Buying or selling a house? Be aware of the three Gs


Buying or selling a house? Be aware of the three Gs

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the three G’s: gazumping, gazundering and gazanging. No, we’re not talking an alien language, we’re talking property language! Read on to find out more.

  1. Gazumping – where greedy sellers want more dosh

This is where the person selling the property accepts your offer, but then accepts a higher one from someone else later on. The seller may ask you if you want to increase your offer or may just decide to go with the other person, especially if they are a cash buyer, and you’re waiting on mortgage approval or something similar.

Frustratingly gazumping can happen right up to the point when you’ve exchanged contracts.  And, if it happens to you, you could be left seriously out of pocket, as you’ll have to stump up for any fees that have already been incurred, such as solicitors fees and survey costs.

However, the closer you are to exchanging, the less likely it is to occur, so it pays to be prompt to help keep things moving quickly.

  1. Gazundering – where greedy buyers out for what they can get!

This is the opposite of gazumping – so the person buying the property reduces their offer right at the last minute.

It can, literally, be the day before contracts are due to be exchanged, leaving the seller in a real predicament. If you’re the seller you can either accept the lower sale price or face the possibility of the buyer walking away, but by this point, there’s usually too much at stake. If you’re in a chain, this could cause it to collapse, potentially meaning you’ll have to start the whole process again.

Morally, the whole idea of gazundering sounds wrong, but legally there is nothing to stop someone from doing it. Like gazumping, speed is crucial – try and keep the sale progressing and there should be less of a chance of buyers having second thoughts.

3. Gazanging – where sellers decide to stay put!

This is where the seller pulls out and decides they don’t want to sell their property any more. They might have struggled to find their next home or maybe they’ve just realised they love their existing home too much to let it go.

It can be extremely frustrating if you’re the buyer, as you may have already paid your solicitor’s fees and other costs, and you’ll have to start the search again. Unfortunately it’s on the rise though, due to a shortage of housing, which the Guardian report is due to falling transactions and the lowest number of new homes being built in England since the 1920s.

For more information, check out the video below for property expert Phil Spencer’s take on the 3 G’s: