Unconditional sale of business fell through - what next?

Hey guys

While this doesn't fall in the category of commercial property it is non-resi business, so I though this was the best place...

In 2007, my parents had an offer to purchase their business which went unconditional. The purchasers had paid the 10% deposit to the REA. The purchasers subsequently pulled out and haven't been heard from since. Correspondence between my parents solicitor and the REA was unsuccessful in claiming the deposit. As the offer was unconditional my parents believe this deposit is rightfully theirs...nothing further happened for a while

Recently, they sent a personal letter to the REA requesting release of the deposit to them. The REA telephoned them and arranged a meeting at which he asked my parents to sign a release handing the deposit over to the purchaser? Apparently they are now claiming we were in breach of the contract by not providing the lease within 7 days - from everyone's recollection the lease was provided in accordance with the conditions of the contract. My parents obviously didn't sign this...the REA then suggested if the contract was unconditional he would be entitled to full commission and that was the entire deposit...its a substantial deposit too btw...they think the REA has already used the deposit for his own purposes...

What should do they next?? I've suggested calling REIQ and seeing if there is a reporting system? But beyond that, can anyone suggest anything? Are my parents entitled to the deposit? Is court the only option?

Thanks for any ideas! I'll keep researching in the meantime
sounds very messy. I would be speaking to your solicitor and asking their advice. or contact the relevant REIQ/fair trading type places. check the contract you had with the REA as to whether the commission is payable if the sale falls through...often it can be so be careful...but still the REA should have invoiced you back in 07 for it or released it,,looks like he's just been sitting on the funds until everyone forgets about it?? not a very ethical way to run a business.

Just my 2c, only limited info so my comments are pretty broad :) good luck.
yeh...that's who i've put them on to now...was just seeing if there were cheaper more practical methods...despite being of a legal background i am anti-solicitors sometimes, they cost a fortune! lol...:)
heh that's debatable Ausprop. You just need to go with someone you trust, whatever profession they are
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heh that's debatable Ausprop. You just need to go with someone you trust, whatever profession they are

Yes but no solicitor will charge 10% for a conveyance . Next time adjust the appointment of agency to exclude agents commission except on settlement.

Finally the lease thingy will allow a termination if not disclosed under the standard reiq contract. Had you provided a copy to your lawyers before the 7 day period?

PS don't listen to the agent- speak to your lawyer.
It does not seem to be clear. One moment you say it was unconditional, and next the seller may have been default for not providing a lease. Not sure what you mean by this. If the seller default is correct, then the deposit would have beeb refunded to the purchaser. If not, and the buyer was in default, then the law has certain steps that the agent must follow, before he can do anything with the deposit. If the agent has done those things, then yes, he can claim his commission from the deposit. Do you know another agent that you can have look at the paperwork, and perhaps if nothing else, claify soem of these issues. The other direction you can go, is the Office of Fair Trading, that administers the Act. This does sound like it need investigation. I hope your parents sell their business.