Gazundering fears on the rise as buyers pressure sellers to accept less money

Rising numbers of sellers are concerned about being gazundered, according to findings an estate agent comparison website. 

The term gazundering has seen a sharp rise in Google search activity, as cooling market conditions put greater power into the hands of buyers, Get Agent says.

The number of people searching gazundering online has surged 97 per cent since January, the findings suggest.

Worried: Rising numbers of sellers are concerned about being gazundered, according to findings from Get Agent

Worried: Rising numbers of sellers are concerned about being gazundered, according to findings from Get Agent

Gazundering, which is legal, refers to a buyer reducing their offer at a late stage of negotiations to try and pressure the seller into accepting less money. 

Gazundering often becomes more prevalent when buyer demand is dwindling and  prospective purchasers are more likely to gain the upper hand in negotiations. 

If a buyer knows the seller needs or wants to sell-up quickly, they may well give gazundering a go. 

Colby Short, Get Agent’s co-founder, said: ‘It’s not so long ago that we saw an unprecedented rise in gazumping in the UK market, with desperate buyers swooping in to outbid each other at the last minute. 

‘But now that market conditions have changed in the face of economic uncertainty, the power dynamic seems to have shifted in favour of the buyer. 

‘Hence the rising interest in gazundering as buyers have made a last ditch offer for a lower price than originally agreed.’

What to do if you get gazundered 

Sophie Pollard, a director of estate agent MyHaus Brighton, said sellers who face being gazundered should remain calm and consider their options.

She said: ‘While it can come as a shock and sour the taste of your sale completing, it might still be possible to continue with your onward purchase.’

Sellers can, if they want to, still negotiate with the buyer once they have been gazundered. 

Pollard added: ‘Look at your local market – what is happening there and have house prices dropped in the time it has taken for you to get to completion?’ 

If the property is returned to the market, sellers should be mindful that it might be at a lower price in any event. 

Another option for sellers who have been gazundered is to simply accept the lower offer. 

This might seem hard to swallow, but if you need or want to get the sale completed quickly, it may be the best option. 

Pollard said: ‘Gazundering is a painful, yet increasingly common occurrence as we see in the later part of 2023. 

‘A lot of the time it is unavoidable by the buyer and is a result of stress tests on mortgages and ever changing rates. However there will always be people looking to make those savings right until the last minute. Creating trust within a sale from both sides is going to prevent those hasty changes in offer right at the end.’ 

Top team: More people are searching for the 'best estate agent' online, suggesting that they know selling their property may not be easy

Top team: More people are searching for the ‘best estate agent’ online, suggesting that they know selling their property may not be easy

As well as more searches for gazundering, people are also searching for the ‘best estate agent’ online.

Searches for this term have become 17.4 per cent more popular since the start of the year.

According to Get Agent, this is a recognition from sellers that when market conditions are less than favourable, a good agent is essential for securing a quick sale and a decent price. 

> Nine questions you should ask an estate agent  

The popularity of ‘property chain’ searches has, Get Agent claims, risen 8.5 per cent as cooling market conditions mean chains are lengthening, causing anxiety for both sellers and buyers. 

Extended selling timelines have also resulted in the popularity of online searches for ‘conveyancing’ increasing by 1.9 per cent.

Conversely, the frequency of online searches for terms including ‘house price’, ‘valuation’, ‘capital gains tax’ and ‘stamp duty’ has fallen, Get Agent said.

How to avoid being gazundered

The HomeOwners Alliance has some tips to help sellers avoid being gazundered:

1. Choose a chain-free buyer

If possible, favour buyers who are chain-free. They are more likely to move quickly and there is less chance they will have additional costs or affordability issues arising late in the day that they will pass on to you.

2. Set a date for exchange

As soon as possible, get a date in place for when you’ll aim to exchange contracts. This is a good way of keeping involved parties focused on the date – giving everybody something to work towards, which keeps the pressure on.

3. Move quickly

Make sure your solicitor is pushing on with your case and keep in regular contact with them. Your agent should also stay in touch with the buyer’s solicitor to ensure things are moving smoothly from that side. If possible, stay in contact with the buyer, too.

4. Be realistic about price

If you set your house price way above what it should be there is much more chance of a buyer lowering their offer.

5. Get a good estate agent

A decent estate agent will know how to handle buyers who are just pushing their luck and will be experienced when it comes to keeping everything on track and getting you to that all important sale. 


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