Tie-in clauses: a licence for poor-service

There’s a little-known game that (some) estate agents play, and one which we think is the sort of practice that gives agents a bad name.

Consequently it’s something you won’t find us dabbling in at all.I’m referring to the ‘tie-in clause’, and here’s how some agents use it. They’ll come along to your house on a market appraisal and then flatter you with a high valuation, or say that they have just the buyer coming in that afternoon but that you need to sign their contract immediately to ensure you don’t lose them.

Many people, understandably keen to sell their house as quickly as possible and for as much money as possible, eagerly sign their contract as requested.

What they’re often not aware of is that they have unwittingly tied themselves to using that agent, and that agent alone, for a period that can sometimes be as much as 24 weeks. That, of course, is nearly half a year!

Now when that buyer doesn’t turn out to be quite as keen as promised, or when the figure they suggested doesn’t actually materialise into an offer (and in some cases no viewings), they phone up and babble some nonsense that the apple harvest has caused the market to crash and that you’ll have to drop your price.

So here you have a choice. You either accept their request to drop their price, or you get disgruntled and want to change agents.

But wait! You can’t because of that little clause that says you’re tied to that agent for the remainder of that 24-week period, leaving you stuck between that proverbial rock and hard-place.

Now obviously I’m painting a deliberately extreme picture here to make the point, and although many agents have tie-in clauses, many of those will not use such underhand tactics described above.

However many WILL use the tie-in clause just to take their foot off the pedal a little bit. After all an agent who knows you’re tied to them by the law will not feel quite so much pressure to ‘go the extra mile’ as an agent who knows you could up-sticks and leave for their competitor at any time.

This is the reason we don’t use excessive tie-in clauses. We feel they’re a licence for laziness, giving the agent cover to drop their standards.

Instead we’ll listen to your desires regarding the speed of sale and/or figure you’d like to achieve, and agree with you a sensible number of weeks to make that happen. 

But here’s the difference:  first it will be nothing like the 24 weeks of some agencies, and second we’ll be upfront, discussing with you what seems fair, rather than trying to squeeze it into the smallprint of your contract without you noticing.

This can be a complicated thing to get your head round, so please feel free to call us to discuss it any time.

Phillip Mann


What's on locally this month

Thanks to seafordtown.co.uk, newhaventown.co.uk and peacehaventown.co.uk for these listings. 

Seaford Lecture and Literary Club
Date: Tuesday 06 October 2015 
Time: 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: St Leonard's Church Hall, Church Lane 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 899932 or 01323 893270 
Manor Farm, Bishopstone in the '50s: an illustrated lecture by Ian Everest. 

The Seaford Community Garden
Date: Wednesday 07 October 2015 and every Wednesday
Time: 9:30am - 12:30pm
Where: Crouch Gardens, East Street 
Town: Seaford 
Volunteer your help in the community, especially the retired, and the disadvantaged. Come and help plant, pick and weed! 
Website: www.seaford-sussex.co.uk/scg/ 

Seaford Community Cinema - Leviathan (cert. 15)
Date: Friday 09 October 2015 
Time: 7:30pm 
Where: The Barn Theatre, Saxon Lane, BN25 1QL 
Town: Seaford 
Tickets £6.00/£5.00/£3.50. Advance booking from Seaford Tourist Information or www.seafordcinema.org 

Seaford Folk Club Night at the Legion Club
Date: Friday 09 October 2015 
Time: 8:00pm 
Where: The Royal British Legion, Claremont Road 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 899405 
Hungrytown. Beautifully crafted songs in the American and Appalachian genre. 
Website: www.seafordfolkclub.com 


Autumn Fayre
Date: Saturday 10 October 2015 
Time: 12:00 Noon - 3:00pm
Where: St David's Court, Balcombe Road, BN10 7QB 
Town: Peacehaven 
Gift stalls, craft stall, refreshments, tombola, and a raffle which includes first prize of a Charlie Bear! There will be jewellery, books, clothes etc. Please do support us and we will give you a warm welcome. Free entry.

Musical Showtime
Date: Saturday 10 October 2015 
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Where: Community Hall, Meridian Centre, Meridian Way 
Town: Peacehaven 
Phone: 01273 512771 
A great evening of live music, singing and comedy. 
Featuring top musician and singer, Matthew Bason from the powerful big band to orchestral to relaxing melodic ballads. £6 per seat including interval refreshments. First time visitors are free of charge. 
Website: www.musicalshowtime.co.nr/

St Leonard's Parish Church Open Morning
Date: Saturday 10 October 2015 
Time: 9:30am - 12:00 Noon
Where: St. Leonard's Church, Church Street 
Town: Seaford 
Free refreshments, children's activities and conversation. All welcome. 

Seahaven Scouts Boot Sale
Date: Sunday 11 October 2015 
Time: 7:30am - 1:00pm
Where: Martello Fields, The Esplanade 
Town: Seaford 
7 am sellers - cars £8, vans £12, no food sellers. 7.30 for buyers. 
Telephone 0844 4146086
Website: www.ssch.org.uk 


Walking Bus, charity walk for CTLA
Date: Sunday 11 October 2015 
Time: 10:00am 
Where: Seahaven Area, starting at Downs Liesure Centre 
Town: Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven 
Email: paula@ctla.org.uk 
Phone: 01273 517332 
The walk will loop around Newhaven, Peacehaven and Telscombe before returning to Seaford for a finishing celebration. Take part in as many sections of the walk as they feel able to - from 1 mile up to the whole 16 mile route. 

Seaford Afternoon Flower Club
Date: Thursday 15 October 2015 
Time: 2:00pm 
Where: Seaford Baptist Church, Belgrave Road 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 894848 or 01323 490979 
'Fabulous Flowers', demonstration by Lucinda Knapman. Visitors £2 incl. refreshments.

