Campaign against standard term estate agency contracts

Category: Correspondance

Communications with Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans Penyards Country Properties

Lisa Evans Penyards Country Properties

We instructed Penyards based on the following email. They agreed with our comments and were happy to market at that level:
From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:xxxxxx@xxxxxx.com]
Sent: 04 February 2012 22:38
To: xxxxxx Simpson
Subject: Fwd:

Hi xxxxxx

Thank you for your time looking around xxxxxx, my husband and i feel
the same way about the way the house has been marketed which is why we are looking to change agents.

Our motivation is time and money! Obviously the longer it’s on the market
the more it costs to keep as were not renting it out and we really want to
move on. On the other hand we’re not going to give it away.

Unfortunately, to produce such a stunning and unique property comes at a
price. We spent a year tracking down the very best ‘project’ and were
extremely lucky to get it. Then the best of everything has been used,
there’s ton upon ton of oak, all hand crafted, Micklemerche hand made
tiles,a solid oak hand built kitchen etc, etc and it’s all there at a cost,
which we’re keen to recover. At 2M there’s not a lot in it for us, if you
want a house like this in the forest I can’t see how you can get it cheaper
and this is what the marketing needs to reflect I think. You can get
bigger, you can get more land, but I feel xxxxxx has a package and just
dropping the price for a sale isn’t an issue because once done you can’t put
it back up. having said that we are willing to be realistic.

If you would like to indicate what price you had in mind and show properties
for comparison then we can discuss this and work out the best way forward.

Going on the viewings we have already had, the price does not seem to be the
problem, it’s not been mentioned that they think it is overpriced, it seems
that we just haven’t had the right buyers through the door yet.

Maybe it would be a good idea to have a telephone / skype conversation where
we can come to decision and cover all questions at once.

If you would like to talk over the phone our landline number is and my cell phone number is , the best time for this i would think would be around 9am your time, that would be 10 pm for us, if you could make it a bit earlier that would be great say 8.30 am your time,
but let us know so we can arrange a time and date.

Kind regards
xxxxxx

——-
xxxxxx xxxxxx
spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com

Email showing Penyard’s expectations

From: “xxxxxx Simpson” <xxxxxxsimpson@penyards.com>
Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 25 February 2012 02:26:45 GMT+13
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Dear xxxxxx,

Trust you are well.

We are now close to putting the finishing touches to your property details and I will email them over to you very shortly for your approval.

With regard to marketing over the course of the next days and weeks we will be starting the London Showcase of which your property is to be included.

The first Ad will be appearing in the Country & Townhouse Magazine on the 9th March, The Financial Times Weekender on the 10th & 31st March and the Telegraph on the 17th and 24th March. In addition to this we have a 16 Page Inspire supplement on the 8th March and throughout in all local publications and our Own Inspire magazine which you will be able to view on our website from the End of March.

I believe that with these promotions in place over the next few weeks we shall receive a great deal of interest on xxxxxx of which I will keep you informed at every stage.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss marketing please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kindest Regards

Offer 1. THIS INCLUDED THE CONTENTS OF OUR PROPERTY – THIS SALE PROCEEDED WITH A LONG EXCHANGE OF MAILS AND THEN SUDDENLY WENT COLD

From: Lisa Evans <lisaevans@penyards.com> Date: 7 March 2012 09:50:34 GMT+13:00
To: “spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>
Subject: xxxxxx

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx,

just wanted to let you know that we had a good viewing at the property earlier this afternoon from some cash buyers who are looking to complete on a property by May. They have been out viewing all day and it was certainly the best they had seen up till then, although they were then going to view a couple more.

We are due to have another conversation with them in the morning and I will then provide you with a further update.

In the meantime they did feel the price was a little on the high side compared with what else they had seen so far, although the question did come up about its contents and I think if they were to pursue it at a more attractive price level, then dangling the carrot as it were by way of a deal to include the contents minus personal effects, then it might be a way of tempting them up.

Obviously if they are interested in pursuing it, I will play hard ball and use my very best endeavours to get as much money from them as possible, but I just really wanted to find out from you, if including contents would be something you would consider and at what level, and also if a quick completion could work with you and your tenants?

Let me know your thoughts and please be assured of our best attentions in this matter.

With kind regards

Lisa Evans
Sales Director

Lisa already dealing with our posessions

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 9 March 2012 04:56:12 GMT+13
To: “‘xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – xxxxxx.com'” , <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Hi Mr and Mrs xxxxxx,

Just to keep you in the loop.

I have had one conversation with Mrs Connelly regarding her potential interest and the question over contents. I have suggested they make an offer for the property first so we can at least start negotiations. If we can then bring this to a satisfactory conclusion, then we can move onto phase two, namely the contents. She agrees this would be the best way forward, but wanted to speak to her husband and also talk to the planners about the outbuildings and the potential there. I have told her that in respect of the outbuildings, they may just need to take a view on this, and informally it is then up to them how they use them.

I have left her a follow up message this morning to see how they are getting on and will provide you with another update just as soon as I have one.

In the meantime the property is featured today in the Hampshire Chronicle by way of a whole page and looks fabulous. We are already receiving lots of calls, so watch this space ……… !

Speak/email soon.

Best wishes

Lisa

‘In the meantime they did feel the price was a little on the high side compared with what else they had seen so far, although the question did come up about its contents and I think if they were to pursue it at a more attractive price level, then dangling the carrot as it were by way of a deal to include the contents minus personal effects, then it might be a way of tempting them up.’

Again we try to persuade Lisa to focus on the positives rather than just keep dropping the price
From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 16 April 2012 13:52
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi Lisa

Just a few other things, I have noticed when looking on different web sites there is nothing to say about xxxxxx having forest access. I feel this should be mentioned right up front as I know when we were looking to buy, it played a big, big part in considering the property, it is one of the properties big assets and looking at find a property it is not mention at all.

I am not the best person at spelling and maybe it does not matter to much, but if you also read the advert on find a property there is the odd spelling mistake. e.g.,whreupon, and there is no step into the orangery which it states there is , there is also no mention of the gym area. Really I think this could help being mentioned also. It may help to word it a little differently ,e.g. the bit staying the same about the space above the cob stables but say that the space above the triple garages is being used as a gym. Sorry it does mention forest access BUT not until you get down to FEATURES. The old saying you sale some thing within the first 15 seconds is so true. Maybe with your eye for these things you could take a look at the adverts from a buyers view, see if there is any thing else you would change. The main house photo is a little in shadow this is not your fault, as it was Winter when it was taken, in the spring the sun rises much high in that area and may take a better photo. ???

I hope you don’t think I am tell you how to do your job, it’s fun though looking at the house again after so long you see it with fresh eye if you know what i mean.

Let me know you take on the things mentioned many thanks.
I do hope you had a nice holiday .

Kind Regards
xxxxxx

REPLY

The effect of the conversation with Evans was to not use our contents as a bargaining tool and to get over the ‘quality’ of the property:

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for you mail. We can complete anytime they like as the tenants are only house sitting.

The thing to do is see where they are on a deal – some of the contents may be included and we could move on the price. We won’t include all the contents as we have a house to furnish out here but we can let you know where some of the larger items were bought locally.

The thing to get over on the price is the cost of getting a house like that built – if that’s what they like, then that’s what it is. There’s lots of property out there I know but it’s the oak and materials that make it special and the price isn’t far off what it cost to do.

The simplest thing would be to make a reasonable offer and it’s theirs.

‘The thing to get over on the price is the cost of getting a house like that built – if that’s what they like, then that’s what it is. There’s lots of property out there I know but it’s the oak and materials that make it special and the price isn’t far off what it cost to do.

The simplest thing would be to make a reasonable offer and it’s theirs.’

Penyards failed to secure any other offers so in an attempt to get interest she wanted to drop the price with a bizarre tactic.

On 16 Apr 2012, at 11:43, Lisa Evans wrote:

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

Further to my conversation with Mrs xxxxxx this morning, I just wanted to give you an update in respect of activity on the property.

As discussed whilst first phase enquiries have been strong, the disappointing element is in responses there after and particularly in relation to viewing appointments and which apart from the Connellys have been virtually non-existent. Whilst we are now in a more buoyant period with a lot more buyers in the market place to make a purchase, the down side to this is that it is also a time when more property becomes available and therefore it actually becomes more competitive as a seller.

Whilst I appreciate you are not keen to go much below the current guide price of £1,950,000, I do think it would be worthwhile giving further thought to a different strategy and pitching at a very different level to attract those who are currently not coming forward. Lowering the threshold and then using this as a platform to build on has proved extremely effective with other similar properties and price brackets and would encourage you to consider this and inviting ‘offers in excess of £1,750,000’.

I fully understand Mr xxxxxx’s concern over this, but would encourage you to focus on the tactic of this rather than the detail, as it will ensure that the websites, tv and advertising draw in a totally different and much wider audience of buyers who we don’t get to speak directly to and who will also have a very different expectation. They key to selling at the moment is in matching if not exceeding expectation and by doing this, it then enables us to use the price in an upward direction. Whilst I fully understand your concern at receiving offers under this level, we will just decline them on our behalf but we can then use them positively with other interested parties. Also at least by generating firm interest and this is something we are not doing, it gives us something to work with given that more often than not where an offer starts at and the ends up at can be vastly different, and once individuals start making offers they mentally begin moving into the property by which time it is much more likely for them to find more money.

Do have a further think about this and let me know your thoughts. In the meantime both Jo and Shelley finally managed to get inside the property on Saturday morning and so are both now much more familiar with it and better placed to encourage interest.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Lisa

My Reply

I simply don’t understand the logic of this ‘tactic’. We are simply pitching the price at £1,750,000 why would someone offer £100k over this? If I were to see a price then I always offer below that.

Having said that I am open to the idea and would like to see some examples when this has worked.

I would also like to make contact with the Conellys if only to see what the issue actually is. Please forward a contact number or a method of finding this eg google search.

