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They might sound like the sort of thing Roald Dahl’s BFG would do to keep fit, but house buyers and sellers know there’s nothing pleasant about gazundering and gazumping, so what exactly are they?
Gazundering - occurs when a buyer waits until the deal is almost done and then suddenly lowers their offer, which threatens to collapse the whole chain if the seller refuses.
Gazumping - happens when the seller accepts a higher offer from someone else at the last minute, after agreeing and offer verbally with the orginal buyer.
Both practices are seen as rather underhanded although perfectly legal in England and Wales and can happen at any time before contracts are exchanged.
So what can be done? We’ve gathered the best advice to help you avoid, deal with, or salvage what you can from these stressful scenarios.
After being gazumped or gazundered, you’ll want someone to blame. Here’s a list of options; read them through twice before you do something you’ll regret.
Gazumping is a particularly dastardly move because a buyer has inevitably spent a lot of money on surveys and fees; money they won’t see back. Our favourite suggestions for reducing the risk of being gazumped are:
The suggestions are not guaranteed methods to stop you being gazumped or gazundered, but having them in place might ease the blow.
And finally, and easier said than done, try not to worry. Gazundering and gazumping really do happen rarely. If you can afford to, you can always offer more money as a buyer, or refuse an offer as a seller.
If you can’t afford to, take a deep breath and try and see it as an unfortunate hurdle and not a permanent setback. The house you eventually find will probably be much better than the house you just lost.
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