By Frances Traynor
19th October 2017
Mon 16 Oct 2017 by Ellie Pierpoint
These funny words may sound like something out of a Dr Seuss book, but they’re actually related to conveyancing and really not quite as fun as they sound – particularly for the person on the receiving end!
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Gazumping is when you’ve put in an offer for a property, started all the paperwork and applied for the searches, then out of nowhere the seller pulls out because they’ve found a higher bidder – ouch right?
Usually this happens right at the very last minute when you’ve spent weeks preparing paperwork and got all excited about your new property. Everything is organised and you just need to exchange the contracts, except the seller refuses to do so until you pay more money. You may well have paid out for property searches, surveys and other expenses, putting you out of pocket and pretty fed up.
Unfortunately, not much. Gazumping is perfectly legal as the seller is under no obligation to sell you the property before the contracts are signed. However, there is a way to avoid this situation burning a big hole in your pocket at least – go with a solicitor who offers a ‘No Move No Fee’ guarantee (like us!). This means if your purchase falls through, you won’t have to pay for the next lot of conveyancing fees, so you’ll only pay to move once.
Gazundering is the opposite of gazumping and just as frustrating. Gazundering is when you are selling your property and the buyer drops their offer just before the exchange of contracts, leaving you in the difficult situation of either accepting a much lower offer or letting the sale fall through – also a costly decision.
For the same reasons we don’t like gazumping – it’s stressful and puts you out of pocket at a time when being IN pocket is what you really need. What can you do about it? Again, not much as gazundering is perfectly legal, and again, it’s best to prevent rather than cure so ensure you go with a solicitor who offers a guarantee against their fees. In addition, you can make sure your end of the conveyancing is done quickly and thoroughly to give the other party less time to default. If any gazundering does occur, you’ll want to discuss it with your solicitor as you are in a position to make a counter offer and try and save some of the original value.
Gazanging is the new lingo in the conveyancing world and it basically means that a seller leaves the buyer hanging. Due to uncertainty in the market or personal reasons, at the last minute the seller will decide they don’t want to sell – leaving you, the buyer, without a property to buy, and possibly out of pocket again.
In all three of these cases, you can discuss the possibility of setting up a ‘Lock Out’ agreement which is a legally binding contract which ties both parties into the sale before the official exchange of contracts. This is not hugely common however and you’ll need the ok from the seller/buyer first. While we can’t prevent gazumping, gazundering or gazanging from happening to you, we can offer a ‘No Move No Fee’ guarantee, meaning you won’t lose any money in the process. In addition, the solicitors we work with are knowledgeable on all three of these situations and can legally advise you towards the best outcome. Give us a call to find out how we can help: 0800 038 6699.