Believe it or not, gazundering is a real word. Not only that, but it can have serious repercussions for sellers operating in the UK property market. In this guide, we bring you the meaning of gazundering and how you can avoid it when selling your property.
What is gazundering?
You’ve probably heard of gazumping – when a seller backs out of a house deal for a higher bid from another party. Well get ready for “gazundering”. This shady move occurs when the buyers drop their offer at the very last minute before contracts close.
And sellers often have little choice but to accept the lowered price, or go back to square 1 and start looking for a new buyer. After all, turning down the gazundered offer means the whole housing chain unravels and you risk losing the new home that you were planning to buy with the money from your old home. So while gazumping stings for buyers, gazundering screws over the seller.
Is gazundering legal?
So is gazundering actually allowed? In short, yes, it’s legal in England and Wales. Nothing about a house deal is legally binding until those contracts get signed. So up until the papers are exchanged, buyers can rescind or slash offers all they want, and there’s no rule against it.
Does that make it less frustrating or even ethical when sellers get gazundered? Probably not. It might be permissible but it still wrecks dreams and property chains. But for now the law says dropping offers whenever is fair game.
Is gazundering fair?
To be honest, most of the time gazundering isn’t justified – buyers just get greedy knowing sellers will bend since they already took their house off market and are mid-chain. They squeeze in discounts for no reason.
Sometimes legit problems arise where buyers suddenly can no longer afford to buy a property, so they might drop their offer last minute. While technically this too is gazundering, it’s probably fair, albeit annoying. Like if the buyer himself was gazundered by someone in the same chain, or if the buyer suddenly falls into serious financial difficulties for another reason, they might have no choice but to ask for a lower price or walk away from the deal.
But this concept of gazundering has become somewhat of a thing in 2023, it’s now even got its own word.
How can I avoid gazundering?
If a buyer tries lowering their offer last minute, you can reject it but, other than that, you don’t have many options. Unless you decide to pull out of the sale. It’s not like there’s any insurance against losses from gazundering.
But there are some things you can do to avoid gazundering, as follows:
Communicate a no gazundering policy from the offset
You could make it clear from the very beginning that you will walk away from any price lower than what was agreed. This might deter the gazundering buyer from wasting their time and yours. This might work for premeditated gazundering.
Choose a chain-free buyer
The buyer of your property may get gazundered by their own buyers, and then they might pass the buck, so now you too are getting gazundered. by choosing a chain-free buyer it means no one can gazunder them and cause a ripple effect that spreads to you.
Avoid being in a chain
If you are in a chain, it means that you are looking to buy and sell at around the same time, and the success of your sale determines the success of your new purchase. In this situation, if you are gazundered, it’s difficult to walk away from the deal because it means you might well lose the property that you are trying to buy. But if you are not in a chain then it’s relatively easy to say no to a gazunder offer because then you don’t have too much to lose.
Keep communication going
You, your solicitor and agent (if you’re using one) should all be in touch with the buyer regularly so there are no late surprises. Building rapport helps, too, as it increases professionalism.
Price your property too high and buyers may seek savings later. Alternatively, they might fall head over heels with your property upon viewing but then encounter issues after surveys have taken place, causing them to lower their offer as a result.
Surveys uncover all sorts, so disclosing home flaws early reduces chances of last minute price drops when a buyer gets results they weren’t expecting from the survey.
Calculate your minimum
Do the math and see what’s the lowest offer you could accept in a nightmare gazundering situation. Being prepared and having a minimum number in mind can help navigate the annoyance of gazundering.
Avoid Gazundering with Property Rescue
Steer clear of frustrating gazundering situations by choosing Property Rescue to sell your home. Our service provides a cash offer within hours, followed by us managing the entire fast sale process through to closing.
Sellers save time, and there’s none of the uncertainty typically found with listing the property on the traditional market. We eliminate any chance of gazundering by offering a transparent fixed cash offer that won’t be reduced before contracts are exchanged.
We can even help those who are being gazundered by a dodgy buyer. Instead of agreeing to the buyer’s low ball offer, you can sell directly to us. We can buy your house in as little as 48 hours (or whatever timescale suits you). This way, your chain remains intact and you can still buy that new property that you’ve made an offer on.
So, you want to avoid gazundering altogether, speak to Property Rescue. We’ll provide you with a free, no-obligation cash offer on your property, and once you accept it, we guarantee to buy your property quickly and for the agreed price.