Friday, 4 March 2022

Top tips to reduce your chances of getting gazumped

Gazumping is back!

Common in the property boom of the late 1980s/early 1990s, we had thought we had all seen the back of the practice, but it seems gazumping is once again a common feature of the UK property market.

According to a recent article in a British newspaper, more than a third of property sales in the last year have been hijacked by someone offering a higher price.

What is gazumping?

‘Gazumping’ is the term given to a situation where a seller accepts an offer from a buyer, but then pulls out of the sale after being made a higher offer by a new buyer.

Whilst gazumping is not illegal, it does cause a huge amount of frustration and heartache. The buyer who is gazumped will often suffer financial loss due to legal fees, property valuation fees and survey costs. It can also cause additional failed sales further down the property chain.

Top tips to reduce your chances of getting gazumped

1. Get the property removed from the market

When you make an offer on a property, make sure it’s clear to the estate agent that you are making the offer on the condition that the property is fully removed from the market. Fully removing the property from the market means that no further viewings should take place and no other offers should be entertained. It is worth putting your expectations in writing when you formally make an offer on the property. This will not completely eliminate your chances of being gazumped but setting out your expectations from the start will help to minimise the danger.

2. Prioritise good communication and get contracts exchanged ASAP

If you’re competing against other bidders, it’s important to try to ‘humanise’ your offer. Tell the estate agent about your personal circumstances and why this is a special property for you. Sellers are much less likely to pull out of a sale if they’ve made a human connection with you and your circumstances. It might be that the property reminds you of your childhood home, or it’s close to the school you would like your child to go to. Make sure they know it is more than just a house to you. Showing this level of emotional connection to the property will help to reassure them that you are a ‘safe bet’ and that you’re unlikely to pull out of the sale further down the line.

3. Make yourself an attractive buyer

The other way you can beat other buyers to secure the property is to make yourself an attractive, straight-forward buyer. You can do this by ensuring you are as proceedable as possible. Property chains are often responsible for the collapse of sales, so a chain-free buyer is the holy grail when it comes to prospective buyers.

There are several different ways you can be chain-free:

· This is your first property

· Selling your current property and moving into a rental or with family whilst you find your new home

· If you’ve already found your dream home and have a property to sell, you can approach a genuine cash home buying company. These companies can complete a sale on a date of your choice (in as little as a week if necessary), so they effectively make you a chain-free buyer.

Gazumping is a practice that can cause a great deal of stress, upset and financial loss. Whilst the tips above cannot entirely prevent you getting gazumped, they will help to improve your chances of a quick and successful move.

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