What is gazumping, and how can you stop it happening to you?

You’ve started your journey looking for a new home in Chelmsford. After viewing a number of properties, you find it, that dream property that you can’t wait to call your own.  The offer is in and you nervously wait by the phone to see if it’s accepted.  As you’re celebrating and starting to picture how you will make that house your home, you get a call – you’ve been gazumped!  But what is gazumping, and how can you stop it happening to you?

What is gazumping?

Gazumping is when, after your offer has been accepted, another buyer sweeps at the last moment with a higher offer that is then accepted by the sellers.  In a moment your plans and dreams are left in shatters, and you have to start your search for a new home again from scratch.  Although legal, it is certainly distressing for those who experience it.  With a shortage of properties available, much more so than in previous years, and the demand from buyers increasing, until the law changes, gazumping sadly remains a possibility.

You need to be ready

If you want to place yourself in the strongest position, one that is extremely attractive to sellers, you have to get ready.  If you are a cash or a first-time buyer, or have nothing to sell, your ability to move swiftly will place you at an advantage.  Yet, regardless of your personal position, it’s important that you have a mortgage in principle agreed before you start looking.

Just as it’s important to get your finances in place, so it is to ensure your solicitor is ready to move speedily when instructed.  Do your research and select a solicitor before you place an offer; choose carefully, you want one you know is responsive and will get the survey booked as soon as possible.  At Charles David Casson we would always recommend selling your house before actively looking for a new home, as other buyers in a better position may put in offers whilst you’re waiting.

Make your offer appealing

We all love a bargain, but if you’ve fallen in love with a property it’s more than likely it has caught the eye of others too.  Therefore, if you really want this house for your home, you need to show the sellers that you are serious by making your first offer a realistic one.  By showing you mean business they are more than likely to accept your offer and take it off the market.

When making an offer you can request that the property is no longer advertised, removing it from websites and the estate agent’s window – ensure you also request that no other viewings be carried out, and make your request in writing. It is the seller’s decision whether this is something they are willing to accept or not.

Don’t delay

No one likes delays, especially sellers.  Any paperwork you receive, complete it accurately and return it as soon as possible.  Return calls so people don’t have to chase you and keep in close contact with your solicitor; that way, you’ll be aware of any issues or delays and can possibly help to resolve them quickly.  The more you keep on top of your purchase and put the pressure on, the smoother and swifter the process will be.

Show you care

It doesn’t matter if someone is selling their property, to them it is still very much their home, and sometimes this can influence who they wish to sell it to!  If you show them that you will love and care for their house as much as they have, then, should another offer come their way, the relationship you have built may sway their decision.

Don’t get distracted

When searching for your dream home, we bet you’ve become a Chelmsford property expert.  You will know the value of local properties and those that have just come on the market.  Just because your offer has been accepted doesn’t mean you should take your eye off the ball.  A new potential buyer could threaten your sale with a better offer should surrounding house prices increase; if you know the market, you can anticipate any increases and move quickly if needed.

No gazumping here!

You may be wondering why we don’t stop this practice from happening, but the truth is that we are legally bound to present any offers we receive to sellers.  Therefore, by getting yourself ready and in a strong position, making your offer appealing, making sure there are no delays, showing that you care and by not getting distracted, you can help stop your offer being gazumped!

If you’re looking to move in Chelmsford, give our team a call today on 01245 835859.

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