Lisa Evans

On 16 Apr 2012, at 13:10, Lisa Evans wrote:

Hi Mr xxxxxx,

I fully understand your hesitancy at the likelihood of paying over a price,
however, the majority of peopleinitially try it on, but if it is what you
want, exceeds expectation and you have the budget you may start under but it
certainly wont be where you finish, particularly if you are aware there are
other interested parties. Remember you only accept what you want to but at
least if we can get potential buyers offering, then the rest is up to me to
get them up to an acceptable level.

Attached are a few examples of properties where we have done this and have
exceeded the price.

Regarding the Connellys, I am not able to just give you their nos
unfortunately, however, they own a company in London called Giraffe if that
is any help but I haven’t told you this! I think we can assume though they
are out of the picture, although if there is there is a flicker of interest
still by re-promoting the property at a far more attractive level will bring
them out don’t you think?

Let me know
Lisa

My Reply

Hi Lisa,

I think xxxxxx wrote yesterday regarding our thoughts. I can see some logic in the tactic but it makes me nervous. You don’t say how much these examples actually achieved. I would like to be getting as close to the asking price as possible and can’t see someone offering 100k more than 1.75k … but I also understand that what you want and what you get are different things and I am willing to try anything, within reason!

I would feel more comfortable with our present decision and see how we fair. We can reassess the situation in a few weeks.

We tried the tactic and it did not work so we asked Penyards to put the price back up – they refused!

—-Original Message—–
From: xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – xxxxxx.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: 24 May 2012 00:11
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: xxxxxx

Hi Lisa –

It’s clear now that the tactic of ‘offers over’ hasn’t generated the
interest you anticipated.

Please put the price back to £1,895,000 as originally mentioned.

Lisa Evans

On 24 May 2012, at 16:13, Lisa Evans wrote:

Dear Mr xxxxxx

Thank you for your email the contents of which I note.

Whilst I fully understand your frustration at the lack of interest, the
facts of the matter are that we are in the deepest recession for some 60
years. The European divide is consequently having a major adverse impact
upon markets around the world and in the UK we have a property recession
like no other previously experienced and one we hope never to witness again.
Values remain static or in some cases still in decline. The mortgage
markets are barely open for business with supply considerably outweighing
demand. The stock markets that underpin confidence have fallen 15% in the
past 10 days and under these conditions it is unimaginable that raising the
price of a property will enhance any prospect of selling. It will in my
opinion almost guarantee further failure. At the moment there is little
momentum in the market which is illustrated by the fact that in Hampshire
and the New Forest only one in 10 properties above £1,000,000 has a buyer
despite many dropping prices by some 20%. xxxxxx is in the majority of
90% unsold, and to reduce the price further, your chances of selling will
increase, increasing it would therefore be totally illogical and there
really would be little point our continuing.

On a positive note, since we set the new pricing strategy first phase
enquiries have increased considerably so despite the lack of viewings, it
has certainly interested a lot more people than previously.

I will wait to hear from you and please be assured of our continued
attentions.

Lisa

My Reply

Thank you – I know the market is slow.

Why are you saying that to ‘raise the price is unimaginable’? We are not raising the price but lowering it. It was advertised at £1.95 I agreed to test your ‘tactic’ and noticed that the advertising now said ‘guide price’ not OIEO. It appears that from this statement that you have dropped the price of our property by stealth.

So are you saying that if we want to advertise the property at the price we actually want to achieve rather than a price we will not sell at you want to terminate the contract?

In my opinion you are getting enquiries but people are not viewing because they are attracted by a price and then told that this actually isn’t the price. I have bought many properties and have spoken to a number of people on this. I certainly would not offer more than an advertised price and this is an opinion shared by many.

We could easily generate more enquiries by advertising the property at £1,000,000.

Let me know so that we can make a decision on our course of action. We may rent it out for a while.

Offer 2 – Penyards focus on a price drop – they say they were led to believe the property was available at £1.5 – the only people who spoke to them were Penyards so this was something they must have proposed

‘Whilst is ticks a lot of boxes for them they have seen a brand new one in Avon Castle that is much bigger and that has the edge. They have also been led to believe they could get the price down to £1,500,000 so are currently going to make an offer on this. We will of course keep in touch with them and let you know.’

xxxxxx
From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 25 April 2012 11:57
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi Lisa

Where on earth have they got the idea we would take £1,500,000 the property was on for nearly 2 million last week, we had an offer even though it did not come to light, but they are not to no the in and out of that, at nearly the last asking price. I have hear from my friends who are house sitting for me, as Eddie is the owner of the painting and decorating company that is redoing the painting on the other property that they looked at. That it is on very, very busy roads, it’s not at all as nice an area, no land ,no forest access which in it self is gold dust. so i don’t so how they can compare the two properties, the other one being much less than ours because of the location.

Any way if you do need to contact me in the nights your day time that is not a problem.

What don’t people understand about offer in excess, it’s not offer under as much as you can !!!!

Kind Regards
xxxxxx

Offer 3 – by this time we had instructed Penyards not to include our possession during conversations

On 10 Jun 2012, at 02:10, Lisa Evans wrote:

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx,

Hope you are both well and just wanted to provide you with an update following on from a viewing appointment at xxxxxx with Mr Barber earlier today.

He has looked at a number of houses over the last couple of days and currently yours is the favourite. However, like all these things it comes down to money and given he is a cash buyer looking to move as soon as possible (I have his solicitors details so I can of course check this out on Monday morning when they are back in) feels he is in a strong position to negotiate.

Anyway the offer he has asked me to submit to you is £1,800,000 to include the entire contents of both the house and the garage/outbuildings. I have explained that my understanding from my earlier dealings with the other interested party were that contents were not something you were looking to sell and if this is the case, then his offer would be £1,600,000.

Whilst I would like to be saying to you this is an opening offer and one which I would hope to get increased, it is apparent from the conversations I have already had with him, that this is a take it or leave it scenario. Whilst I wait to hear from you I will attempt to call his bluff and let you know when we are next in contact how I have progressed, however, I will be totally honest with you and do believe if he cannot get an acceptance from you at either of the above figures, he would then move onto his second choice. He is also under the impression from me the previously interested party are still in the frame and at considerably more money, so I am attacking it on your behalf from all angles.

I think it is probably night time in New Zealand so will look forward to your email response once you are up and about.

Best wishes

Lisa

Our Reply

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com]
Sent: 09 June 2012 23:10
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi Lisa,

Yes, all is great out here, we are just looking forward to the ski season!

Unfortunately, we cannot even consider this offer. I need to stress that our possessions are not up for negotiation. Can your agents please not mention that we have emigrated, as this seems to give the impression that we’re having a barn sale. Just say that we are in a position to move immediately.

The fact that there are a number of viewings and two offers now is encouraging and let’s see what the other viewings produce.

You know that the figure we are looking to achieve is at least £1,850,000 without our contents.

xxxxxx xxxxxx
spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com

From Lisa Evans

On 10 Jun 2012, at 17:52, Lisa Evans wrote:
Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

I thank you for your response and apologise in advance for the length of my reply, but as we do not have the opportunity for face to face discussions I still need to convey exactly the same message and express it in such a way as if we had actually met.

I will continue by drawing your attention to a unique monitoring system that Penyards operate called ‘scrap book’. In brief it records every new instruction to the market from the very first day that it is publicised. We then track every aspect of electronic or paper media promotions, registering every price reduction, every property that is withdrawn, the price at which those go under offer and those that change agents, some on numerous occasions. At the moment across central and southern Hampshire we are currently 962 available and unsold properties, 45% of which have been available for more than 6 months. Those that do eventually sell, do so on average less than 12.5% of the final asking price. In the 30 year history of Penyards we have never recorded such imbalanced statistics, supply is far greater than demand, confidence is remarkably low, money whilst inexpensive to borrow is extremely difficult to obtain. Therefore the buyer you are looking for must be determined, ready, willing and able, and with money in the bank. In essence this unique consumer group probably represents less than 1% of the entire house buying population at the moment.

Whilst we have respect for your wishes and expectations, I can assure you we would be doing you a huge injustice and disservice if we allowed you to continue to believe that your expectation of £1.850,000 was obtainable. Not just because it is your property and xxxxxx but because it is part of a wider market sector where every property virtually without exception fails to achieve a high expectation.

During the course of the weekend I have been able to dismiss the negotiations that refer to your private possessions and have concentrated all of my efforts solely on achieving the best price for the property alone. I have now received an increased bid or should I say an increased cash bid of £1,700,000. Given all that I have already noted I have to make a recommendation to you to accept this bid. There is no clear evidence that your property will achieve more money in these market conditions and these conditions will become more difficult and not easier over the coming weeks and months as the European economic turmoil continues. There is an overwhelming lack of confidence which is why so few high value properties sell. Mr Barber has had a choice of 26 different homes, many of which will show substantial reductions, but whether it is Mr Barber or any other purchaser to part with their money, they are going to convinced that they really do have the best value for their money and I personally believe that £1,700,000 is a very good deal for you in the light of no other serious contenders, after what I believe to be after almost one year of being on the market.

You will see from our websites, wwww.penyards.com that by comparison to most of our competitors we have an exceptional success rate with high value properties; we know and I can assure you of this with absolute confidence that your property has been promoted everywhere in every way and to every one that are considered to be genuine house buyers. the audience amounts to tens of thousands, locally, regionally, nationally and eve internationally. I am afraid that it is inconceivable to consider that an opportunity has been missed given our genuine high level of success. I must therefore ask you to reflect very seriously on my comments in this communication. I do genuinely believe that if your property is not sold over the course of the next 3 months you may end up facing a much greater reduction because as market uncertainty grows, supply continues to increase, then all of these high value properties will appear to be even more inflated. Your fortunes will then be dependent upon luck rather than service, skill, knowledge or judgement.

As you know we have continued to generate as much interest as possible of which there are several viewings from proceedable buyers but even if the sale were to be agreed to Mr Barber at £1,700,000 we would go ahead with these viewings, explaining quite clearly but quite honestly that we have a bid at £1,700,000, therefore they must offer more money. This is an opportunity to bid up the price and if this fails, it only supports and continues to demonstrate that one I have already stated in this email is reliable. This way you have more than one option, if we are lucky. At the moment you have nothing.

