Last Updated: September 5th, 2023
In the world of property transactions, few tactics are as controversial as gazundering. It’s a term that can send shivers down the spine of sellers and elicit a range of emotions from frustration to outright anger.
This article aims to shed light on what gazundering is, its implications, and how sellers can protect themselves from this tactic.
Gazundering is the practice where a buyer, having already agreed on a price for a property, reduces their offer just before the exchange of contracts. This is in contrast to ‘gazumping‘, where a seller accepts a higher offer from a new buyer after having already agreed to sell to another buyer at a lower price.
The primary reason buyers resort to gazundering is to take advantage of a seller’s vulnerable position. They believe that the seller, having already invested time and emotion into the sale, will be more likely to accept a lower offer rather than risk the sale falling through.
In the UK, gazundering is, in fact, legal. The property market operates on the principle that until contracts are exchanged, either party is free to change their mind or alter the terms of the agreement, including the price. This means that while gazundering might be viewed as unethical or unfair by many, it is not against the law.
Gazundering, while a legitimate tactic from a buyer’s perspective, can be a distressing experience for sellers. Being aware of the practice, understanding its implications, and taking proactive measures can help sellers navigate this tricky terrain. Remember, every property transaction is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Always seek personalised advice tailored to your situation.
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