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80% of home movers think gazumping needs solving – could Reservation Agreements do the job?

New research into gazumping shows that up to half of buyers have been gazumped and 40% have lost money after paying for surveys or legal work prior to exchange.

Nigel Lewis

reservation agreements gazumping

New research within the property market has revealed shocking data on how widespread gazumping has become and highlighted how much vendors and buyers hate the carnage it can cause.

Bridging finance firm MFS interviewed 750 people who have bought a property over the past decade. The company discovered that a third of those it surveyed had lost a property due to gazumping, although that figure increased to nearly half in London.

Also, overall 40% said they had paid non-refundable professional fees prior to exchange but had then been gazumped. Consequently, MFS says 80% of those canvassed said they’d like to see laws passed in England and Wales outlawing gazumping.

Their wishes may be granted. In October the government announced that it is to pilot reservation agreements during a three-month trial starting in the New Year.

These would require buyers and sellers to put down a significant cash deposit of up to £1,000 after an offer is accepted, something that is likely to eradicate both gazumping and gazundering overnight.

reservation agreements gazumping“As demonstrated from our research, not only is gazumping a cause for frustration and disappointment, it can also incur significant costs to the prospective buyer,” says Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS (left).

“Avoiding complicated chains and having immediate access to finance can reduce the chances of a prospective buyer missing out on a purchase, but it is clear from the findings that further measures are needed to prevent it in England and Wales.

“This is something homebuyers are calling for, and it is now up to the next elected government to look at measures to stamp out gazumping as a top priority.”

December 5, 2019

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