Circa London on gazumping

Published: 09/09/2022

Approximately a quarter of central London property sales fall through after the offer has been made and before exchange. One reason for this is 'gazumping.'

When you're looking for a property, the thought of finally getting your dream home is thrilling. You picture yourself settling in, placing all your ornaments and furniture, and making it your own. But alas, you could be gazumped when you think you've sealed the deal.

Gazumping is a frustrating and disappointing experience that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of pounds in expenses. Unfortunately, an accepted offer is only legally binding in England and Wales once contracts are exchanged.

To increase your chances of avoiding gazumping, consider these tips:

  1. Speed is critical: In many cases, gazumping occurs due to a higher offer. However, it may also be because another buyer can move more quicker.
  2. Arrange your finances: Being a cash buyer is ideal, but having a mortgage agreed upon in principle is essential for most buyers without ready cash.
  3. Build a relationship with the seller: A good relationship with the seller could increase the likelihood of them favouring your offer. Keep them informed about your progress and intentions.
  4. Be ready: Choose a solicitor and surveyor who can act quickly and ensure your legal paperwork is in order before making your offer.
  5. Have all your ducks in a row: If you have a property to sell, find a buyer before making an offer on a new property.
  6. Make a realistic offer: A fair offer could prevent the seller from considering other offers.
  7. Keep the process moving: Complete paperwork promptly, return calls quickly, and check in regularly with your solicitor to avoid delays.
  8. Ask for exclusivity: If you're concerned about being gazumped, you could request the seller sign a legally-binding lock-in agreement that prevents them from entertaining other offers.
Following these tips could increase your chances of successfully buying your dream home without being gazumped.

One thing everyone fears is the thought of their property transaction falling through. At Circa London, an independent central London estate agents, we are experienced and well versed in keeping all parties in the loop. Our dedicated negotiators do their utmost to minimise the stress and the possibility of transactions failing. No property transaction goes without a hitch or is 100% guaranteed, but keeping our fingers on the pulse and keeping things moving forward efficiently is vital.
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