I have to speak to Mr Barber again in the morning before he then enters into negotiations with his second choice, but please bear in mind that Mr Barber does not just have two choices, there are several that appeal to him within his budget.

Regards

Lisa

My Reply

Hi Lisa,

I note your assessment for the future of the property market. No economist on the planet can safely predict a market and this makes both our jobs harder in knowing what’s the best thing to do. If £1.7 is the only offer, we do have another choice in that we rent it out and put it back on the market when things settle down … but having said that I would like to see it sold.

Lisa, when referring to ‘value for money’ you need to get across the fact that we are losing money on this development even on £1.85. The core property was the very best property money could buy at the budget, was found after a year of searching and we only came across it by serendipity. To develop it with the very best materials, oak, bespoke, hand-made everything etc with my own team has a ‘wholesale’ cost and it was the keenest I could achieve. Yes there are properties on the market and we’ve looked at them. You can possibly get ‘more’ if you sacrifice quality but you’ve then got to develop it. I’ve yet to see a property that compares in features and ‘box ticking’ for the price (unless I’m missing something).

Everything in there is the VERY best money can buy. So in short, to get a house like xxxxxx in a sublime position like this on the forest, set back off any road, this is what it costs. Believe me, I now wish we had done nothing to it … we’d be actually some making some money!

Mr Barber asked about electrifying the top gates. Please let him know that all the provisions are in including intercom, we just ran out of time for the final connection and they just need wiring up.

If Mr Barber is a cash buyer, serious and can instruct quickly we would accept £1.8 assuming nothing comes of the further viewings.

Let’s hope the viewings this week produce a better offer. Please make it clear on the other viewings that our possessions are none negotiable. And I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job but you mention this below. It would help if we don’t say what the other offer is, just say there is an offer on the table based on our expectations?

Finger’s crossed.

Lisa Evans (More Pressure)
On 11 Jun 2012, at 04:07, Lisa Evans wrote:
Dear Mr xxxxxx

I have woken early and noticed your reply. Given Mr Barber WILL move on to acquire another property this morning unless something is negotiated thought I would immediately respond.

With all due respect to economists everything they have predicted over the last five years including the recession itself has been wrong and in each and every case the situation has been far worse and gone on far longer than they ever expected. We do not operate in the world of prediction, we operate in the world of reality, I am sure that twelve months ago when you placed your house on the market you did not predict that you would not have a single buyer at your price by the summer of 2012, that applies to the 80% of the unsold properties that remain on the market today.

The benefit of hindsight is a remarkably valuable asset and clearly if you had your time over again, you would have been advised to spend far less to achieve the same result but unfortunately you did not. The UK construction and development industry is the part of the market sector that is failing more than anything and there are no signs that it will recover soon. The same applies right throughout Europe, the United States and across other continents. The problem is going into the future that when interest rates starts to rise and in two or three years they are likely to, there will be a second negative impact on the UK housing market as borrowed money becomes more expensive, cash becomes more valuable and at that time, cash buyers will expect an even better deal for their money, so initially the market will fall again before it eventually rises and recovery becomes sustainable which of course it will but that could be five years or more. Renting it out is an option and if in my opinion you will not apply a logical approach to your expectation of sale price, then this may be something you would be advised to consider.

I am sorry that you find my advice unacceptable but Graham my partner and managing director has worked in the industry for over 35 years now which I believe makes him one of the longest serving agents in the county and I have been operating for more than 20 years. We are not economists trying to predict the reaction of fragile markets driven by a whole host of global interactions. We deal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with thousands of buyers and hundreds of properties in your street, in your village, across the New Forest and across the whole of Hampshire. We see what happens every minute of our working lives and on a personal note, we too developed a property which we live in and improved it for ourselves with the highest quality of materials, craftsmanship and design. We did not do it to sell but if we had it would be worth less today than what it would have cost us. So we recognise these extreme trading conditions from both a personal and professional perspective and I am afraid probably much to your annoyance, I am going to once again advise you beyond any doubt that if you do not rent the property out for a few years and your preferred option is to sell and to sell now, then £1,700,000 is in my view a figure that you should take. On the point of the rental market this too is facing change as rental values have risen over the last few years to a very high level but are now starting to fall back because as you are aware Penyards is not just a sales organisation, we let and manage properties too and in the short term I see no financial gain for you. But if you are prepared to look to the medium and longer term, then perhaps you need to start seriously considering this.

I will be leaving for my office around 7.30 pm today and will need to speak to Mr Barber fairly promptly once in the office and can only conclude by telling you I believe the advice I am giving you is sound, reliable and should be taken on the basis that it will prove to be factual.

Regards

Lisa

I replied

Lisa, your comments are noted.

Please be advised that we would accept £1.8 and can move to conclude immediately. Mr Barber could potentially be in within a matter of weeks. As Mr Barber is not from the area I would appreciate it if you could convey just what a desirable area Tiptoe is.

He would be in good company as this road is known locally as ‘Millionaire’s row’. His neighbour is one of the biggest property developers in the UK. In fact the neighbour two doors down is one of the biggest property developers in the area. That part of the forest is rare in that it is particularly beautiful with no car park close by so you get very little thoroughfare.

Please use your obvious powers of persuasion to convince Mr Barber that this is a unique property in the most desirable of locations. Having lived in the area for many years I know what a quality property this is and every last item was ticked from the snagging list. The only thing we didn’t finish was electrifying the gates and if it’ll swing a deal we’ll get this done.

I would also point out that the NPA is probably one of the hardest, most obstinate institutions to deal with – we have battled for over five years to achieve xxxxxx. To look to develop a ‘second choice’ property would be looking to invite a serious headache. It would really be a shame to miss out on a first choice property for the sake of getting this for less than it’s true worth.

Please put these comments forward and the fact that we have three more viewings lined up – Also please make it clear that we have already dropped the price considerably.
To summarise we finally accepted £1.7 and then it just went cold again

Parker’s Offer

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

Lisa is out at the moment, I have had a conversation with Miss Clarke and Mr Parker and as you know some parents came to xxxxxx on Saturday so they could have a family discussion. There are three properties they are considering, but xxxxxx is the preferred option for them. We can get a commitment from them but at no more than £1,600,000.

I have checked out their position and they are under offer to a buyer who is in rented, who is keen to complete by mid October. Matters are well progressed on the coneyancing and they have nothing to sell, with the survey already done and clear. They are pushing to move to an exchange as soon as possible.

Lisa is out at a late valuation now but she will be looking at her emails, so do email her and she will get back to you as soon as she can.

Many thanks

John Henry

Then Lisa evans starts to include our possessions again
From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 14 August 2012 22:35:58 GMT+12
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

Miss Clarke has just called and I have confirmed the deal, however, she seems to think the hot tub is being included. Can you confirm please?

Thanks

Lisa

On 14 Aug 2012, at 22:35, Lisa Evans wrote:

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

Miss Clarke has just called and I have confirmed the deal, however, she seems to think the hot tub is being included. Can you confirm please?

Thanks

Lisa

We replied
From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 14 August 2012 11:54
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi LIsa.

NO, It does not state that on the details. (your detail state a loggia which at present contains a hot tub). If she carries on she can forget the hold thing. I am getting XXXXXXX off now with her and I am a very patient person. They are not having any thing else included in this deal.

Kind Regards
xxxxxx

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 23:25:51 +1200
To: Lisa Evans<lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Sorry Lisa,

Not your fault, but she was on a roll and that is an end to she asking ,we are not a charity. She can buy a hot tub with the money they have saved on the house, 25 or more if they like.
K Regards
xxxxxx

Sale Agreed

From: “Jo Emery” <joemery@penyards.com>
Subject: Memorandum of Sale – xxxxxx,
Date: 16 August 2012 00:32:49 GMT+12
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Dear Mr & Mrs xxxxxx,

Re: xxxxxx,

We are delighted to be able to confirm that a sale has now been agreed in the sum of £1,600,000 (one million, six hundred thousand pounds) offered by Mr Parker for the above mentioned property.

Sale fell through

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: xxxxxx
Date: 22 August 2012 01:53:34 GMT+12
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately Mr Parker has called me to say his tenant who was buying his property in Berkshire has just pulled out.
Regards

Lisa

Ferarri Couple – we were at this point contacted by our neighbour who had spoken to a couple that wanted to view our property this was whilst the house was under offer by the Parkers. They had been told the property was under offer and could not be viewed – this was totally against our instructions.

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 12 September 2012 03:52
To: Jo Emery
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi Jo,

Do you have a name for this couple please.(ferrari couple)

This is being resent as I have not had a reply.

Kind Regards
xxxxxx
Reply

From: “Jo Emery” <joemery@penyards.com>
Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 12 September 2012 21:29:23 GMT+12
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>
]
Mrs xxxxxx,

I do apologies I didn’t receive your first email otherwise I would have responded.

The gentleman gave his name as Mr Wandsworth. I have unfortunately been unsuccessful in speaking to him since that weekend, so obviously the location was not suitable.

Regards
Jo

When pushed on the couple we received this from Lisa

Re the couple who looked at the outside recently, they have still not returned any of our calls.

Offer Powells – this was dealt with By Graham Evans and yet again we were told to expect £1.5. Despite being told on numerous occasions not to mention the fact we are overseas Evans comes back with the following deal.

To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

They are currently trying to confirm a very long let on their property and once this deal has been done and which is imminent, they will then confirm to me if they are 100% committed at £1,500,000. They are not messing you about but want to be certain the let is agreed before they then embark upon negotiations with yourselves.

If you can please bear with us and I am expecting to know more in the next 48 hours.

Regards

Lisa

The deal

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: xxxxxx
Date: 28 November 2012 03:35:52 GMT+13
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

Everything is now moving forward for the Powells and whilst they remain interested in xxxxxx, it would purely be on the following basis.

