Property purchasing specialist, HBB Solutions, has revealed that the vast majority of UK homebuyers want to see the practice of gazumping made illegal, as one in 10 fell foul of the backhanded practice during their last house hunt.
The survey of 1,000 UK homebuyers who have purchased in the last six months found that 9% had experienced gazumping when looking to buy and 85% stated that they would like to it made illegal.
Nine in 10 respondents also called for more support from estate agents to help prevent gazumping from occurring.
Managing Director of HBB Solutions, Chris Hodgkinson (pictured), commented: “It’s quite extraordinary that gazumping still occurs in this day and age and, in fact, it’s probably fair to say it’s rife in current market conditions. Unfortunately, it’s a byproduct of a market where demand is incredibly high and stock levels remain insufficient for such a prolonged period of time.
“When this happens, you have buyers falling over themselves to secure the home they want and some of them do this by gazumping.
“It’s a real stab in the back for the buyer who has already committed time and money to a property under the agreement they will be purchasing it and it can make an incredibly stressful, expensive experience all the worse.
“It really is about time the government steps in and does something to permanently eradicate this practice to provide greater reassurance and stability to those undertaking the already tricky task of purchasing a home.”
Fall-throughs equal failure
The survey follows analysis of data by Gazeal and TwentyEA that shows an astonishing sales fall-through rate for the beginning of 2022.
Between 1st January and 17th March, almost 54,000 deals failed to make it to completion, equivalent to a sale collapsing every two minutes so far in 2022.
“This is just ridiculous when you consider the alternative solutions out there, which help to lower the risk of fall-throughs from occurring,” said Gazeal chief executive Bryan Mansell (right).
Mansell added: “Not only is there a greater offering of upfront information, so buyers and sellers alike know where they stand and don’t face any nasty surprises further down the line, but also digital reservation agreements, modern and traditional auctions, and other schemes which can be transformative for a property transaction by helping to commit both buyer and seller to a deal.”
The last resort?
One way to minimise the risk of a sale falling through is to become a chain-free buyer, says Managing Director of professional cash buying company, Open Property Group.
Jason Harris-Cohen (left) commented: “Many vendors think the hard work is done once a buyer has been found for their property but as the statistics show, the most dangerous part of a transaction is actually being caught up in a chain where you’re dependent on the reliability of others.
“There are many reasons why a sale may fall through but the most common are failure to secure a mortgage, poor survey results forcing the buyer to gazunder or withdraw their offer and, as we are currently experiencing, failure to find an onward property to buy.”
He adds that selling to a professional cash buyer will assist buyers in securing and negotiating an onward purchase and remove the risk of a chain collapsing under them, but also offer vendors a fast way of fixing the chain when a buyer pulls out.
“We know for many sellers that achieving completion is far more critical than achieving a set asking price, so why put yourself at the mercy of the open market and a lengthy chain?” said Jason.