The defendant desired to sell his property, No.1 Horbury Mews and engaged the claimant (an estate agent) to assist him. On the advice of the claimant the defendant agreed, on the 29 June 2001, to market his property at £1.5m. An offer from a third party was received and accepted. Contracts were subsequently exchanged on the 22 August 2001. Meanwhile, and unknown to the defendant at the time of exchange, a neighbouring property, No. 4 Horbury Mews, was put on the market with an asking price of £1.95m. An offer of £1.8m for No. 4 was accepted on the 23 August 2001.
The claim was for commission due to the claimant on the sale of 1. Horbury Mews. The defendant while admitting liability for the amount, argued that he was entitled to set off those sums against his counter-claim that the claimant was in breach of contract and/or negligent in his advice regarding the asking price and in failing to pass on information concerning the marketing of No. 4 Horbury Mews.