An offer of £1,500,000.00 (one million, five hundred thousand pounds) exchanging contracts on March 1st 2013 with a 10% deposit. Completion to be deferred until March 2015, ie in two years time, renting the property during this two year period fully furnished and at a rate of £3,000.00 per calendar month. During this time they would also want the right to make improvements including an extension to the master bedroom over the balcony and redecoration.

Let me know if you are interested.

Many thanks

Lisa

Our answer

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 27 November 2012 19:00
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

HI Lisa.

To be quite frank , tell them to take a running Jump.

If we did not want the money now from the sale,I can rent that house out to ESSO, who have already agreed a rental price of £4000 a month for the next 3 years unfurnished, so meaning we get our stuff out here.

Why on earth would we want to do a joke of a deal like that. They would have to be paying over 2 million, for us to even consider something like that.

So The answer is NO and please don’t waste my time or my fathers with another viewing for these people.

Kind Regards
xxxxxx

Lisa Evans

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 28 November 2012 08:35:47 GMT+13
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Dear Mrs xxxxxx

Thanks for your response, although don’t understand your stance.

Whilst you might be renting it for less than Esso will pay, you will however have a guaranteed sale at £1,500,000, of which 10% of that will be upfront and which you will be able to have full use of. I might also be able to get the full 2 years rent paid in advance, also for your use of. It also does not have to be fully furnished.

Despite what you think, given what other properties are actually selling for and I don’t mean what you see them being offered for sale at on the internet as this is vastly different to what is being asked, £1,500,000 is still a good offer. Given the market is going to get a lot worse before it gets better and with even more properties at this level coming to the market in the new year, I really do think you should seriously consider this.

Also a lot of what you see on the internet, has been available for some considerable time now. We already have 3 properties coming to the market in the new year around the £2,000,000 level that will have dropped by nearly £750,000.00 to stand a chance of achieving a sale.

Please accept from me that this is meant with absolutely no disrespect whatsoever but home owners in the UK at the higher level are now distinctly divided into 2 core areas, those that accept these market conditions as the new norm and achieve success and those who don’t and who like yourselves have been fighting relentlessly against the conditions without success. Gradually the tide is turning and eventually there will be more dos than donts but I do strongly recommend you to move to the positive side of the line. In the new year the supply of money will be even less, mortgage interest rates increase by the week, supply is up by over 20% from the start of the year and demand has reduced by over 30%. I take my responsibilities to you very seriously and you can be sure that I would not recommend this to you if I thought a better and a more immediate outcome was around the corner.

Lisa

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: xxxxxx
Date: 29 November 2012 08:59:49 GMT+13
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

Just to confirm we have had a number of conversations with the Powells following on from their visit to xxxxxx earlier today. Whilst they have a number of issues and concerns about the suitability of the property, it is quite clear though that their intent is good and if they can get planning permission which we are hopeful they can, then they would be interested in negotiating further. The difficulty we are experiencing in negotiation is as I eluded to in my earlier correspondence that they have been offered so many properties over recent weeks that are very heavily discounted and they have already experienced the same fate in the negotiations on their own property, so much so is that their own view of the market and property values is somewhat negative.

I am hopeful however we will be able to get the offer increased to £1,550,000, however it would only work for them if this was in connection with a rental and whilst I know you were very vocal about not being interested in going down this route when we spoke earlier today, they would be prepared to reduce this to a period of only 12 months commencing on March 1st. This would also coincide with an exchange of contracts at the same time with both a 10% deposit transferable for your use and one year’s rent payable in advance.

I would respectfully ask that you give this consideration as it does In effect constitutes a final value of £1,600,000 albeit phased. Without wishing my following comment to be misconstrued we have not been able to better an offer of £1,600,000 that has held and the market is no better now than it was 12 months ago and is unlikely to improve in the next 12 months. So whilst this does not by any means satisfy your objective, it perhaps is a fairer reflection of how you might end up banking a grand total of £1,600,000 with at least some resource made available to you almost immediately.

Lisa

Our reply

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 30 November 2012 21:55
To: Graham Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi Graham,

If it was a 12 week completion then it would be ok with a 10% deposit but it has to be £1.6. Having looked again at what is available I feel this represents great value. Everything in that property is the very best. There’s over £250k of oak at cost in those buildings, the roof tiles are all Micklemerch hand made and extremely expensive. The kitchen is not made from ply, it’s 19mm oak faced birch that is built to last. The Aga surround was quarried and hand carved. The oak floors aren’t engineered oak as you find in most properties, they are solid boards. The property is not only set back off any main road it opens onto 100k acres of forest and is quiet as there are no car parks near by. You can find houses on the forest in Burly etc and not be able to go out on a summer’s day as there are so many bloody tourists!

and it goes on… As you are supposed to be working for us I really feel these are the points you need to be pushing on our behalf instead of keep trying to convince us to keep dropping the price.

Despite Lisa and your vocal misgivings on the housing market the fact remains that we have had many viewings, 4 offers and the outlook is not all doom and gloom. New buyers are coming onto the market all the time, xxxxxx is a fantastic property in an amazing position and I believe it’s just a matter of time.

No one can predict the future, it’s all a gamble and at the level your clients are at (ie less than £1.6) we would take a gamble on next year.


Kind Regards
xxxxxx xxxxxx

To which we had more ramblings from Graham Evans

From: “Graham Evans” <gevans@penyards.com>
Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 1 December 2012 22:10:30 GMT+13
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Dear Mr & Mrs xxxxxx,

Thank you for your email.

You are quite open and direct with your correspondence and I respect that, it is by nature my way as well, so hopefully you will accept the frankness of my reply.

You may be assured 100% that we are working for you, what else would we do. You are quite right, we have generated a lot of viewings, we have produced four offers and we continue to invest money in trying to sell your property. I am after all a businessman and I want to make money not lose it which means I have to try and sell your house.

Penyards sell houses because we know how to. I am going to boast that I still think that we are one of the very best at doing it which is why we sell more houses and quicker than the vast majority of most agents. We do tell everyone everything about your house, we battle hard to challenge buyers negative thoughts and use every persuasive power to influence and accentuate the positives. This is the most difficult market for decades. I have started in this industry in 1976 two years before the first main recession that brought down the housing market at a time when the UK was on a three day working week and strikes were the order of the day. Then to 80’s the 90’s and this 2008 version which is bar far the worst and the affects on the property market have been enormous and it is not over yet, and once the economy does start to recover then interest rates will rise and the market will face another set back. Already mortgage rates are rising, money supply is short and that will worsen in the new year. This is not me being pessimistic because I am an optimist by character, which is why my company is the only one to continually embark upon expansion of offices and recruitment. But I do deal in fact and reliability, I have not and will not ever been accused of just simply telling people what they want to hear, I leave that up to my competitors who have perfected the art of over promise and under deliver.
In my view, for what it is worth, you should not terminate our instructions because we are by far the most progressive and authoritative agent in the new Forest and Hampshire, we have produced interest and continue to do so, you are only moving the problem not solving it. I and my entire team are on your side and want to sell your house, and every house for that mater. We cannot be accused of doing other than what is in your best interest and what will give you the best advantage on the day. Just reviewing rightmove will indicate to you that there are far more properties than buyers. It is 100% a buyers market and that means that the seller has to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. In everything we do we apply best practice, best service but I repeat only deal in fact.

Be assured of one thing I want your money I want you to pay our fee so everytime we do something for you and have an opportunity to sell your home we are aggressive, assertive, persuasive and positive. Please let me continue my negotiations on your behalf, also continue with our instructions because you will not get the service you are getting from my team anywhere else. We are fully engaged and on the case.

I am meeting with the Powells next Wednesday and will update you directly after.

Thank you for reading my ramblings…. I only wish we could meet face to face!

Regards

Graham

We replied

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 03 December 2012 05:38
To: Graham Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Hi Graham,

I think we’re both agreed that overall Penyards have done a great job in generating enquiries. Unfortunately, it seems to go downhill from there for us!

We’ve had offers of £1.9, £1.7, £1.6 and this last debacle, and all have suddenly fallen away for no apparent reason.

When we first secured your service it was made absolutely clear that clients were not to be told that we were out of the country. The main reason for this is that it makes us look vulnerable and willing to make deals that otherwise would not be put on the table.

Every single offer has involved negotiations relating to our possessions culminating in the frankly, insulting first offer from the Powells … although it is getting better!

What has also hacked us of is the way we keep getting told that each deal is the best we’re going to get, to keep dropping the price and then a lecture on the state of the market (something we’re painfully aware of).

It has felt that through each offer we’ve conditioned that we either take it or leave it and that there has been little pressure on the potential purchaser to go the extra mile and meet us in our expectations. We have spent some £600k on xxxxxx, with no expense spared and we feel this is just not being pushed. Everything has been done, it’s in a unique position within commuting distance form London etc. If we get the right price we’ll even go in with the decorators to ensure the house is tip top after vacating.

We still don’t understand the position the Powells are in as we keep getting mixed messages. One minute they want to rent our property with all our possessions for 2 years, the next they can complete sooner but don’t want to pay a fair price.

At the end of the day, we just want to sell the property at a fair market price, and although we’ll put together a deal to help, we’re not desperate.

If you can ensure we’re not messed around anymore, that we achieve a fair price and that purchasers are not told that we are abroad then we have no reason to change agents.

Let’s see what they come back with on Wednesday!

xxxxxx & xxxxxx

After more conversations this offer died a natural death –

From: “Graham Evans” <gevans@penyards.com>
Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 9 December 2012 23:26:10 GMT+13
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

Hello Mrs xxxxxx

I am trying everyday to get a sale on your property and every other property. I do know what a sale is, I also know what is required and that is a different circumstances in a market that we now know will not change for 3 to 4 years. If you can exchange a contract now even with completion due for a maximum of 2 years it still might not be a bad offer. I am really, really sorry that I have to relentlessly continue to try to get you to see this but I am afraid that UK homeowners with substantial asset values have WORSE TO COME You are not alone in your doubts, but you are I am afraid one of a growing number who are unlikely to end up with what you originally wanted. I think you would be amazed if you could see how deals are constructed at the moment. The Powells will not buy now. I have told them this morning so they have now made a similar proposal on Harefield House which has been accepted.

