When a buyer finally finds the property they have been searching for, it feels like a dream come true. The excitement and sense of relief that their search is over can be overwhelming, but it is easy to think that the hard part is over. Unfortunately, for thousands of buyers across the country, gazumping is a harsh wake-up call. Gazumping is the term used to describe the process of a seller accepting an offer, to later reject it for a higher offer from another buyer. The original buyer finds themselves going back to square one, having to begin their search for a new property all over again. Although the practice is considered widely unfair, it is legal. There is currently no legal recourse across England and Wales when a buyer is gazumped. The prospect is unsettling, but the good news for buyers is that there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of being gazumped.
Although gazumping is back, we have compiled some top tips to help reduce the risk!
- Ensure the property is taken off the market: Many buyers assume this is a natural recourse for estate agents, however, it is worth double-checking. Ensuring the property is removed from the market as soon as an offer is accepted will prevent the risk of gazumping. This will prevent new prospective purchasers from viewing the property, or make new, higher offers.
- Get prepared early: Preparation is a key component in many property transactions. Ensuring your finances are ready along with a mortgage in agreement from your lender are great provisions. Getting your conveyancer instructed quickly is also key, so the legal work can get underway as quickly as possible.
- Keep your transaction moving: Holding up your end of the agreement to keep things moving is a great idea. Gazumping often occurs when the transaction does not move quickly enough for the seller’s liking. This means completing all paperwork on your end quickly and efficiently and staying in close communication with your conveyancer and mortgage broker.
- Consider an exclusivity agreement: This is where the seller agrees not to seek or accept other offers for a specified period of time. Although the seller may not agree to sign it, an exclusivity agreement can show how serious the buyer is.
By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of being gazumped. Although the decision ultimately remains with the seller, these measures can give you better protection than you would otherwise have. Especially in a fast-moving market, the better position a buyer can put themselves in will equal a smoother transaction.
How can Home Legal Direct help?
Home Legal Direct facilitates fast and efficient home transfer solutions for our customers throughout England and Wales. From sales and purchases, to remortgages, and more, we are here to support you every step of the way. Get a free online conveyancing or property survey quotation in seconds and embark on your property journey today!