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Success and failure

Consequences of gazumping

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The buyer that has been gazumped is the person who suffers the brunt of the consequences.

  • Emotional
    Being gazumped leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Like sour lemons only lasting a bit longer. You may feel shocked, offended, dismayed, angry, frustrated, anguished, humiliated or just downright upset that the place you were expecting to call home will now just be a bad memory. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do but deal with it and move on. There is no recourse, no compensation, nothing whatsoever that you can do to change it. Making a counter gazumping offer is a bad idea, as it encourages the practice. Anyway, the vendor has already set the precedent - what is to stop you being gazumped again? We live in a capitalist society, so you should expect people to be greedy and selfish. It is an unpleasant fact of life.

  • Financial
    The financial impact of being gazumped can be more severe than the emotional effects. Most people will be unwilling to get involved in a bidding war and there are others who would if they could but can't. For some people, paying a slightly higher amount for the property is the only way they will be able to avoid being forced to restart their search looking for a much lower value property. A considerable amount of funds may already have been taken up by paying for a survey, local authority searches, mortgage application fee and so on. Getting hit with this at the last minute can lead to an enforced major rethink.

  • Logistical
    For people on a rigid timescale, being gazumped can cause all sorts of problems not just for them, but for other buyers and sellers involved in the chain. If one deal falls through it can impact all the others in a domino effect. Another possibility is that you have a reduced choice of properties. You are unlikely to want to go back to an agent that has been involved in a gazumping, whether or not they are guilty of any wrongdoing themselves. In an area where a limited number of agents operate this can restrict the number of homes from which you have to choose.

The seller gets more money and if they have read this or have had it happen to them, hopefully a very guilty conscience.

The agent gets a little more money and a tinged reputation. Word of mouth is a powerful promotional tool, but the reverse effect is very much stronger.

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