An Evening with former MP Norman Baker
Date: Friday 16 October 2015 
Time: 7:00pm 
Where: St Thomas Moore Church Hall, Sutton Road 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 898367 
Quiz former Lib Dem MP Norman Baker in a special event to coincide with the release of Norman's new book, "Against The Grain". Mr Baker will also be available to sign copies of his book, which has been favourably received and is already selling well. 
Entry is £5 on the door and Norman has requested proceeds to be donated to his favourite charity, the Born Free Foundation. 
Website: www.seaford-sussex.co.uk/fosl/index.html 

Lights Up For Let Me Entertain You
Date: (Starts) Friday 16 October 2015 - Sunday 18 October 2015 
Time: 7:30pm (2.30pm on 17th and 18th)
Where: The Barn Theatre, Saxon Lane 
Town: Seaford 
Written and directed by 17 year old Josh Henry, the show features top ten hits including Angels, Rock DJ, Feel and Mr Bojangles. Featuring three members from the acclaimed hit show 'Anything Goes'. The young cast and crew are part of the multi-award winning Junior community theatre company, Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors. 
£6 adult and £4 concession, purchased from the Tourist Information Centre, Church Street, Seaford during opening hours or online. 
Website: www.ticketsource.co.uk/thebarntheatre 

Peacehaven & Telscombe v Ramsgate
Date: Saturday 17 October 2015 
Time: 3:00pm 
Where: The Sports Park, Piddinghoe Avenue, BN10 8RH 
Town: Peacehaven 
Phone: 01273 582 471 
Ryman Isthmian League Match - Division South 
£10 and concessions at £6. Under 17s free admission.

RNLI Newhaven coffee morning
Date: Saturday 17 October 2015 
Time: 10:00am - 12:00 Noon
Where: St. Leonard's Church, Church Street 
Town: Seaford 
Coffee morning fund raising event. 
Website: www.newhavenlifeboat.co.uk 

Seaford Bonfire Night 
Date: Saturday 17 October 2015 
Time: 6:00pm 
Where: Seaford Town Centre 
Town: Seaford 
Email: secretary@seafordbonfire.co.uk 
Annual procession with all the local bonfire societies, from the White Lion in Seaford to the Martello Fields on the seafront. Last year was a huge success with about 10, 000 people turning out to watch the procession through the town and the grand firework display down on Martello Fields. 
Website: seafordbonfire.co.uk 

Hillcrest Film Society - A Little Chaos
Date: Saturday 17 October 2015 
Time: 7:30pm 
Where: Hillcrest Community Centre, Hillcrest Road, 
Town: Newhaven 
Email: film@hillcrestcentre.co.uk 
We're in Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles with Alan Rickman, who also directed the film, playing the King, and he wants his garden to be perfection. Enter a brooding garden designer who (eventually) hires Sabine (Kate Winslett) to transform one area. 
Tickets £5.00 available from Hillcrest Reception during the week, Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm. 
Meal & drink from £6.50. 
Cafe opens 6.30pm.

Classic United Car Show
Date: Sunday 18 October 2015 
Time: 10:30am 
Where: Newhaven Fort, Fort Road, BN9 9DS in UTC+01 
Town: Newhaven 
All classic cars are welcome but please state the length/make of your vehicle when booking as space is limited. Booking essential, via website.
Website: classicsunited.moonfruit.com/2015-show/4587950803 

Tea Dance
Date: Sunday 18 October 2015 
Time: 2:00pm - 5:pm
Where: Hillcrest Centre, Bay Vue Road, BN9 9LH 
Town: Newhaven 
Email: stevesaunders@hotmail.com 
Charity Tea dance supported by Studio Tempo. All proceeds to Newhaven Mayor’s Charities - Newhaven Lifeboats and Seahaven Community Responders. Ticket price of £6.00 includes Tea and Cake.

Friends of Tide Mills Beach clean-up session
Date: Sunday 18 October 2015 
Time: 10:00am - 12:00 Noon
Where: Tide Mills 
Town: Seaford 
Email: brian.skinner2@btinternet.com 
Since 2006, the Friends of Tidemills have collected more than 1, 500 sacks-full and then taken away by Lewes District Council. Meet at 10 am at the end of the path from Tidemills car-park (free) down to the sea over the rail crossing. Pick as long as you like until 12 midday. No membership fees, just turn up (wear something suitable) and start picking! Pickers and collecting sacks provided. 
Website: tidemills.webs.com/friendsoftidemills.htm 

Seaford Seniors Forum & Wave - FIT FOR LIFE EVENT
Date: Tuesday 27 October 2015 
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Where: Down's Leisure Centre, Sutton Road, BN25 4QW 
Town: Seaford 
Phone: 01323 490011 
Stalls, demonstrations and seminars. Ploughman's lunch & refreshments. FREE ENTRY 
Website: www.waveleisure.co.uk 

A very seasonal buck rarebit

50g butter
1 leek, washed and sliced into 1cm rounds
1 tbsp flour
75ml beer
75ml milk
1 tsp English mustard powder
150g tasty grated Cheddar
8 slices of quality bread
4 eggs
optional tabasco sauce

1. Melt half the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and fry leeks until they are soft but not browned.

2. Melt in the remaining butter and then stir in your flour. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon and gently and slowly add the beer and the milk to make a roux.

3. Keep stirring until you have a good, thick sauce and grind in some pepper, add the leeks. Turn off heat.

4. Lightly toast your bread and then spread each slice with the cheesy, leeky mixture and slide under a hot grill until bubbling and just beginning to brown. 

5. Meanwhile poach or fry your eggs to add ontop of each slice of rarebit. Add a shake of tabasco if you wish!


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