We will now initiate a new campaign for xxxxxx for 2013 and endeavour to introduce new options, but I feel that you will face much disappointment along the way. There are 166 houses on the market above 1m within a 10 mile radius of your property and this will increase in the New Year.

I will update you with our New Year proposals.

Graham

Termination of contract

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com]
Sent: 20 March 2013 20:27
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: xxxxxx

Dear Lisa,

Please would you withdraw xxxxxx from the market a immediately .

This email is also to be take as written notice to Penyards that we cancel the contact we have with you.

Thank you for all you and the company have tried to do where the house is concerned.


Kind Regards
xxxxxx xxxxxx

Reply which was a complete fabrication

On 21 Mar 2013, at 22:48, Lisa Evans wrote:

Morning Mrs xxxxxx

Thank you for your email.

The property has just gone into Hampshire Life which came out yesterday and already we have received some enquiries from it. Do you therefore still want to sell and if so, can we show people that come from this?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Lisa

We Replied

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com]
Sent: 22 March 2013 01:59
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Dear Lisa,

If you have any enquiries from your current round of marketing or any of the previous enquirers come back then they can view the property.

Moving forward we want to try a fresh approach.

So the previous email dated the 20th march 2013, still stands.

Kind Regards
xxxxxx

Lisa Evans detailed a viewing which never materialized

On 22 Mar 2013, at 22:25, Lisa Evans wrote:
Hello Again Mrs xxxxxx

One of the enquiries from the Hampshire Life Magazine will want to view and but lives in Surrey and wont be down for 2 weeks by which time she will have expected to have exchanged contracts on her sale so will in effect be a cash buyer no chain.

Thanks

Lisa

This tactic continued in that they tried everything to keep our property on their books.

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2013 14:56:48 +1300
To: Lisa Evans<lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Dear Lisa,

I understand that you will be disappointed and believe me, it is the last thing we want but xxxxxx and I feel that we need to try a fresh approach. We have taken your advice and agreed to most things you have suggested but unfortunately there has not been a completion.

Obviously we appreciate the efforts you have made but the unfortunate fact is that we need to get this house sold. You have your database of enquiries including the lady you mention and if they subsequently buy then that is your sale I believe.

So we ask please that all other instruction be followed through.

Many Thanks
xxxxxx

Lisa Evans then resorts to ‘begging’

From: lisaevans@penyards.com
Date: 23 March 2013 20:55:33 GMT+13:00
To: “xxxxxx xxxxxx” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>
Subject: Re: xxxxxx
Reply-To: lisaevans@penyards.com

Thank you for responding Mrs xxxxxx.

Given all we have done though and are trying to do, I don’t see why the property cannot stay with us and in conjunction with another agent. I would even be quite happy to do a joint sole agency working alongside another for the same fee if this interests you?

I am currently involved with Savills the international agent on this basis and we have recently had considerable success in this way. I know they would be prepared to do this. You would then still benefit from our forest and county exposure as well as their international brand.

Let me know your thoughts.

With thanks

Lisa

Our reply

Hi Lisa,

We have considered a joint agency but at this time feel we need a simple change of attack.

Lisa, the last thing we want is to have to do this and we are very aware of the investment you have made in trying to sell our property. But the harsh fact remains that we’ve had four potential sales fall off the rails and countless viewing that haven’t been converted. Many of these people go on to purchase a property and in many of those cases we feel the chosen property is far inferior to xxxxxx. Something is just not working out.

We have done everything you ask and dropped the price, so it’s not the money.

I used to sell timeshare and our target was to close one in five clients, these were people dragged off the streets on their holiday and we still hit a 20% conversion rate. Any salesman going fifteen months without a sale would expect to get fired.

We have made our decision to try a fresh approach and it may well be the wrong one but that’s the chance we have to take.

We will review the situation in six months if the property still isn’t sold and look at your joint agency suggestion. In the meantime please take the property off the market.

Another begging tactic – it was not featured as far as we know

On 25 Mar 2013, at 22:01, Lisa Evans wrote:

Sorry forgot to say as a result of the price reduction you made a few weeks ago the property is also featured in the National magazine Country and Town House which comes out around the 5th of April too. given this magazine is normally paid for by the client and we have done it free of charge, surely it is only fair that we can continue to market throughout April?

Lisa

We subsequently received a number of apparent viewings culminating in this mail

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 12 April 2013 23:11
To: John Henry
Subject: Re: re xxxxxx viewing

Dear John,

The problem we have is that the advert, magazine Lisa said xxxxxx was going to be in property is also featured in the National magazine Country and Town House which comes out around the 5th of April too. from what we can see does not seem to exist.

We have looked in both Aprils and Mays copies of this Mag and can not see the ad.

The reason xxxxxx said what he did was for the purpose of this ad.

So we would need some proof from you. A) that he has seen this ad or what ad he has seen and B) that the advert was put in the above.

Many thanks
xxxxxx

Lisa Evans

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: FW: re xxxxxx viewing
Date: 15 April 2013 19:54:07 GMT+12
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>, “xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – xxxxxx.com”

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

Thank you for your email to John.

The enquiry has come from the advert in April’s Hampshire Life magazine which I had already committed the property to before you disinstructed us.

Regards

Lisa

xxxxxx xxxxxx

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 12 April 2013 23:11
To: John Henry
Subject: Re: re xxxxxx viewing

Dear John,

The problem we have is that the advert, magazine Lisa said xxxxxx was going to be in property is also featured in the National magazine Country and Town House which comes out around the 5th of April too. from what we can see does not seem to exist.

We have looked in both Aprils and Mays copies of this Mag and can not see the ad.

The reason xxxxxx said what he did was for the purpose of this ad.

So we would need some proof from you. A) that he has seen this ad or what ad he has seen and B) that the advert was put in the above.

Many thanks
xxxxxx

Lisa Evans

On 15 Apr 2013, at 19:54, Lisa Evans wrote:

Hi Mrs xxxxxx

Thank you for your email to John.

The enquiry has come from the advert in April’s Hampshire Life magazine which I had already committed the property to before you disinstructed us.

Regards

Lisa

xxxxxx xxxxxx

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 15 April 2013 10:15
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: re xxxxxx viewing

Hi Lisa,

The magazine came to us on March the 21st, two weeks before your contact expired.

I think that gave you more than enough time for the serious responses.

I notice there is no answer to my second question (B) in the previous email.


Kind Regards
xxxxxx xxxxxx

Lisa Evans now claims she was confused

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: RE: re xxxxxx viewing
Date: 15 April 2013 23:24:11 GMT+12
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

I am so sorry I got totally confused and meant the Hampshire Life! Does it matter though where the leads come from?

Lisa

The next time we hear from Lisa Evans is when she tries to introduce a viewing – this falls through as already detailed and then Graham Evans takes over

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: xxxxxx
Date: 5 July 2013 20:53:11 GMT+12
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>, “xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – xxxxxx.com”

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

Further to my earlier email in respect of Mr Parker and Miss Clarke and arranging a revisit given they are now in a proceedable position, upon speaking to them again about this they are now saying given the price they have had to settle at with their own property coupled with the prices of comparable properties in the area other agents are offering them, whilst they would still be interested in pursuing xxxxxx it would only be at significantly less than the offer that had been accepted last time. They or indeed I don’t therefore want to waste your time if your expectation on a sale figure is still at a similar level to last time.

Hope you don’t mind my frankness but given just how stressful and protracted this must be for you, I certainly don’t want to add to it.

I will look forward to hearing from you before I go any further with them.

Regards

Lisa

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: xxxxxx
Date: 9 July 2013 02:30:08 GMT+12
To: <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>, “xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – xxxxxx.com”

Hi Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

Just to let you know that I am continuing to keep talking to Ms Clarke about your property and apparently Mr Parker is flying back tonight and will then be viewing a number of properties throughout the course of tomorrow.

I definitely feel they remain interested in xxxxxx but I guess they just need to satisfy themselves what else is out there currently before going any further. I remain hopeful there may still be a deal to be done albeit at the right price and will of course keep you in the loop. In the meantime it would be good to have an idea from you what/if there is any flexibility on the guide price. I fully appreciate you don’t want to show your hand too much but my concern is we might not even get the opportunity to discuss this with them as they may commit to something else and we lose any opportunity.

Lisa

We replied

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 09 July 2013 01:06
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

Lisa ,

All dealing now are through Rob Batten at spencers, Please contact him.


Kind Regards
xxxxxx

Evan’s now begins to start their threats even at this stage!

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 9 July 2013 20:51:40 GMT+12
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>

[if gte mso 9]> <![endif][if gte mso 9]> <![endif]
Hi Mrs xxxxxx

I am happy to talk to Rob at Spencers and have just left him a message.

I am though a little baffled you now want us to deal with them though given Mr Parker and Miss Clarke commenced legal proceedings to buy xxxxxx through us last year well before their involvement. I am not sure what is in your contract with them but would hate you to end up being liable for their fee as well.

I will let you know how I get on anyway.

Lisa

My Reply

From: xxxxxx xxxxxx [mailto:spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com] 
Sent: 10 July 2013 01:49
To: Lisa Evans
Subject: Re: xxxxxx

YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO DEAL WITH ROB.

YOU ARE TO HAVE NO CONTRACT WITH US AND I WILL DEAL WITH YOUR AGENTS COMMENTS TO THE PARKERS TO OFFER £1.1 LATER.

DO NOT COMMUNICATE WITH US OR THE PARKERS FURTHER.

xxxxxx xxxxxx

During conversations at this time it comes to liget that the Parkers have been told that we are now ‘desperate’ and that the property could be bought for as little as £1.1 – I refer to Lisa’s mail above where she appeared to be priming us for this low offer – ‘significantly less than last offer’

Rather than address this she now resorts to calling people liars:

From: “Lisa Evans” <lisaevans@penyards.com> Subject: RE: xxxxxx
Date: 10 July 2013 19:36:38 GMT+12
To: “‘xxxxxx xxxxxx'” <spxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com>, “xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – xxxxxx.com”

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

I would like to state on record that at NO time have we ever suggested to Mr Parker and Miss Clarke to offer £1,100,000 for your property.

