Almost A Third Of UK Homeowners Say They Have Been Gazundered

Almost a third of UK home sellers are being gazundered by their buyers, many of whom are seeing their potential buyer drop their offer just a week before the sale was set to complete, according to new research.

House Buyer Bureau commissioned a survey of just over 1,100 UK home sellers to have sold a home in the last six months, which found that as many as 31% had experienced gazundering.

For just over half – 51% – of respondents, this happened more than two weeks before they were due to exchange. Some 15% stated it had happened within two weeks of their exchange date, while as many as 33% said it had happened within a week of their exchange date.

What’s more, as many as 75% decided to press ahead with the transaction, accepting the lower offer. Of those that did not, 21% said the sale ended up collapsing.

When asked why they decided to continue on with their original buyer, the predominant reason given was that the seller believed the lower offer was still a fair one.

The second most common reason given was that they did not want to jeopardise their onward sale, while many sellers also did not want to waste more time finding another buyer.

When asked what the reason was for their buyer gazundering them, the most common reasons given were that there were issues found during the survey process, as well as survey issues resulting in a down valuation.

However, many sellers also stated that they believed their buyer was just chancing their arm in order to secure a discount.

The MD of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, said: “We’ve heard a lot in recent years about the backhanded practice of gazumping, with high demand and inadequate stock levels resulting in many buyers trying to outbid their rivals right to the death.

“However, the market has certainly dropped down a gear or two in recent months and we’ve started to see the record rates of pandemic house price growth start to subside.

“Despite these cooling market conditions, there remains an air of stubbornness amongst the nation’s sellers who are yet to fully accept this change in market temperature and, as a result, almost a third are being gazundered with a lower offer having originally agreed a price with their buyer.

“While this trend is being driven by opportunistic buyers to some extent, it’s important to note that in many cases, it’s due to issues found during the survey and the resulting down valuation. Therefore, while many sellers are being gazundered, they are proceeding on the basis that the secondary offer made is still a fair one.

“This is quite a natural occurrence in any market conditions and so buyers should be advised that, while there may be further room for negotiation after their offer is accepted, acting bullishly in order to lowball their seller could result in them losing out on their dream home.”

House Buyer Bureau – Home seller gazundering survey : Data Tables

Data Tables
Survey of 1,104 recent UK home sellers (last six months) to have experienced gazundered carried out by ProperPR on behalf of House Buyer Bureau via consumer research platform Find Out Now (16th February 2023).
Thinking about your recent property sale, between the point you accepted an offer and the exchange of contracts, did the intended buyer lower their offer?
Answer Respondents
Yes 31%
No 69%
If yes, how close to the exchange of contracts did this happen?
Answer Respondents
A week (seven days) 33%
Two weeks 15%
More than two weeks 51%
Did you accept this reduced offer?
Answer Respondents
Yes 75%
No 25%
If you didn’t accept this offer, did the sale collapse as a result?
Answer Respondents
Yes 21%
No 79%
If you did accept the lower offer, why did you choose to do so?
Answer Respondents
We still thought the lower offer was fair 25%
Didn’t want to jeopardise our onward purchase 23%
We didn’t want to waste more time finding another buyer 19%
We didn’t want to go through the selling process again 12%
We liked the buyer and wanted to sell to them 9%
We had to move quickly to a deadline, due to reasons such as relocating abroad etc 8%
We had already incurred costs associated with selling a house 4%
Did your buyer provide a reason for their lower offer?
Answer Respondents
Property issues found during the survey 33%
Down valuation on the property 25%
Chancing their arm 19%
Their mortgage was adjusted due to increasing mortgage rates 11%
No explanation 8%
They could no longer afford the offer due to the cost of living crisis 5%

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