer refunds on upfront payment options, should your property not sell or you wish to withdraw from the market your pre-paid property lawyer fees can be refunded £200 payable on the original debit or credit card or via BACS. Alternatively you can still use your lawyer package in conjunction with another agent. This is only valid for properties signed with House Tree Online Estate Agents Ltd after 3rd October 2016.
2.20 Fees for Upfront payment Options are for 2 years only, should you need to extend your listing beyond this, a fee of £180 is due for all upfront payment options for a further 2 years worth of marketing.
2.21 Fees for Lettings. We offer a £95 (inc vat) Tenant Finder service, for this fee we advertise your property on Rightmove and Zoopla for a minimum of 1 month. After this period you can extend your agreement for a further month for £50 (inc vat). We also offer a Full Property Management service. Fees for this start at £240 (inc vat), for this fee we advertise your property on Rightmove and Zoopla for a minimum of 1 month. After this period you can extend your agreement for a further month for £50 (inc vat). This fee also includes an administration charge to set your property up with our management partner company, ARPM. They will be responsible for all rent collection, bond security, check ins, property inspections and and requested maintenance. For this service we will charge you £60(inc vat) per calendar month. This contract can be terminated at the end of the agreed tenancy term.
3.1 It is your responsibility to check the property corresponds with the advert.
3.2 We recommend you view the property and obtain advice from a licensed conveyancer/property lawyer and a surveyor before committing to any purchase.
3.3 You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary capacity and funds to purchase the property.
3.4 You are responsible for attending viewings for the property which you arrange with the seller. Should you be unable to attend a view we request you contact the House Tree team as soon as possible.
3.5 You are not permitted to enter into negotiations for the purchase of the property directly with the seller; all such communications must be handled via the House Tree team.
3.6 Viewings for properties are by appointment only and you are not permitted to enter into viewings directly with the seller; all such communications must be handled via the House Tree team.
3.7 A property transaction is an important event for both buyers and sellers, so you must behave with good faith towards the seller. You must not engage in any kind of behaviour which may make a potential seller feel uncomfortable or seeks to impact the normal course of any negotiation or transaction (for example, communicating with a potential seller on an excessive basis or putting pressure on the seller to reduce the price to achieve a sale, either yourself or via a third party).
3.8 If the seller has more than one prospective buyer it is the seller (advised by the House Tree team) who chooses with whom to transact for the sale of the property. The seller has total discretion and does not, for example, have to choose the highest offer price. The seller may also choose not to sell the property at all.
3.9 “Sold, subject to contract” status will only be achieved for the property when the Seller indicates that the price offered for the purchase of the property is acceptable to them.