As a word, gazumping sounds like a pretty fun activity like zorbing or some other crazy new sport. The truth however is much less pleasant.
Imagine for a second you’ve been trawling through property portals on line, spoken to every estate agent in Bishop’s Stortford and have registered on all their buyers lists. You’ve visited nearly every property within 10 miles of Bishop’s Stortford that is within your budget (and sometimes outside it just for fun); you’ve seen properties that are just right but too dear and properties on budget that leave something to be desired.
Finally, you find the property of your dreams and it’s within budget! Success! You put in an offer with the estate agent which is accepted subject to contract. BUT just before it all goes through another bidder appears and puts in a higher offer on your dream home and boom…your dream house is snatched from you so the seller could get more cash for their property. Gutting!
This is the truth about gazumping. The real question is what on earth can you do to avoid it?
Gazumping happens most often when there is high competition between buyers for properties in a certain category or price-band. You may hear this being referred to as a ‘seller’s market’ because in this situation sellers (and estate agents) have all the power to accept or turn away multiple offers on their popular property. A recent survey claims that between 1-2% of property transactions fail due to gazumping and is particular prevalent in the Bishop’s Stortford area.
Gazumping puts us as estate agents in a really sticky situation. Legally speaking, we have to pass on in writing every offer that is made to a seller whether they have accepted another offer and removed their property from the market or not. We also can’t stop a seller from accepting a higher offer because unlike the Scottish property market, offers aren’t legally binding.
Don’t panic though! There are a few ways that you can reduce the likelihood of being gazumped, we can’t guarantee that our tricks will stop it happening altogether but by following our steps you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting your dream home.
Sell your property first
If you’ve sold your home already and are living in rented accommodation, you will be in a much better position to exchange contracts FAST and avoid someone coming in at the last minute and outbidding you. A vendor is far less likely to accept another offer if they know you’re in a very strong position.
Build rapport with the vendor
This might seem an odd suggestion, but if you’ve put in an offer on a property that you’re desperate to buy, building a positive relationship with the vendors could be the difference between them accepting a slightly higher offer or sticking with you.
Ask your estate agent to arrange a second viewing to meet the vendors once you’ve put the offer in.
This one is obvious – make sure that you have already spoken to an independent financial advisor to discuss all the possible mortgage options (if you need one), a property surveyor picked out and a solicitor who knows you want to move quickly. Get as much packing and moving preparation done as you can.
This one links with the previous point. Once you have made your offer, ensure that you speak to your financial advisor to get your mortgage underway. Call your surveyor as soon as the offer has been accepted and get them in to the new property to survey ASAP and finally, ensure that you contact your solicitor and you are hot on their case to get things moving quickly.
Being proactive when it comes to moving home is a sure fire way to fend off pesky gazumpers and get you the property you love! Selling your property first is an easy way to put yourself in the best possible position and avoid disappointment.
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