In Ireland, that depends on the terms of the agency agreement you have signed with your selected estate agent. Some agencies work on the basis that fees are payable on completion of a sale. Other agencies specify that fees are payable upon the estate agent completing the job of finding a willing and able buyer.
If the buyer signs a purchase contract, but you fail to sign your side, or you pull out after the exchange of contracts, you might be liable to pay the estate agent for the work they did, depending on the exact terms of your agency agreement.
Engaging an estate agent to “test the market” with no intention of selling is considered poor form. However, life happens, and sellers’ circumstances can change. If you deal with a more personal estate agent, they would typically take an understanding approach, whereas the larger brand name agencies may be less flexible.
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