Prop Tech

As gazumping escalates homebuyers need a system that prevents goalposts being moved

Steve Dawkins
Written by Steve Dawkins

Did you know that 57% of homeowners have been gazumped at least once? Gazumping is a problem property buyers dread. Their offer has been accepted, the purchase seems to be going through, but before the sale reaches completion the vendor accepts a higher offer from another buyer.

As disappointing it might be to the abandoned buyer, gazumping is a legal aspect of the buying and selling property process in the UK. This is due to the fact; the buying of a property is not legally binding until the contracts have been exchanged in writing. Prior to this point, either party can pull out of the verbal agreements.

Gazumping on the increase

Gazumping is on the rise, with the practice having tripled throughout the UK during the last two years. In London, gazumping is particularly prevalent, with more than a third of buyers being on the receiving end of the practice in recent years.

Being gazumped not only leads to disappointment but can result in buyers losing a significant amount of money, having paid for surveys and legal work only to get to lose the property to another buyer.

In order to help prevent gazumping on a deal occurring, Gazeal is rolling out a suite of products including Gazeal Xpress and Gazeal Seal to estate agents, online agents and hybrid agents to speed up the conveyancing process, and in the right circumstances, offer legally binding contracts from the time an offer is agreed. The contract would lock buyers and sellers into completing property sales across England and Wales as soon as an offer is accepted.

Such a contract is the first of its kind in England and Wales and would reduce the risk of buyers being left disappointed by losing the property due to a higher offer being agreed. As well as eliminating the risk of being ‘pipped to the completion post’ by another buyer, the Gazeal Agreement, will knock weeks off this notoriously long process.

As Duncan Samuel, Gazeal’s Managing Director, told the Mail Online:

“To Gazeal the deal simply means that neither buyer nor seller can pull out.”

“The aim is to make the house sale/purchase process a cleaner and more transparent transaction and one which at a stroke wipes out gazumping and saves home movers hundreds of pounds in wasted legal fees when a sale collapses.”

The contract is currently only available to property purchases not involved in a chain.

With gazumping on the rise in England and Wales leaving a growing number of hopeful homebuyers left crushed and asking questions when they thought what was about to become their new home is snatched away from them at the last minute, Gazeal’s new system means neither party can walk away or move the goalposts.

In short, by eliminating gazumping, homebuyers and sellers can enjoy greater peace of mind and confidence in what can be a long and frustrating journey.

About the author

Steve Dawkins

Steve Dawkins

Steve spent almost a decade working in Investment Banking and then left the City to move into media. He was the Sales Director from the launch of Real Estate TV, the world’s first dedicated property television channel, broadcasting on the Sky network in the UK and across Europe.

Fox International Channels acquired a majority stake in the channel in 2008 and promoted Steve to the position of Managing Director, making him one of the youngest MD’s within the group at the time.

Steve then helped to launch and manage a real estate and financial investment brokerage focusing on mainland China, HK and SE Asia and worked on other start-up initiatives, including Global Property TV with the Entertainment Media Group and Canis Media, one of the UK’s leading broadcast media consultancies.

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