Think about it logically – given we are now no longer instructed to sell xxxxxx, we have an extremely limited opportunity to try and negotiate something with a previously interested buyer who is now proceedable so why on earth would we risk that by encouraging them to make what I can only describe as an insulting proposal. If you go back through the last emails from both Graham and I we were then recommending an offer at £1,500,000 so by now getting someone to offer you £400,000 less just does not make sense.

You are clearly being told what I can only describe as untruths about us and certainly by someone who is looking to serve their own interest and definitely not yours. This we have never done and we certainly don’t intend to now. My team and I worked tirelessly when we were involved in trying to find you buyers – evenings, Sundays you name it we did it, and I am both disappointed and upset that you could even think this of us and then upon hearing it you are not even prepared to give us an opportunity to respond.

You deserve far more than this and I think we do too.

Lisa

The next time we hear it’s from Graham Evans calling apparently drunk and threatening us in the early hours – See his thread

Continue Reading

Communications from Penyards Country Properties

THIS DOCUMENT DETAILS THE CORRESPONDENCE MADE BETWEEN OURSELVES AND GRAHAM EVANS. THE OTHER DOCUMENTS DETAILS THE THREAD WITH LISA EVANS. MR EVANS TOOK OVER WHEN HE STARTED HIS THREATS.

REQUEST BY LISA EVANS TO REINTRODUCE PARKER – THIS FAILED AS PARKER CHOSE TO DEAL WITH SPENCERS. mrs clarke had been told our property was over priced and it could be bought for £1.1.

THIS IS PROBABLY THE LAST EMAIL RECEIVED BY MRS EVANS

On 2 Jul 2013, at 21:35, Lisa Evans wrote:

Hi Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

Hope you are all well?

Just wanted to catch up to see if you are making any progress with finding buyers for Holly Lodge? I also don’t know if you remember Mr Parker and Miss Clarke, the party last summer who agreed to buy and then lost their buyer? Well they now have finally agreed a sale on their property and so are potentially proceedable and remain interested. I did notice the property was no longer on their website so did wonder if you are still contemplating a sale.

Do let me know the situation and if you are it may be that we can resurrect something.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Lisa

———————————————————

3RD AUG
EMAIL HARRASSMENT TO LAWYERS AND THREATS TO FREEZE THE POTENTIAL SALE

Dear Mr & Mrs xxxxxx

Following my last email I have now left two messages for your lawyer and the previous communication, all of which have failed to receive either an acknowledgement or confirmation.

In the event that you fail to respond to this confirming, as in the attached email, our introduction and entitlement to our fee then our company Dutton Gregory have my instructions to apply to the court for a freezing order on Monday to ensure that our rightful demand for payment is met and that any expenses liabilities that are incurred in pursuit of this will also form part of our claim.

Sincerely

Graham Evans

———————————————————

4TH AUGUST
MAILS REGARDING THE LATE NIGHT CALL AND TREATS FROM EVANS

—–Original Message—–
From: xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – BZ9.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: 04 August 2013 01:41
To: Graham Evans
Subject: Phone calls

Mr Evans,

I am very surprised you would choose to call us on a Sunday afternoon, which
is 1.30am for you. I have have recently received messages from our solicitor
that you are leaving messages on his phone also. This is not normal
behaviour!

I’ve received your email and will choose to answer it in my own time.

For the record there is no contracted sale at this point. When there is I
will address your comments. Until such time AGAIN you are requested to stop
contacting all parties concerned.

REPLY FROM EVANS

Dear Mr xxxxxx

Thank you for your reply.

Not wishing to repeat myself but we have records of many Sunday
conversations including those from you to me on my home number late on a
Sunday evening together with many others on Sundays to and from both Lisa
and myself.

Please be assured it is normal practice for the agent who was the introducer
and “effective cause” of sale to pursue the matter of which they are
involved and share a common interest in it’s satisfactory conclusion. Whilst
there is not yet a contracted sale, the sale is nonetheless proceeding and
your reluctance to converse with us on the matter, and that of your
solicitor, raises concern, especially when recent conversation and email
communication not only confirms but acknowledges our continued involvement.

Once I have full clarification of our position in this matter then I shall
resort to a form of mutually acceptable correspondence, until which time I
will need to rely upon continued contact.

I have just now received your latest email but will respond in this reply
…… Our entitlement to our fee is established under clause 10.1 10.1.2 of
our terms and conditions of business ( see attached, (we have the original
signed copy on file of course). This has been more recently endorsed in an
email from Mrs xxxxxx sent at 10.42 on July 2nd 2013, that was also
recently forwarded to you and our solicitor.

Our entitlement to our fee is clear and beyond dispute. Therefore I again
refer to my previous email, unless our interests are confirmed by your legal
representative and that the conditions of our agreement with you are
protected, see clause 7. Of the attached document, referring to your
“irrevocable instructions” then you will leave me with no alternative,
irrespective of any initial personal cost to myself, I intend to claim full
recovery of all costs. I will pursue a freezing order through the courts by
close of business on Monday 5th August 2013 without any further recourse to
you, this may involve you in considerable unnecessary additional expense of
which no doubt your solicitor will advise.

I hope that this matter can be resolved without any legal implications that
is now a matter entirely for you to decide!

Yours Sincerely

Graham Evans

———————————————————

THERE NOW FOLLOWS A SERIES OF MAILS WHERE I TRY TO ESTABLISH PENYARDS ENTITLEMENT TO A FEE:

4TH AUGUST

Subject: Re: Holly Lodge

You have just been sent my response – in the meantime I have read your last email. Our contract was terminated with you on 20th March 2013. Point out where there is an entitlement to your claim.

REPLY

Dear Mr & Mrs xxxxxx

As a matter of professional courtesy I will reply directly to this email although I have referred to it in my last reply.

Thank you nonetheless for confirming and acknowledging that there was a contract between us, “ our contract was terminated with you on 20th March 2013”

In response to your demand to “Point out where there is an entitlement to your claim” I hope my last email reply is adequate for you.

Perhaps you would be kind enough, for the record, to extend a courtesy to me and point out where you believe there is no entitlement to claim.

Yours Sincerely

Graham Evans

———————————————————

MORE PRESSURE WAS APPLIED BY EVANS AND FINALLY I FEEL THE NEED TO REPLY TO EVANS IN A MORE FORCEFUL MANNER – THIS WAS ALL DONE ON MY DUGHTER’S BIRTHDAY – IT WAS TOTALLY RUINED.
04 AUG

—–Original Message—–
From: xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – BZ9.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: 04 August 2013 11:06
To: Graham Evans; s.passam@duttongregory.co.uk; m.broad@duttongregory.co.uk;
Rob Batten
Subject: Re: Holly Lodge

MORE EMAILS ARE COMING IN FROM YOU! THEY HAVE BEEN FILED AND THIS BASICALLY
SUMMARISES THE SITUATION.

TO CLARIFY, YOU WERE NOT CONTACTED LAST WEEK BECAUSE WE ARE WAITING FOR
CLARIFICATION FROM THE NAEA.

The reason we did not ‘fully take the call’ is that we do not appreciate
being threatened on a Sunday afternoon (our time). My wife passed the call
onto me as she was upset. You appeared to be slurring and that is why I also
ended the call with you. I am simply at a loss to understand why you would
call and send a series of emails from 2.00am – 3am on a Sunday morning
threatening to freeze our assets with absolutely no supporting
substantiation. This goes way beyond unprofessionalism.

There may be a history of calls from you but that was when you were acting
for us and had permission to do so. Only in very extreme circumstances were
you allowed to call us on weekends.

Records will also show that permission to contact us was very clearly
withdrawn.

My father in law is a retired senior police officer and is of the opinion
that your actions as well as your threats clearly constitute harassment,
which is a criminal offence. I intend to report you to your local police and
press for a criminal charge to be faced in court.

The basis for your harassment is that you appear to be under the
‘impression’ that you have a claim on an agent’s fee as you introduced the
Parkers last year. As the contract was terminated with you months ago and
the property was withdrawn from the market your claim is in a very grey area
and would really only be sorted by lining the pockets of lawyers. The offer
on the table is at the very edges of acceptability. So here’s the deal. To
avoid any stress, lawyers and hassle and to guarantee you have no claim on
our property, we’ll simply withdraw it from the market.

With regard to the potential sale of Holly Lodge you claim to be very well
informed – Information regarding our private business is subject to data
protection and I am very interested to know where your information is coming
from.

I will also take your actions up with NAEA and TPO. We note that you are
obliged by law to notify the client IN WRITING of all offers. As many of
these offers were conveyed by phone and not in writing we believe there are
multiple breaches of this obligation.

We also have in writing the fact that your company told our current
purchasers that ‘we were desperate and would take Ł1.1M’. This is a clear
failure of your ‘duty of care’ under TPO guidelines.

Furthermore: All estate agents must give you written Terms of Business with
an explanation of terms used. The estate agent must also explain all fees
and charges and tell you if any fee will be payable if you withdraw your
instructions to sell the property. As you are clearly in breach of this
clause our case grows stronger.

You may be aware that I am involved in Internet Marketing
http://gaukmedia.com/. In fact I am very successful in what I do and
companies pay me well to ensure their business is ranked highly throughout
the search engines. This talent can just as easily be used to broadcast
negative publicity such as harassment complaints, convictions and TPO
rulings and I will be instructing my teams to mount a campaign regarding the
way your company operates out of principle.

So in summary, not only will your actions probably result in a criminal
conviction but they will guarantee that you receive no agent’s fee
whatsoever and that anyone searching property in the areas you operate will
be well informed as to the way you do business. Our personal recommendation,
based on personal experience will be to advise vendors to steer clear of
Penyards.

Now, having said that you are aware that there is a deal on the table and
there is an agent’s fee set aside. I really don’t give a damn who gets it
and if your company is entitled then I will look into it.

To even consider the offer from the Parkers the agent’s fee was agreed at
1%.

