What is gazumping and how can you minimise the risk?

Buying a home can be a long and arduous process, but one of the key risks and concerns of buyers is the risk of being gazumped on their dream property.

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The TPBC defines gazumping as “having an offer verbally accepted on a house” only to have another buyer offer a higher amount and complete the sale. It is a common occurrence, with reports suggesting that almost a third of homebuyers have been gazumped on a property in the last ten years. Understandably this can be a very frustrating and upsetting thing to happen for those who believe they have sealed the deal on their dream home.

How can you minimise the risk of it happening to you?

Move quickly

Being able to move quickly on a sale will reduce the amount of time another buyer has to sweep in and steal the deal. Be organised. Have your mortgage agreement confirmed, your solicitors primed and ideally your current house sold by the time you make your offer. Moving quickly is the best way to ensure that you can’t be gazumped by another buyer.

Have insurance

Being insured won’t stop you from being gazumped, but it will help protect and minimise any legal fees, surveys and other costs associated with the sale. Cheap solicitors such as (
https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/conveyancing-for-99-the-scam-of-cheap-conveyancing-289) can help you to understand what is covered under the Home Buyers Protection Insurance scheme.

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Be a reliable buyer

Being a good buyer by responding quickly to queries and being honest and reliable may stand you in good stead. While most sellers are understandably motivated by money, some may favour the buyer they deem to be the most genuine or reliable person, so bear that in mind when communicating with them.

Remove the property from the market

Estate agents aren’t legally obligated to remove a property from the market once an offer has been placed, but some might. Some estate agents have a policy that prevents the gazumping process when an offer has been accepted. Similarly some sellers may be willing to sign a ‘reservation agreement’ which prevents them from accepting another offer for a certain period of time. If you can make these things happen, it will reduce your changes of being gazumped by a high amount. Ask questions, and hopefully you will get some assurance.

Kathy McDonough