Buyers on the lookout for a good deal have led to an increase in the practice of “gazundering,” which involves making a lower offer just before finalising a property purchase, to pressure the seller into reducing the property’s price.
In November, Quick Move Now, a house buying company, witnessed a significant rise in gazundering, with 39% of properties sold being subjected to this practice, up from 13% in October, reaching a level not seen since 2008. In December, typically a quieter month in the property market, one in four sales were affected by gazundering.
Those who gazunder are taking advantage of a weaker market, by hoping that the seller is so far into the process that they will have no choice but to accept.
Mark Crampton, who covers the southern home counties, says renegotiations are often for good reason – such as when a survey has flagged up expensive defects, or where there are legal or title problems. “Historically these issues would have been ‘taken on the chin’,” Mark explains.
“However, for the first time in around a decade, we are seeing buyers have the confidence either to reduce their offer or walk away from a deal if the seller doesn’t agree to a well-justified reduction.”
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