Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: link
    • Member State: France
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Other
    • Decision date: 14/01/2010
    • Court: Cour de Cassation (Supreme court)
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff:
    • Defendant:
    • Keywords:
  • Directive Articles
    Doorstep Selling Directive, Article 1, 1.
  • Headnote
    Consumer Protection – Doorstep selling – Scope of application – Exclusion of liability - Case – Offer to buy transmitted to the home of the sellers by the estate agent having received authority to sell

    The transmission of an offer to buy executed at the home of the sellers by an estate agent to whom the authority to find buyers for the property in question had previously been given does not constitute doorstep selling
  • Facts
    A married couple wishing to sell their property had given authority to an estate agent. The estate agent having received an offer at a price lower than that which was asked for sought acceptance from his principals, the married couple, which was given at their home. Subsequently, the sellers refused to sign the sale contract and instead concluded a contract of sale with other prospective buyers introduced by another agent.

    The buyers of the first sale contract brought a claim against the sellers, the second buyers and the first estate agent to compensate their loss suffered.

    The Court of appeal of Caens rejected the claim since the estate agent had went to the home of the sellers in order to obtain their acceptance of an offer made at a price lower that the one requested. Furthermore, there had been infringement of articles L. 121-21, L. 121-23 and L. 121-26 of the Code de la consommation

    The Cour de cassation overturned the decision of the Court of appeal.
  • Legal issue
    The Cour de cassation considered that the transmission of an offer to buy executed at the home of the sellers does not constitute doorstep selling where the estate agent had previously been given the authority to find buyers for the property in question.

    In effect, doorstep selling is to be understood as an act made in contemplation of acquiring agreement to a transaction proposed by a third party. However, this cannot be the case where the doorstep seller had been given authority to attempt to find a buyer for the property.

    Article L. 121-21 of the Code de la consommation concerning doorstep selling applies to the person who would propose to prospective clients such and such a transaction mentioned by the article and relating to real property. In effect, the term ‘property’ is consistent with doorstep selling of real property.

    On the facts of the case the situation was different because the estate agent had already received authority from his clients in relation to the property. In fulfilling this agency, the estate agent had found a buyer and, given their signature, he naturally took the draft estate contract to the home of his client. This action is not a case of doorstep selling within the meaning of the Code de la consommation.
  • Decision

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