I believe you feel you are entitled to a fee as you spent money on marketing
and introduced the Parkers however they pulled out and your recent
communications show that you could not put a deal on the table.

However, Spencers were able to put a deal on the table so without their work
we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Again, I am not in the least bit interested in dealing with your harassment
and legal threats and am more than happy to withdraw Holly Lodge from the
market for the foreseeable future unless there is an agreement PRIOR to
exchange as to who is entitled to what.

REPLY

Dear Mr and Mrs xxxxxx

I think given the spurious nature of your response I am more than content to
leave this to the lawyers and judges to adjudicate over the position. You
may however be advised that I will be relentless in my pursuit of this by
fair and legal means.

Yours sincerely

Graham Evans

Graham Evans
Managing Director

———————————————————

6th AUGUST: WE THEN TRIED TO RESOLVE THIS THROUGH THE INTERNAL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

—–Original Message—–
From: xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – BZ9.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: 04 August 2013 22:50
To: Graham Evans; m.broad@duttongregory.co.uk; Rob Batten;
s.passam@duttongregory.co.uk
Subject: Re: Holly Lodge – Letter before Ombudsman

spurious, I will be relentless in my pursuit of this, this may involve you
in considerable unnecessary additional expense, “I want my money”

Mr Evans, as stated in my previous letter, these are not ‘normal’ actions or
rhetoric especially when you consider:

a) there is no sale at this point
b) nothing to freeze
c) no agent’s fee due
d) if due, no one has said that an agent’s fee will NOT be paid if it is
established that there is an entitlement to one

In fact my letter of 4th August clearly states that if an agent’s fee is due
and there is an agreement prior to exchange it will be honoured.

However the facts are that Wednesday last week we received an email from you
asking for private information. Despite being told specifically not to
contact us but to deal with our UK agent you still chose to send this to us.

This effectively gave two working days. I was out of the office on Thursday
and Friday so had no opportunity to respond to this.

On Sunday afternoon you chose to call us, which happened to be in the middle
of our Daughter’s 13th birthday to make what can only be described as
drunken threats to recover your fee and to cripple us with legal costs.
This was then backed up by a series of further emails, each more aggressive
than the last.

Your key threat is to give a deadline of ‘eight’ working hours before you
instruct your lawyer to apply for a ‘freezing order’. At this point it is
unclear what you intent to apply to freeze as no agent’s fee is due to
anyone.

The birthday celebrations had to be postponed whilst we dealt with you.

Firstly I will deal with your claim to a fee. As stated in my letter to you,
last week I forwarded your mail to our agent who has contacted the NAEA for
better clarification.

The fact is that our contract with you was terminated as we were very
unhappy with the service from you. At this point there is NO clarification
that you are entitled to a fee and case law supports the fact that you are
not:

JUDGMENT
The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the appeal and held that no
commission was payable to Foxtons. The decision focused on two key
questions:
1. What did “a purchaser introduced by Foxtons” mean?
2. Was Mrs Low “a purchaser introduced by Foxtons?”
In response to the first question the court held that “a purchaser
introduced by Foxtons” had to mean that they introduced the purchaser to the
purchase and not just to the property. The person had to become a purchaser
as a result of the introduction and not simply be a person who at some time
in the future becomes a purchaser. There were numerous reasons for this
including that:
• this interpretation most closely follows the principle that an agent
must normally be the effective cause of the transaction on which he receives
his commission. This minimises the occasions on which more than one
commission would be payable
• it avoids commission being payable to an agent who had shown a
property to a purchaser who had not gone ahead, simply on the basis that
later that same purchaser bought after being referred to the property by
another agent
• the interpretation makes sense in light of Foxtons’ own terms and
conditions which state that commission would be due once unconditional
contracts were exchanged. Only the purchaser could exchange contracts,
therefore this indicates that Foxtons would have to introduce the purchaser
to the purchase and not just the property.
While acknowledging the arguments in support of Foxtons’ case, Lord
Neuberger did not feel they called into question his decision that a
purchaser introduced by Foxtons meant a person introduced by Foxtons to the
purchase, not merely to the property. Given this finding, there was no need
to imply any term that the introduction was the ‘effective cause’ of the
purchase.
Whilst the Court of Appeal would not ordinarily interfere with a finding of
a lower court, the lower court’s finding in this case that Mrs Low was a
purchaser introduced by Foxtons could not be sustained. Foxtons had not
proved their case that Mrs Low was a purchaser introduced to the purchase by
them.

So in summary, we are at this stage trying to establish if there is a fee
payable to Penyards.

If there is then we will move towards mediation as to who is entitled to
what as there is a current contract with Spencers. At this point it will be
expected that the agents work together to establish entitlements from the
agreed 1%

However points to consider:

a) Penyards originally introduced the purchaser to the property but failed
to secure a purchase. The contract was terminated with Penyards for reasons
outlined below
b) Penyards failed to negotiate a sale. Penyards failed to introduce the
purchaser to the purchase as supported by the Court of Appeal judgement. In
fact, the purchasers refused to deal with Penyards
c) Penyards were in breach of their contract and breached TPO/NAEA
guidelines

Formal Complaint Prior to Ombudsman Submission

1) Penyards failed in their duty of care to the vendors. Penyards were
specifically told not to divulge the fact that the vendors were living in
New Zealand. This was ignored and the vendors were extremely distressed
that on each occasion there was an offer on the property their entire
possessions formed a major part of the failed negotiations.
2) Penyards failed in their duty of care to the vendors. Penyards failed to
attempt to negotiate the highest possible price during failed offers. Each
offer from the purchaser was accompanied by long explanation as to why we
should accept an offer far below our asking price. On many occasions
Penyards were reminded that they were supposed to be working for us but this
was dramatically ignored when dealing with the current purchaser, Mr Parker.
They were told by Penyards that the vendors were ‘desperate’ and the
property could be bought for Ł1.1m. This is backed up in emails and a
written statement by the purchasers.
3) Penyards failed to pass on several offers in writing as required by law.
Offers were often conveyed by phone calls or verbally to xxxxxx’s father or
not at all.
4) Penyards failed to explain their entitlement to their charges in writing:
‘All estate agents must give you written Terms of Business with an
explanation of terms used. The estate agent must also explain all fees and
charges and tell you if any fee will be payable if you withdraw your
instructions to sell the property.’
5) Penyards refused to take the property from their website promptly upon
termination of their contract. Many emails were sent before it was removed.
6) Penyards claimed to have marketed the vendor’s property in specialised
magazines in order to extend the web presence and marketing materials after
the contract was terminated. Despite asking for evidence of this magazine
advert it has not been presented.

I expect a full, comprehensive and satisfactory investigation into these
points within EIGHT weeks.

REPLY

Dear Mr & Mrs xxxxxx

As stated in my communication yesterday the matter has now been refereed to
our company solicitors who have my instructions to proceed to protect my
firms interest in this and to instigate the procedures for a freezing order.

Your Sincerely

Graham Evans
Managing Director

————————————————————————

5TH AUGUST CONFIRMATION THAT EVANS IGNORED THE COMPLAITNS PROCEDURE

—–Original Message—–
From: xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – BZ9.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: 05 August 2013 10:32
To: Graham Evans
Subject: Re: Holly Lodge – Letter before Ombudsman

Please confirm that you have now exhausted your internal complaints
procedure.

REPLY

Dear Mr xxxxxx

The matter has been referred to my solicitor and will be dealt with
accordingly. In fact as your email came through I was confirming my
instructions

Graham Evans

Graham Evans
Managing Director

————————————————————————

6TH AUGUST – ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THE SITUATION

From: xxxxxx. J.xxxxxx – BZ9.com [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: 05 August 2013 22:00
To: Graham Evans
Cc: James Burford; m.broad@duttongregory.co.uk; s.passam@duttongregory.co.uk; Rob Batten; robertxxxxxx.com
Subject: Holly Lodge

Dear graham,

We’ve now had the opportunity to look into your claim. The legal advisors and the NAEA both concur with the Court of Appeal judgement in that you are NOT entitled to a fee for the following reasons:

Payment of commission to an estate agent is due when that agent was the ‘effective cause’ of a successful sale, meaning it was as a direct result of their actions that the buyer proceeded to complete the purchase. Whilst no one is denying that Penyards had previous dealings with Mr Parker a little under a year ago their claim is, at best, highly tenuous as they were obviously not the ‘effective cause’ in selling the property, in fact the sale fell through so that would suggest they were quite the opposite.

The NAEA noted, that this is a completely fresh marketing campaign, asking price and sale price and therefore bears no resemblance to the previous marketing carried out by Penyards. This would further endorse the view that they were not the ‘effective cause’.

Our advice clearly states that Spencers, under the terms of the current sole agency agreement, have effectively introduced Mr Parker and, therefore, are due the full fee.

Furthermore it was also suggested by the solicitor that the threat to issue any sort of injunction against us is unnecessarily aggressive and would be highly unlikely to be successful.

Graham, your actions over the last few days throughout the night and over the weekend are simply not normal behaviour. The threats and aggression go way beyond any reason or rationale.

I have heard that Penyards is up for sale and also note that you appear to be losing a lot of properties from your website. I would hazard a guess that you may have business issues and if so this can often cloud judgement, I know as I have been there.

If this is the cause of your recent erratic actions then I am very sorry for you, but this is not helping.

Each time I have contacted you, your stock response has been “i’m getting a freezing order, i’m getting a freezing order, i’m getting a freezing order,”

Now we have clarification on the situation I would respectfully ask that you cease your aggression and harassment. I have no desire whatsoever to lock horns with you but I am being backed into a corner.

You have already ignored my request to follow your internal complaint procedure as required by TPO and this now forces me to take the matter up with them.

At this stage all you have done is cause some stress and upset and under the circumstances outlined above I am quite prepared to leave it at that.

BUT if I am forced to deal with you, your threats or injunctions, costs will form part of the case I take to court or the TPO.

Again, I am very sorry you have chosen to act this way and if business or personal issues are the cause then please seek help. Graham, that is not meant to be provocative or patronising and I say it because I have been there.

Good luck and I hope we can now put an end to this.

REPLY

Dear Mr xxxxxx

As I mentioned to you in our last communication, my lawyers are addressing the matter and you will hear directly from them, all of your comments will be referred to in my statement.

Graham Evans

————————————————————————

21TH AUGUST – SPENCERS CONTACTED PENYARDS TO TRY AND RESOLVE THE ISSUE (WE DIDNT SEE THE CONTENTS) AND SEE IF THEY COULD WORK TOGETHER – THIS IS EVANS’ REPLY – IT IS HIGHLY CONFUSING AT FIRST READ BUT IT ACTUALLY DETAILS A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO AGENS WHICH SEEEMS TO UNDERPIN THE ISSUES AFFECTING US

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Dear Mr Batten,

Regrettably we have yet to speak directly but I had intended that our conversation would be documented so as a matter of expediency I have decided to pursue the option of writing soonest.

In the first instance I wish to refer back to the only other time that I have directly engaged with your company. Fortuitously from my point of view the practices of your organisation have only served to endorse my stand point on matters relating to Holly Lodge. Attached is email correspondence and extracts from communication between Mr Mould of Spencers, Mr and Mrs S (the client) and Lisa Evans and myself. Please note the deletion of specific names as a matter of discretion. To rehearse the facts again they are as follows.

1. You arranged the viewing for Mrs and Mrs B (the buyer) to view a property known as Brandon Thatch. At the time they were not in a proceedable position.
Conversely…we arranged a viewing for Mr Parker on Holly Lodge when he was in a proceedable position.

2. Mr and Mrs B (the buyer) made an offer to buy Brandon Thatch which was not accepted.
Conversely…Mr Parker made an offer to acquire Holly Lodge which was accepted.

3. There was no agreement from Mr and Mrs B (the buyer) to acquire Brandon Thatch so no contract was issued.
Conversely…there was an agreement for Mr Parker to buy Holly Lodge and a draft contract was issued.

4. When Mr and Mrs B (the buyer) chose to pursue the property again they came directly to Penyards ignoring Spencers.
Conversely…when Mr Parker chose to pursue the property again he came directly to Penyards ignoring Spencers.

In your attached communication dated 24th May 2013 your Mr Mould states ‘I felt that I had to make you aware of the fact that as the introducing agent we will be due our full fee, should a sale reach a successful conclusion’. He was in fact advising the client that even though you had at that stage done no more than arrange a viewing you state that Spencers should be the beneficiary of a fee, how perverse! Later, on 25th May 2013, Mr Mould states ‘I have this afternoon consulted the legal department of the NAEA who have advised me on the basis of the facts, we are indeed the introducing agent’. And you can see his email continues.

Twice in his representations Mr Mould has suggested that Penyards should ‘step aside at this point’ and in another for Penyards ‘to step back and allow negotiations to continue’. In this case he goes on to say ‘However we unfortunately appear to have very differing professional standards’.

Now let us address these differing professional standards. I will also deal with the expression you have used in your letter to Dutton Gregory dated 14th August ‘normal professional etiquette’. I am bewildered by your double standards, or should I in fact so no apparent standards at all, you have completely and utterly contradicted everything that you have previously held as credible and honourable. It reminds me of the old western movies, ‘cowboys’ speak with forktongue.

Perhaps for clarity you may now wish to decide at what stage an agent is entitled to be paid or indeed even suggest that they are entitled to be paid. I refer to your letter of 14th August again ‘although as contracts have not yet exchanged there is little to discuss at this point in time’. Yet Mr Mould saw fit to clarify in his email of 24th May that Mr and Mrs S should be aware of your entitlement of a fee and on 25th May reminds them ‘to save you being potentially liable for two fees’ . This was even before an offer had been accepted, let alone, virtually at the point of exchange of contracts. Some coherence and consistency would be advantageous.

At the moment we have the following:

· An endorsement of the interpretation of fact from Mr Mould and Spencers of our entitlement to a fee.
· An endorsement from the NAEA that we would be considered the introducing agent
· An email from Mrs xxxxxx dated 2nd July 2013 which has clear unambiguous narrative ‘that is in the agreement as they were possible buyers by yourselves’
· An email from Mr xxxxxx dated 25th March 2013 ‘That’s fine, if you have anyone generated from marketing or anyone from past marketing then they can view. I would deal with the agents on this’

On this basis I refer to my previous statements confirming our position. That is that once contracts have been exchanged if it is not confirmed that we will receive our fee in accordance with our terms and conditions of business Dutton Gregory will be issued with instructions to immediately instigate legal proceedings.

Having stated the above and as a matter of mediation I will however make one concession. This is subject to confirmation in writing from the vendors solicitors that we will be paid in full and final settlement on the date of completion and that these are irrevocable instructions. I will accept 1% plus VAT. This however is to be confirmed in writing no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 27th August.

Yours sincerely,
Graham Evans

————————————————————————

6TH SEPTEMBER – I HAD SOUGHT CLARIFICATION FROM THE OMBUDSMAN AND COPIED IN EVANS – THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE LAST WE HEARD FROM HIM

Dear Mr & Mrs xxxxxx,

Following on from your recent communications I wish now for the record to make my final response. I respectfully request that from this point onwards all communication should be conducted through the appropriate legal and professional channels.

Legal
I appointed Dutton Gregory, our company lawyers to make a fair and reasonable representation in relation to my firms financial interest in the conclusion of the sale of your above mentioned property. We were legally entitled to place you on notice of our intentions, we were entitled to notify you of our right to claim and we are entitled to pursue the matter through whatever legal and appropriate means are available to us, should this be deemed necessary and as soon as there is an exchange of contracts. I believe my solicitors have applied a very reasoned and practical approach to informing you of my position on this. Therefore in order to remove any question of doubt, in the absence of mediation, I hereby confirm my final formal instruction. Upon exchange of contracts if we do not receive confirmation from your solicitor of your irrevocable instruction to honour the terms and conditions of business, as previously set out, and payment is not received on the date set for completion, then my solicitors will be issued with instructions to make full recovery of all sums due through whatever process they deem most expedient.

Complaint
The Property Ombudsman are a highly respected professional body that represents our industry. They are appointed in circumstances where mutual agreement between interested parties cannot be reached and are authorised to adjudicate over matters such as complaint. I have been in discussion with them and will be calling upon them to deal with this matter in its entirety. I am afraid that I find no basis for a formal complaint. You have made false allegations, you have not in my opinion relied at all upon fact and made spurious claims of inappropriate conduct by myself, my company and indeed my companies solicitors. I therefore will no longer offer any further responses to charges or claims that you make and will allow the Property Ombudsman to do their work.

As a consequence of this course of action and the fact that I will no longer have any direct dialogue with you I am going to make one final observation.

In my view your email correspondence contains a litany of contradictions and inconsistencies, save to say, the one repeated on more than twelve email exchanges in relation to an allegation about my personal conduct. Whilst a question would normally attract an answer I expect your response will form part of the formal transference of documents once the Ombudsman is involved.

However, my curiosity leads me to draw to your attention to the following.

My telephone call to you on Sunday morning of 4th August 2013 was timed at 1.23am GMT phone records show that this conversation lasted 27 seconds. It is alleged by you that I slurred my words and conducted my speech in a drunken fashion. You state that I caused your wife upset and distress, I was aggressive, threatening, rude and that I harassed and intimidated you during the course of that very brief conversation.

The question is (please refer to the attached emails) WHY in your email timed at 1.41am GMT as an initial response to our telephone conversation is there absolutely no single point of reference to my poor conduct, my manner and the alleged threats and distress? WHY is it also that on an email some 13 minutes later at 1.54am GMT your second such communication within 30 minutes of my original call have you again failed in anyway to refer to my alleged drunken conduct, my threats, intimidation and distress inflicted upon Mrs xxxxxx? It is only in the third email some 9 hours later that you decide to refer to it. Albeit that you found my tone so offensive that you deemed it necessary to threaten to report me to the police. Is it not somewhat astonishing, that you should fail to refer to my conduct following our 27 second telephone call in either of those first two emails when one would reasonably assume that if you were going to respond you would not forget to make any reference to it whatsoever?

Other than in full cooperation with the property ombudsman and legal authorities I now withdraw from any further dialogue or communication with yourself.

Yours sincerely,
Graham Evans
Managing Director

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Trading Standards

Good Afternoon

I have just received a message that you rang in to reception and have traced your email which we received on 9 April.

I am afraid that we no longer provide an Advisory Service to our residents and all enquiries are diverted to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS).

Details provided to them by Hampshire consumers or relating to Hampshire traders are transferred on to our database.

Ideally we would investigate every incoming complaint in depth but realistically this simply isn’t possible. Trading Standards enforce a wide range of laws dealing with unfair and deceptive commercial practices. Because of the high volume of complaints received by the Service in relation to such matters it is only possible to investigate the most serious of criminal breaches and, in particular, those where the victims have been targeted because of their vulnerability. We therefore adopt an ‘intelligence-led’ approach to enforcement to ensure resources are used to best effect to tackle current issues. All sources of information, but especially complaints from the public and business, are used to identify trends and problem traders. We use the incoming information from CACS together with other sources to identify those traders and trading practices causing most concern to Hampshire ratepayers and we take action as appropriate. It can mean that, on occasions, individual complainants feel that their complaint has been overlooked but this is unavoidable.

I note that your dispute centres on the terms and conditions of a contract and the application of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. The ultimate decision as to whether a contract term is unfair can only be made by a court of law and you must be guided by your solicitor on this. I have no prior knowledge of court decisions but brief research has highlighted what appears to be a relevant case and I attach a link below:

http://egiewcms-test-auth.elasticbeanstalk.com/legal/fleurets-ltd-v-dashwood/

The complaint you have made regarding the aggressive behaviour of Penyards has been recorded on our database but at the present time no action is intended. We monitor complaints against all Hampshire based businesses as explained above and the information you provided will be used for this purpose.

Regards,

Jennifer Lenton
Trading Standards Officer

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